New Year Activism Challenge for Americans of Conscience 171

Resolve for the cause

I know, I know. Everyone does resolutions they promptly forget in a matter of weeks (or days?).

Still, I propose this challenge for the cause of perseverance, not just habit. 2020 elections are three years away. November elections are eleven months from now. We need your voice for all of it.

Making a resolution to help you stay engaged will bring more stability to our efforts. Plus, these ideas may help you feel good too. (Activism does not require misery.)

Which would you choose?

1. Stop sleeping with your phone by your bed. (Decrease stress, increase rest, calmness, and creativity.)

2. Meet with a good friend once per week. (Decrease isolation and fear, increase feelings of connection and shared purpose.)

3. Do a weekly screen-free (or media-free) day. (Decrease vigilance, increase joy, playfulness, and rest.)

4. Or…

Are you ready to take the New Year Activism Challenge?

In the spirit of solidarity, I’d love to know which you’d choose! Comment below!

171 thoughts on “New Year Activism Challenge for Americans of Conscience

  • Elsa Schafer

    I’d love to do 1 and 2, skip 3, and think regardless of 1-2, I’m into 4!
    The phone by your bed just might be sending too much radiation to your nearby body,
    so until all the research is in, please stop doing it. The good friend I’ll bet is a buddy
    in the resistance – so having that 1-1 will strengthen the cause and happen automatically
    I’m betting in the efforts you both work on! Bonding ever more deeply with good friends
    strengthens your support system to keep you engaged and going forward with the
    resistance – so what a win-win! More power to you Jen,

  • John S Graham

    I think spending more time outdoors away from all the electronics that infest our lives. Just to feel the sun on my back, the wind in my hair, and the sounds of the woods which mean nothing more than nature is going about her business and doesn’t give a damn about what we mere mortals do.

  • Kathy

    # 2 speaks to me, as collaboration means support from fellow troops and provides time to inspire greater activism and better hone our tactics in this battle. It is too early in this fight to let down my guard – # 1 and 3, are more like an R & R from this war on corruption, injustice, and a man who is grossly unfit to be President.

    All the best to you this New Year, Jennifer. I am grateful for the thoughts you share and the encouragement you offer.

  • Teri Brown

    Meeting with an old friend would probably be my choice. I’m just not sure how to do it. Our schedules are crammed and she lives in Hillsboro and I live in Tigard. We used to remain connected by emailing one another once a week but that has fallen by the wayside. I might revive that one. Or maybe we can figure something out… we’re both resourceful women!

  • Dawn McKeever

    I would replace the screen day with a day of taking a walk. For exercise and to clear one’s head of all the negativity hopefully.

  • Jim Lynch

    I sleep with my phone on my bedside table, but more for it’s alarm clock feature. I don’t check it during the night or have any notification features turned on (not just for me, but audible notifications disturb my light-sleeping wife!).
    Our church has a small congregation and everyone knows everyone else, so our social our after services are a great way to catch up!
    The screen and media free day every week doesn’t strike me as being helpful, so I’ll skip that one. And my longest-running addiction requires access to newspapers: the funny pages. Been reading them since birth!
    So I’m dropping down to the “or” category. Over the last year or so, I’ve noticed that my “recreational reading” has dropped off to near nothing. I’m missing out of a lot of good novels and non-fiction books. My reading pile(s) are scattered all over the house! So my resolve for the new year is to pick up a book every day and spend 30 minutes (don’t think I can commit to an hour) reading. And since time is short (still 24 hours in a day), I’ll get this time by being more efficient in my news reading and my screen time, No more lazily drifting through the newspapers, and watch just one TV news program rather than the usual two. And thank goodness I’m addicted to only one of the talk/commentary shows!
    So there we have it!

    • Mary

      I agree with Jim I would like to spend more time recreational reading. I spend way too much time flipping through Flipboard. Rejuvenating my imagination will help me cope with the nonsense I see all around me. Taking time for at least one sunset a week is also a lovely slow down time.

