New Tae Kwon Do belts are often celebrated in our
house with manicures to match our levels
When I was a kid, I was in a constant state of trying to move up to a next level. I remember how much I wanted to move to the next grade in school, move from a "tadpole" to a "frog" in swimming, move from Bluebirds to Discovery in Camp Fire, and progress through all sorts of other activities with definite achievement levels. The suburban American world just kind pushes kids along in that general upward direction. So, why do many adults tend to plateau and stop reaching for the next step?
|The good stuff happens just beyond your comfort zone!|
The RESULTS website has an activist toolkit with a list of activist milestones, effective actions that you can shoot for and take the next step in your advocacy. There are milestones for working with Congress, working with your community, working with the media, and empowering yourself. It even has links to instructions on how to achieve your new goals.
For example, here are a list of milestone advocacy actions to take with Congress starting with sending an email and ending with building a relationship such that your representative will respond to you within 24 hours about your specific request.
Wow! I know that last one sounds incredible, but there are real everyday people who achieve it. Most of the time, those people have worked diligently through many of the smaller steps...leveling up with increasing difficulty bit by bit.
Speaking as a mother, I see that when we're in the midst of helping our kids learn and grow, moms sometimes forget to purposely improve ourselves, too. It can seem like there's so much to do in order to provide for the little ones and make sure they develop life skills and character that we forget that we have a lot of room for growth as well. I struggle to make time for my own personal growth in the midst of encouraging theirs.
The funny thing is that when I do make the time to improve myself, my kids are watching. Leveling up in my activities naturally encourages them to do the same for their passions. I used to only do the "me-time" activities when they were in school or asleep. Lately, I've discovered that when I work hard to reach my goals in a visible way that impacts their lives, they start internalizing the idea that they should do it, too.
Today, I encourage everyone to move past the status quo. Whatever you're doing...what is the next step? And remember...when you take a step to the next level in advocacy for underprivileged kids, you're giving a child in need a chance at a next step, too. A next school grade, a next birthday, and maybe even a pretty colored belt.
|Me, receiving my orange belt, from Master Yoon at|
North Shore Martial Arts in Morton Grove, IL