It feels like our world was turned upside-down this year, to say the least. Everything about how we work, how we travel, how we gather and celebrate, how we vote – so many things that many of us took for granted – have changed. We all had to pivot, think outside the box, evaluate risks, and care for others. Also, we realized the power that all levels of government can exert into our lives and the importance of participating in public policymaking in our communities.
In 2020, we had no choice but to develop and value the ability to engage in civil discourse about complex issues. I am grateful for The Policy Circle’s framework in which so many of you were able to reach out to others and engage with civility in complex discussions such as rebuilding trust, healthcare, financial literacy and the election process. Through thoughtful, fact-based conversations, each of us are able to find focus on impacting our communities.
Each year, I identify three words that describe my areas of focus for the upcoming year. Looking ahead to 2021, my three words are: cherish, elevate, and rocks.
Cherish one person, one gesture, one moment to appreciate the small things that make a difference in someone’s life. The word cherish helps conjure a positive mindset that brings a smile and warms the heart. Imagine starting every day, every interaction with a deep breath and an exhale that whispers the word cherish.
Elevate others, elevate goals, elevate actions. We do so much, yet we rarely pause to recognize our accomplishments, or to recognize what others are doing – the small and the big things. Elevate is more than encouraging, it is about showing the way and practicing strategic thinking. As we engage in our communities, elevating ourselves is about taking a diplomatic approach even when faced with poor treatment and staying focused on the end goal. Elevate in our communities is acting on the Athenian oath: “we will transmit this City not only, not less, but greater and more beautiful than it was transmitted to us.”
Rocks are the big priorities for 90 days. Rocks are the foundations upon which we build and focus our time to advance a project, develop a skill, and expand our knowledge and comfort zones. Rocks can be about family, friendships, business, our professional skills, and/or our community. Rocks are completed in 90 days and new rocks are set each quarter.
One of my rocks for the first 90 days of 2021 will be to join The Policy Circle’s new Civic Leadership Engagement Roadmap (CLER) program. CLER is a self-paced program designed to expand participants’ civic knowledge about local government functions and build an ecosystem of local relationships. Interested in joining me? Explore the program and learn how you can apply or recommend someone today.
What do you want to accomplish in the new year? Where will you focus your time and energy? How will you inject yourself into the conversation? What are your three words for 2021?
I wish you and your loved ones a Happy New Year!
Connection is at the heart of The Policy Circle’s model and mission. More than 3,500 women across the country gather regularly to learn about public policy and take action in their communities. Circles provide an open, encouraging environment that fosters friendship and purpose. We celebrate our shared love of country, community and our growing tribe of women who are changing the conversation. Please consider supporting our mission and developing your own leadership skills by becoming a financial supporter.