  • LJB

    I do need less screen time, phone in particular. The frustrations and losses of this year, personal and political, have left me needing some “thoughtless” time. I guess screen time has provided that. Keeping in mind that life is a marathon more than it’s a sprint, i’d needed the diversion. This new year brings opportunities to deepen my taiji practice and will seemingly, bring more opportunities to be political active in ways both large and small.

  • Mary Edly-Allen

    Meet with good friends, especially my reSisters. When we get together I don’t feel so alone and isolated. They help fill my activism bucket of energy. I’m so glad you wrote about this because I’m going to be intentional…I’m going to plan to have weekly get-togethers and write thank you notes of gratitude from your list, Jen. (If you care, you can see a picture of us on the bottom of the web site!)

  • Mary Lou McMillin

    #1&2 are n/a for me as I already do both. So I will seriously consider #3. I used to not turn on my computer on Sundays but then the smart phones arrived & it was harder not to peek at emails etc when they were right there at my fingertips.
    Thx for the suggestions & the encouragement.
    Blessings for the New Yea!

  • conny

    My choice is to meet with a good friend once per week. I think it might be a good idea to have no particular agenda for the time together. Maybe a hike, some knitting, talking about current environmental/political/social concerns for sure and finding ways to contribute to a kinder, gentler world through our own daily lives.

  • Sheila

    I was just reflecting this morning that i need to develop my friendships in 2018! I don’t know that I can do every week, but perhaps meet with a friend every other week and try to enjoy more fun with my husband as well! Some screen free days each month would also be healthy!

  • Donna Kaye

    Since I already do the first two, I will make a resolution to do the third –to take a media holiday once a week. Excellent suggestion. I would add to make sure to read “Good News” items to remind us of the good in the world

  • Martha Brettschneider

    We already ban phones from our bedroom at night given all of the sleep and neuroscience research.

    A friend and I recently set up a soul-nourishing accountability arrangement, where we email each other each week outlining 1) three soul-nourishing experiences we had the previous week; 2) set three soul-nourishing goals for the upcoming week, and 3) report our progress with the previous week’s goals. I also have an accountability buddy for my business goals, but this soul-nourishing exercise is different and very fulfilling (and I think counts as the “get together with a friend” even if we aren’t always physically together).

    So I choose the weekly media-free day. So important to take a break from the noise and create space to process what’s truly valuable. Thank you!

  • Anne

    Time with a good friend! (Preferably resisting, which has become a social thing as well, but even if not!) Might not be the same friend every week. 🙂

  • Robin Oldham

    I’m going to continue doing #3, and will strive to add #2.
    THANK YOU. I just found you. I began sending “action texts” to 17 friends in Jan 17, but sometimes I get overwhelmed trying to figure out how I (and my friends) can take action on particular issues. YOU will be an awesome source, and support. THANK YOU!!!

  • Sharon

    I have resolved to do something similar to the meet-a-friend resolution: Be there for people. Just showing up — at a friend’s party. neighbor’s parent’s funeral, a colleague’s art opening — means so much to the person whose event it is. It’s so easy to say we’re too busy, we aren’t that close with them, they won’t notice or care….but it isn’t true. I’ve never regretted being there for someone, but I’ve often regretting failing to be there. So that’s my resolution, and anyone is welcome to share it! 🙂

  • Diane

    I have already taken the step to leave my phone out of my bedroom, I will continue this. I have also taken some steps to have boundaries around when I look at news sites and social media (I log out of Facebook after each use and someone else has my password and needs to log me in – you can tell I’ve struggled with this!- ). I will continue this. The new step is meeting with a friend weekly. I’d like this meeting to be a time to set goals or even take action together. Maybe reading through Jen’s checklist. Maybe several friends! Thank you for your good work and encouragement Jen

  • E.

    Thank you for this! I think screen-free Sundays would be great to clear my mind. I also love the idea of resolving to see a good friend more often, but once a week feels like more than I could keep up with. I’ll mull these over today and set a resolution before we ring in 2018! Happy new year all!

