How can you make an impact?

BlogHer Original Post

In her post today, Congratulations President-elect Obama: Now, BlogHers, what will YOU do to change America?, BlogHer co-founder Lisa Stone asks us to make our own "transition plan," and ask ourselves how are we are each going to help create change in America.

To figure out how you can make an impact, try this exercise based on a similar one from Carol Lloyd's book Creating a Life Worth Living:

1. On a blank piece of paper write (without editing) a long list, or create a mind map, of all of the issues that are important to you (i.e. health care, education, foreign policy, the arts, crime, poverty, animal rights, environment, local politics, organic food). You can be as general, or specific as you like.

2. On a second piece of paper, write (without editing) a long list, or create a mind map, of all the skills (personal and professional) you like to use (i.e. research, construction, making music, translation, driving, cooking, organizing, presenting).

3. You can do this third part alone, but it's even better if you can find a friend, or group of friends to brainstorm with. Take a final piece of paper and write, without editing, or create a mind map, all the ways you could use the skills you enjoy to work on the issues that are important to you.

4. Look through your list and mark the three ideas that you are the most excited about. Your ideas may be life changing, like entering the Peace Corps, or smaller changes in your daily life, like volunteering one morning a week at a public school in your neighborhood.

5. Write down three small actions you can take toward exploring one of these ideas. Ideally, the actions would take somewhere between 30 minutes-2 hours, so that they feel doable. Mark a date on your calendar when you'll complete your actions. When that day arrives, pick three new, small actions towards the same idea, or a different one.

6. Find a small group of people to share this process with on a regular basis. I'll be posting a transcript this week, or next week from my Big Vision Podcast interview with Marianne Manilov of The Engage Network. She talks about the power of small groups to change the world.

How some bloggers are changing the world:

Julia of How I Changed the World Today regularly documents the loans she makes to social entrepreneurs on

Karama of So What Can I Do? posts ideas for how you can change the world. In today's post, Join the Carnival of Change We Can Believe In (Booth 11) she suggests supporting Obama's presidency by:

1. voting for every position in every election
2. serving jury duty (willingly)
3. writing to your elected officials
4. running for political office

As part of Art Every Day Month, Jennifer of the Life Unfolds blog is creating collage cards for each of her core values. She is also the creator of the Unfolding Your Life Vision Kit.

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can
change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."
--Margaret Mead

"So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism, of responsibility, where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves but each other."
--President-elect Obama's acceptance speech, November 4, 2008

Flickr photo credit: American Flag, Navy Pier, Chicago by Belinda Hankins Miller.
BlogHer Contributing Editor, Britt Bravo, also blogs at Have Fun * Do Good.

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