The Sustainable Development goals that we have help us support social change at a global level. They act like a blueprint to achieve a beter life. How does that happen? Setting ambitious goals doesn't generate change. We all get overwhelmed by large goals and larger than life visions. We wish to change the world. We wish to end poverty, hunger and unemployment. We wish to see equality and inclusivity in all fields. But these are deep-seated problems that have developed over years and years. They don't change in a day, and neither do they change by having extremely large goals. We've got to break down larger goals into bite-sized ones that we can easily ace. Goals such as 'completing a course on sustainable living, learning new terms in mental health, understanding gender pronouns,' etc., sound doable within a reasonable time frame, right?
One reason we have quarterly goals at CauseAChatter is just that. These smaller goals are actionable and it is easier to measure the impact our efforts have had too. So, what are some skills and vital steps needed to make this work?
Create your vision map
Brainstorm on your dreams and thoughts that are starting to take shape. Since here we are talking about causes, what are some issues and topics that urge you to take action? Are you an eco-friendly champion? Do you feel strongly about mental health or maybe women empowerment? Perhaps you want to raise awareness about the stigma faced by the LGBTQ community. Take out your notebook and scribble away. Empty your thoughts onto paper. In all our years of life surely we'd have come across a deeply moving cause. Your visual representation of these causes offers a mental direction of where you want to go next. Here is a detailed guide to help with creating a vision map.
Don't stop educating yourself and learning
We've only scraped the surface of causes. There are so many aspects that we still don't understand. As we prepare ourselves to advocate for such important causes, we must also remember to keep on unlearning and learning. We have grown up with filters and under heavy societal pressures. Once we unwrap that conditioning, we make room to really understand. This is a very important step to achieve sustainable development goals. Credible resources prepare us to curate better content and lead campaigns of change. An open mind and heart that is capable of empathy and inclusivity can go a long way.
Educating ourselves helps us to identify with and understand another person's experience and point of view. We must be willing to step into someone else's shoes and recognize their perceptions and experiences. These experiences could also include traumatic ones and they are unique to them. Accepting this with open arms enables us to build stronger relationship with our causes and the goals we have set. Content that evokes empathy works best for any cause. It also helps us become better individuals- compassionate ones that are capable of inspiring harmonious living.
Once we have gathered enough research material to curate content for a cause or even begin a campaign one question we need to ask ourselves is if we are giving an unbiased opinion. Causes are of course a personal choice and why we relate to a particular cause is also personal. But is the opinion we give based on looking in all directions? Thinking critically and without prejudice helps us make informed decisions and formulate the best plan to help spread awareness.
Consistency builds routine and momentum. When we keep doing something with the same passion, it becomes a habit. It is a commitment you make to yourself and the goals you set. Show up even when you may feel lost. Just be present and the motivation will come. With time, when you build consistency, you begin to do what is needed. Your plan gets a backbone and you will be able to achieve a better outcome of your goals.
Creating an impact takes time. It is important to have patience to work through complex issues. Again, the bite-sized goal setting comes into action here. Smaller goals mean we get to see results sooner. For a cause to be impactful, the journey as well as the destination are important.
This year, as CauseAChatter comes to a close with the fourth quarter, we try and measure the impact this whole campaign has had. Our community members shared their thoughts on how their efforts and progress. To keep it simple- every passionate effort has an impact. But when we have some specific goals in mind, only then can we figure out the exact impact and what we can do to change the direction towards a different narrative!
Have you been part of CauseAChatter this year? Have a look at what our community has been talking about and perhaps that will help you understand a goal you want to set. Then go on to register for the final quarter and do your magic creating purposeful content.