  • Sharon

    I have resolved to do something similar to the meet-a-friend resolution: Be there for people. Just showing up — at a friend’s party. a neighbor’s parent’s funeral, a colleague’s art opening — means so much to the person whose event it is. It’s so easy to say we’re too busy, we aren’t that close with them, they won’t notice or care….but it isn’t true. I’ve never regretted being there for someone, but I’ve often regretted failing to be there. So that’s my resolution, and anyone is welcome to share it! 🙂

  • Liz B.

    I have already implemented a social media free (no twitter) schedule for at least 5 out of 7 days a week. It’s helped tremendously.

    I am working on increasing time with friends.

    I am reading more for pleasure.

    And…I am cutting back on eating out, etc in order to eat healthier and have that fund for donations to the cause. I am lucky to have that discretionary income and it helps me to focus my energy on a couple key issues, while still helping other important issues by donating.

    I’m also trying to focus on gratitude for what is working…and in that spirit, thank you SO much for your consistent thoughtfulness and hard work with these emails. I appreciate the guidance they provide.

  • Laurel

    I am going to try a weekly screen-free (or media-free) day – every Sunday. I love the idea of making rest and self-care part of my activism plan.

  • Lani Raymond

    Two ideas for #4, “other”
    Go outside and enjoy what is there, be nourished by nature and recharge your batteries. I live in Alaska on the coast and so going for a walk on the beach is infinitely enjoyable and healthful. In other areas, a walk down the street or to a park would do. It’s getting outside to see the beauty of our world. Also healthy walking and getting exercise.

    My other idea (which I do) is to write in my journal. It is therapeutic for personal as well as political themes for writing. Altogether, many ideas come to me, connections I would not make without writing things down, just free brainstorming for solutions…all invaluable. Plus being able to go back and re-read what I wrote to see changes in perspective and trains of thought and remembering things (I’m pretty old).

  • Susan Krysak

    I would love to meet with a friend every week. Each week I visit with men in the immigrant detention center. It is heartbreaking to see what they are going through, and would help to talk with a friend about this.

    The detained men are my friends, and so in that way I do meet with friends every week. But when a 24 year old man tells me that he hopes to live long enough to see his family one more time, it is helpful to have another person to talk with about how to help him. Or when he is crying from being kept in segregation/isolation for a long time, then it would help to have a friend to talk to. More of an outreach for these men would also be great so they feel more friendships.

  • Margaret Murray

    Absolutely the screen-free day-or more than one day–maybe a screen-free week or longer. It is well-documented that screen time fragments our ability to concentrate and maintain focus. Use that time for activities that build resilience– #1: vigorous physical activity preferably outside, but whatever breaks a sweat #2 Meditation or contemplative practices like yoga, Tai Chi, contemplative prayer, etc., #3 appreciation of beauty (builds capacity for joy, and is an antidote to burn-out) take hikes, listen to music, take in an art museum or local art offerings, see an inspiring film, go sit by the ocean. As a famous person once said, “In taking good care of you, you take good care of me.” Caring for and about one another is key to transforming our society, imo.

  • Carol Sullivan

    Well, since option 3 would definitely be the most difficult, I’ll TRY that one! YIKES! That means, of course, that there will be many, many emails to delete the next day, and I will probably be worrying all day long that I am missing either some earthshaking news story – or a really important email that needs my immediate attention. I know that the anxiety will go away soon, however. Having spent six weeks in China this fall, with no access to Google, FB, YouTube, and links to the “back story” in any emails, I know I will survive one day without screen time. Now . . . difficult decision . . . which day? Well, not Sunday, since that’s Action Checklist day!

  • Lori Beamer

    I will choose meeting with a friend once per week. I would like to add new friend/friends as an option 🙂 I am an introvert, so this is a healthy challenge to me!

