natasha on table sz

Argh! It’s that time of year again.  I’m not normally a New Year’s Resolution kind of person, but I do appreciate marking a time in the year for reflection and goal setting.  As we made our way around the table during Coffee Social last week, we gave everyone a chance to voice their hopes and aspirations for 2015.  We probably should have written them all down so we could check back in next year to see how well we did…and that right there is my problem.  I may set an intention but I am easily distracted.

After reflecting on my lack of resolve when it comes to resolutions, I think I’ve found my issue.  I tend to set broad goals with unknown paths and little to no measurement of success. I might say “get more exercise” while my friend Chris (who happens to be good at resolutions) would say “run a 10K by May.”  Then he would actually go and sign up for said race and be forced to start training.  Being specific seems like the more effective way to go.

CoWORKer Barry mentioned an interesting strategy he read about: at the beginning of each year, fill your resume with lies.  In other words, add in all of the accomplishments and skills you hope to gain over the next twelve months, creating the dossier you wish you had while inadvertently setting some very specific goals.

Lack of accountability can also be a pitfall. Making a promise only to yourself is sadly quite easy to break.  Signing up for a race or announcing to your friends and colleagues your specific intentions will help force you to make it real.  A little positive peer pressure can be a good thing.

And so, you ask, what is my New Year’s resolution?  It’s a doozie!  I started reading Naomi Klein’s This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate and was reminded that climate change has been my big concern for about the past 20 years. I go through phases of being more or less focused (like I said, I’m easily distracted) but it is always in the back of my mind.  Starting WORK, for example, was in large part motivated by the fact that 60% of Sonoma County’s greenhouse gases come from transportation.  That, and the fact that commuting sucks, especially when you live in a beautiful and walkable town like Petaluma.  So, my resolution: focus on fighting climate change.  I know, I know.  Too broad and indefinable.  Sorry!  Okay.  How about each month I tackle one thing in my own life that can reduce my footprint.  Better? Here goes…

January: Divest from fossil fuels. I may drive a Prius and walk to work and turn down the thermostat, but what about that IRA? If my retirement savings are investing in and profiting from oil companies, am I really building a healthy future for my family? Thanks to coWORKer alumni Dale Wannen of Sustainvest, we’re already on our way to this goal.  Yay! (And just a step ahead of Global Divestment Day on Feb 13th!)

And beyond?  Not sure yet, but I’ll keep you posted.  Stay tuned for my new blog series chronicling my quest to fulfill this New Year’s resolution.  And join me, if you dare!

As my favorite Jimmy Carter quote goes: “Our dreams are big…our hopes high…our goals long-term…and the path is difficult.  But the only failure is not to try.”

Written by Natasha Juliana. Edited by Linda Jay.  Photograph by Jana Leon.
Curious about Coffee Social?  Join us Tuesdays at 10 AM.

Related post:  The True Cost of Commuting to Work and check out Dale’s article in the new Conscious Company Magazine: Impact Investing 101