Getting involved is a great resolution to make

Published 7:01 am Sunday, February 12, 2017

Yet another Groundhog Day has passed, and there is finally light at the end of winter’s tunnel. On the other hand, one month into the New Year, we can look back at our resolutions and wonder if any hope remains for all the well-intentioned promises we made to ourselves.

Science tells us it takes about month to form a new habit or break an old one. Early February, then, is a perfect opportunity to stop and reflect on what changes we’ve made, or hoped to make, and what we can do with the remaining eleven months of the year to make ourselves, our families, and our communities better.

I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve failed so far on my main resolution. (Exercise more? But this couch is so comfortable!) We’ve all experienced these feelings in some form or another, but what really counts in the long run is being able to move beyond the self-doubt and desire for convenience to make tangible progress toward our goals.

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In that respect, New Year’s resolutions aren’t very different from how we deal with life on a day-to-day basis. There are setbacks and challenges, big victories and small moments of grace. It doesn’t necessarily matter if you reach your end goal; the point is that you kept trying.

As I think about these things and wonder how I can do a better job for myself and those around me, I keep coming back to how fortunate I am to serve in this leadership role for Vision 2020. Every day I get to work with passionate volunteers, people who have stuck with their goals despite the many forks in the road. Community development certainly doesn’t happen overnight, and these people are committed to making Austin the best it can be.

When you think about it, our organization only exists because our community came together and made a big New Year’s resolution to itself in 2012. It said that over the next eight years we want to make Austin a better place to live, work, and play for everyone. And with over $24 million in grants, donations, and in-kind support secured so far, I’d say we’re well on our way to that goal. Whether it comes to recreation, education, economic development, or anything else, we are proud of everything that’s been done to turn an abstract idea into concrete results.

But we’re not done yet, not by a long shot. With three years left to go, we need your help to make even more progress for our community. We need more good ideas, and more good people to help make them happen. Our large network of volunteers and committees are here to support you every step of the way.

So why not make a new resolution, not just for your own benefit, but for entire the community’s? Even if none of our areas of focus interest you, there are so many other organizations in town that are doing great work and could use your help. You’d be surprised just how impactful an hour of your time or a small donation can be.

Let us know how you are planning to help the community in 2017 — give us a call at 507-437-3448 or send us a message on Facebook. As the old proverb goes, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step!