  • Judy Hartl

    Well, I don’t do #1 and I do do #2 but #3 will be a challenge….but entirely worth it! will corral my spouse as well! thanks for all this good encouragement and help!

  • Tilly

    I’m going to try #2, and most likely #1. Meeting with a friend everyweek will be a stretch. But it feels intuitively like it will be good for me. A screenfree day is impossible, because of work. Thanks for the challenge. I wish us all luck.

  • Laurie Pollack

    I choose to take on screen free Friday evenings from when I get home from work until going to sleep that night. Except for reading books on my Kindle. But even then will not buy new books Friday night.
    I already light a candle and meditate by it for a few minutes and there lately has been a feeling of sacred space being created but I was not sure what practical steps to underline that. This feels right.

    • Etta

      The third one is the only one that would be relevant. I don’t do number one and already try to do number two. So I will try to abstain from media for a day. Hope to indulge in more reading, snowshoeing, knitting, cooking, anything but cleaning! 🙂

  • Lea E Koesterer

    I vacillate between meeting with a good friend each week and doing a media free day. I think I’ll do both.

  • Melissa Markquart

    I started this a couple months ago and will continue: taking a news free and screen free day on Saturday s
    It helps!
    I also got a punching/kicking stand for Xmas and I pretend it’s PR, DT or Mitch and punch away. If I had artistic abilities I’d use a sharpie to draw their faces on it😤. I’ll find someone to do that for me.

  • Amrita

    Will leave phone in the kitchen; will meet a friend once a week & will try to have a media free day(that seems more difficult but will try it). All of these are necessary & important to focus on what matters most. This has been a hell of a year with Trump, finishing a book & then the Thomas Fire in Santa Barbara/ Ventura Counties. Looking forward to moving forward!

  • Skeeter Buck

    For a year, we chose ‘No Technology Tuesdays’ and I really miss it. This year, I think I will make a commitment to connect with a good friend, either by Facetime, lunch or other.

  • Cathi Lamoreux

    I already do #1 and #2. I am working on #3. And, I am reading. I came of age in the 60’s but my reading over the past year has opened my eyes to what was actually going on then and still to this day. I just finished reading, “The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks” by Jeanne Theoharis. The perceived “suffering” that we may experience by exposing ourselves to activism is nothing compared to what was happening in the 50’s and 60’s and beyond. It galvanized my resolve to become more visibly active in 2018. I also read and reread “You’re More Powerful Than You Think” by Eric Liu. This woman who is almost 70 isn’t done yet!

  • Alice Lyman

    Meet with a good friend once a week – feels like a very positive energy activity. thanks for the challenge!!

  • Karen

    I have never been the type to check my phone through the night. That is a luxury, I suppose. No one demands my attention.
    I meet with friends everyday. Either to walk and talk for 3 miles nearly every day or my weekly knitting group of like minded ladies. If I miss a day or two I really feel the lack of face to face time.
    I have gone for as long as 10 days without tv/phone/internet. It is a bit much but interesting to see what entertains me. Reading, painting, puzzles, walking …
    So I suppose that leaves the Activism Challenge – bring it on Jen!

  • Arlene Longstreth

    I already leave the phone downstairs when I go upstairs to sleep. Meeting with good friends once a week is a good choice, it will keep me more positive, I think.
    Volunteering for something apolitical is another good way to reduce stress. My choice is a local wildlife rehabilitation center, where I clean and feed sick, infant, and orphaned native wildlife. It’s a few hours a week where I’m thinking about something other than people.

  • Michelle Wegler

    #2 meet with a friend. I am going to especially try meeting with facebook friends who are not part of my regular social circle and rarely see in person. I will also include fb friends with differing political leanings.

  • Judy Todd

    #3 absolutely! I’ve got 1 & 2 covered, happily and thankfully.
    I also offer a 4th that will not only decrease stress and increase joy, but may add the element of a surprising outcome as it has for me.
    #4 Buy nothing NEW in 2018. It’s a great experiment in the 6 R’s: Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose, Reinvent, Recycle. (Groceries and medicines don’t count, but other consumables do.)

  • Alice Young

    Count me in. I put my phone in airplane mode at night.

    Spending time with friends.

    Actively avoid negativity. When my kids were little, I used to declare a No Negativity Day as needed. Even though that name is funny.

    I limit news to network reporting, not opinions. I read the Wall Street Journal.

    If my husband watches too much news, I excuse myself and take a walk.

    We are in this for the long haul and dare not fizzle out now.

  • Dana Dudle

    I need to stop sleeping with the phone next to my head. It’s keeping me from sleeping and it’s making my heart and body sick. I plan to meet with a friend once per week too (I am fortunate to work with and live near good friends), but I must resolve and promise and swear to leave the phone downstairs at night. I can’t do much good for democracy at 2 am.

  • Sarah-Hope

    I’m thinking I should try #3. The screen just sucks me in, and before I know it I’ve lost hours. My work and the world can do without me one day a week–probably Sundays, but I’m thinking on it.

  • Jean Likover

    I can commit to a screen free day per week. I already ditched my TV and watching it in 1990. I could spend one day a week minus my computer-a huge time waster.

  • Laurie

    #2 is something I do already. The more friends I connect with weekly, the happier I am. #3 Is a really good idea that I may try to implement. I already do periodic news blackouts when its too upsetting. Unplugging from the phone and social media foe a whole day would be a great add on. Happy New Year!

  • Mary

    I almost never get phone calls as I’m of the e-mail generation. And I can’t give up screens once a week this year because I’ll be abroad with no phone. I already see a good friend weekly though, and will continue. I just wanted to let you know I appreciate your advice about taking care of ourselves–and I like other people’s suggestions here too. My apolitical activity (though a political conscience is handy, to resist bad programming choices!) is singing in a classical chorus. Heavenly. And something to do with people across a wide range of beliefs and persuasions.

  • Pamela Whyte

    I’ve already started to meet with a friend weekly. So next:
    I’m going to stop sleeping with my phone by my bed.
    I’m going to have one media-free day per week.

    Thanks, Jennifer!

  • Liz Cooper

    I am going with #2. Working from home here in Madison, WI, it is easy to stay shut in during the winter. (0 degrees this morning with a wind chill of -17.) This is a positive, doable resolution for me. Thanks for suggesting it — and thanks for ALL you do!

    • Liz Cooper

      I am also a fan of Jim Lynch’s suggestion:
      So my resolve for the new year is to pick up a book every day and spend 30 minutes.

  • Susanna J Sturgis

    #1 isn’t an option because I don’t own a cell phone and I’m not much of a phone person anyway. #2 I already do — one thing I love about the Resistance is the opportunities to get reacquainted with old friends and make new ones. So I’ll pick #3. A major challenge because I’m online several times a day for work (I’m an editor), politics, news, and play. Maybe I’ll start with one Facebook-free day a week.

  • Susan Reynold

    I’m with Jim Lynch – I need more recreational reading to offset the news – which I read too much of. I have a bunch of things waiting, so I plan to dive in.

  • Diane Sokolowski

    Let’s see. I already do 1. and 2. (Because I was losing my mind earlier this year. I guess I have to do 3? I may do a modified 3. Like one day go media/screen free after 4 PM…or something along those lines.

    Already on Sundays, I tend to focus on Good News. I look at all the good news lists you share Jennifer, including yours. Then I share 3-5 items on the #resistance Facebook groups I belong too. Maybe this will be the day I do my modified #3.

  • Mary M.

    I have been meeting once a week with a friend for the last several months. The same activist friend and what started out was just an hour out of our week has morphed into several hours now. We meet on Monday mornings and it bolsters both of us for the week ahead. I’d highly suggest this to anyone. So, because I’ve been doing this, I’m now choosing a media free day. So desperately need this. Wishing you all the best in 2018, Jen. Thank you for all you have done and continue to do to make this world in which we can all live justly and in peace.

  • Fredericka Hoeveler

    Thank you Jen for your continuing diligence with this list. It is heartening to see people in your generation taking our Constitutional crisis seriously and doing something about it.
    I like your choices. However, My phone is also my calendar and my wake-up alarm so it needs to be by my bed. That is also when I charge it. I already meet with a friend once a week. I like the media-free choice and would also suggest a choice to add physical activity at least once a week, ideally three times a week. Maybe combine the friend time with a walk. It makes a huge difference to me.

  • Richard Martin

    Heyu! Jen, for the past several years, i have made a daily resolution to stay close to friends, and i try to make a weekly journey to Kings Valley, here in Oregon, to visit a family of friends. It is my good fortune to reaffirm our friendship, and to observe the amazing countryside as i travel to their farm. Thank you for your words of encouragement.

    I hope that your 2018 will be as interesting as you wish it to be, i know mine will!

    Best regards…Richard

  • Linda Noble

    Hi Jen,
    I like number 2 best.
    I would also add to the list: dance, participate in music, read fiction, look at art, go to nature (in line with disconnecting from media – no signal!)

  • Roxi

    I will start sleeping with my phone charging where I charge my computer ~ this way I will not be able to play a few games before I get out of bed and start my day!

  • Corinne Lamoureux

    Not #1because
    I listen to audio book on phone to go to sleep. But will quit checking email Facebook and text at 9pm.

  • Buddi

    #1 is important. I keep my phone in an adjacent room so I can hear emergency alerts if needed (we live in wildfire country) and #2 is key. I appreciate and use your list of actions regularly at postcard get togethers and try to hike, walk or exercise with friends daily. #3 is a great idea so will try to do that more in 2018. We are all on a high alarm constant news cycle, including emails and texts from action groups, and it would be healthier to set boundaries for that. Thanks for the great idea! (And all of your great actions and ideas!)

  • Vivian

    Hi Jen,
    First of all, super huge thanks for doing what you do — amazing leadership and so helpful for us all to be easily informed on what we can specifically do for our country and the world!!
    #3 is a no-brainer for me because I keep the Jewish Sabbath – computer on shut-down from sunset Fri. to 3 stars Saturday – frees up time for lots of great reading. I really love it, and agree with you that this kind of break is a very welcome refresh.
    Best wishes to you and everyone for a 2018 that brings good news!

  • Bege Wiegman

    I will increase my time with friends for one a week. I don’t sleep with my phone ( I prefer a person).. And not being on a screen for the day sounds comforting for me, and I like that. Peace, my friends,

  • Elaine Ferguson

    We decided to work in the election campaign of a progressive candidate in our community. There are so many needs right now, but it is good for our family to focus in on one goal.

  • Shirley D Grossman

    I am READY to take the New Year Activism Challenge!!! ABSOLUTELY!!!! There is no choice here. It is a do or die scenario for America.

  • Sandra S. Keep

    Since we moved, I’ve been sticking with family & not expanding my friend circle. Good friends live elsewhere – so I’m taking #2 with a goal to make a weekly social connection until I find another really good friend locally.

  • Laurie Forrest

    Meeting with a friend each week is a wonderful perk that I do now and continue to follow in 2018.

    I don’t watch news on TV and do a select reading of the paper each day. Not big on social media. If I get too caught up in what is happening in our country I find myself SO angry SO pissed that I want to scream. I choose peace by not getting involved with the news.

    I write my “gratitude” postcards each week and that gives me hope.

  • Jennifer Cail

    I already sleep with my phone off, downstairs, and I try to observe Shabbot with minimal social media, but I really need to add weekly friend time. I’d also add making sure that you have one thing that is yours, monthly, weekly, that you make sure that you have and keep sacred. For me it’s two book clubs and I’ve just added two weekly dance classes, one is social dance so I get that hour with my husband, too.

  • Jan Hoffman

    Meet with a good friend once a week. I am reading a book with a friend, wonderful help to both of us. It’s been a hard year, w tv, news, people who speak such lies and don’t care or bear the consequences! Let alone what we personally have to deal with!
    Thanks, Jen, for faithful witness to action and truth.

  • Nancy Conner

    Definitely meeting with a friend! I know that always re-energizes me & gives me a boost of renewed optimism (& some hugs & laughter too). So I am resolving to prioritize these meetings in 2018…..& excited to get started on this particular resolution!

  • Robin

    I do 1 and 2 already, but 3 will be a stretch, I fear, because I write to Senators or Reps daily and I fear breaking my streak! But I wil work on it!

  • Cindy

    I take the Activiism Challenge! Jennifer, thank you for all of your efforts this past year; you are there for us!

  • Erica Hunter

    I already do 1 & 2 – guess i’ll have to do 3, which will be really hard since i’m a news junkie. I can’t express how much I appreciate your work, Jen! Thank you so much for your efforts!’

  • Judy Swann

    I’m going with #3 the media free day! I have weekly walk with a friend, I don’t sleep with y phone. I have to use a screen at work, but I don’t want that to bleed into my non-work hours

  • Rachel Poller

    I’m choosing the easy way out: #2. It’s easy for me to commit to because 1) I am fortunate enough to have a wonderful cohort of like-minded friends and family, so we already meet/talk regularly to keep each other sane, and 2) the very thought of a digital/media-free day sends me into a tail spin. That said, however, for the last several months I’ve very purposefully limited number of hours listening to/watching/reading news. I’m applying some good old 12-step advice, i.e. serenity prayer, to help manage living and contributing every day. I hope you are, too!!! And thanks so much for everything you’re doing to keep us informed, on task, and sane.
    Happy New Year with peace and love!

  • Ursula Andrews

    Hello Jennfer-
    I chose # 2 as I think interpersonal connections are very important for our mental health and overall well-being!
    Here’s to 2018!

    Thank you for your continuing encouragement and example.

  • Carrie Becker

    I love your newsletter, and these resolutions are really great! De-stressing is so very important. As is connecting with friends! I will choose to connect with a friend. Thanks so very much for your very thoughtful, insightful guidance! Carrie

  • Lisa Shuman

    Stop taking phone everywhere. Leave it at the desk or at house when I am taking walks with or without the dogs. Making sure I get out Even for a few minutes, during my breaks at work.

  • Theresa

    Number 2 is my choice. I’ve got a bunch of friends I don’t see enough of. And I want to ask them what they are doing to change things. I don’t want to guilt trip them but really want to share information, resources, enthusiasm and also setbacks. As the saying goes, we are stronger together.
    And additionally, take more walks!

  • Roberta Wheatley

    I resolve to have time with a good friend every week and to rescue a dog to get me outside more to clear my head every day!

  • Mary G Olsen

    I would choose meeting with a good friend weekly… person. Social support and comraderie…very healing.

  • Chris Harrington

    Thanks so much for your emails and action list. It really helps a lot. I am going with Resolution 2 – I have already been working on this one through the last year, aiming for once per month. But even more frequent connections with supportive, loving friends will be key to getting through 2018 for me.

  • Patti

    I would and have done all three to keep my sanity during our fight this last year. I will continue to do so moving forward in 2018.

  • Alexa

    #1 and 3 sounds doable and would definitely help my mental health. Those with some activism would be a good mix for 2018!

  • Gregory Corning

    Being around trees, even when they’re winter-bare, is helpful. Taking care of trees is even better.

  • Barbara Tischler

    There is a Zen adage:

    You should sit in nature 20 minutes a day, unless you are busy. Then you should sit for an hour.

    I think I will try this as well as seeking the companionship of a good friend at least once a week.

    • Nancy Conner

      I love this adage & for me, being out in nature is very essential to letting go of stress & finding new energy & peacefulness. This year has required a LOT of extra time outside!

  • Mary Ann Saurino

    I resolve to spend one day each week free from screen time–computer, television, movies, etc. I’m going to try to have this day be Sunday each week, so that I have a day free from my job and one when I can focus on crafts, family, pets, and my home.

    Thanks for keeping me inspired and centered this last, difficult year, Jennifer!

  • Patricia

    Love Laurie’s idea of lighting a candle and meditating by it for a few minutes. For me each Sunday with no news and a great big walk outside listening to nature.

  • Lynn Evenson

    Since I am blessed with good friends with whom to meet at least weekly, and since I don’t sleep with my phone by my bed, I am going to aim toward #3. I intend it to be a Rump-and-minions-free day once a week. Hmm, that’s been the case so far today (NYD); might as well keep it going!

    An earlier comment just gave me a “duh, aha!” moment: the desirability and therapeutic value of time outdoors. I live about 15 miles north of Canada, so the nights are loooong this time of year. Even a brief mosey around the neighborhood, which contains lots of trees and friends, works wonders. I’ll commit to doing that a heckuva lot more often than I have, at least three times a week.

  • Paula

    I am going for #4: Or… and it is to unsubscribe from The Post Most — this is the daily digest of most-read articles on the Washington Post website. I don’t know why it took me this long to realize that it contains The Post’s Most alarmist and click-baity articles. So from now on, I’ll look at a news feed for headlines and skip the crowd-sourced crazy stuff. I already take this tack with my Facebook and Twitter feeds.

    Thanks, Jen, for your perseverence and for showing us that it can be done!

  • Crystal

    Screen-free Sundays + I’ll leave my phone on the dresser at night so it’s close enough to hear my alarm but not close enough to reach from the bed! Big thanks for offering something doable. xo

  • Patty

    Screen-free day, definitely! Now to decide which day will be best… I might just co-opt Shabbot, with apologies to my Jewish friends.
    MANY thanks to you, Jen, for this challenge, and for your incredible ongoing commitment to the Americans of Conscience project.

  • Ellen Griffith Cohen

    I think 1 and 2 (or a modification of 2) would make a huge difference for me. The modification to 2 would include writing a letter or calling someone who has been on my mind, though out of touch.

  • Meg Siddheshwari Sullivan

    I will continue to host weekly (conference call) Healing Circles every Thursday 7:00 PM Pacific Time for 1/2 hour. I send healing energy to those who want it to lower anxiety. Then together we send loving thoughts, blessings, healing energy (your choice) for the highest good of all – locally, nationally, and worldwide. This Healing Circle calms me down enough that I can take action. Here is a Facebook Page on these Circles if that tickles your interest: (yes 2 s’s at the end)

  • Jodell Gabriel

    I choose two of them. A media/screen free day each week and a meet up with a friend.
    Am not tied to my phone so #1 isn’t an issue but would challenge those who are to silence it at night.

  • Julie Szmania

    Thank you Jen for all your hard work and efforts this past year. You’re certainly a blessing to the resistance movement, one good post at a time! Happy New Year and may the force be with you!

  • Josefa Simkin

    #4: I have been VERY stressed because I have either not had or not made the time to take any actions in months. So, I will and, today, I did. I feel so very much better and am so grateful for all that you do. Thank you for your guidance, perseverance, and humanism.

  • Susan Spivack

    I already do 1 thru 3. So I’m resolving that in 2018, except for 1 weekly Gitmo/Torture/Due Process update I send out everywhere I can, I will post only hope inspiring news, and small noticings/quirky wonders/art/poetry/beauty to my FB page and all the list-servs & groups I belong to. I’m hoping this will help me stay away from grim, and spend more time in realms of celebration/wonder/joy.
    And Happy New Year to you Jen. I’m so grateful for your steadfast persistence and beautiful work.

  • Janina Peterson

    My goal is to be screen free/media free for at least one day a week, with additional emphasis on meditating daily. Thank you, Jen, for your guidance and your focus on the good.
    I will continue to #resist.

  • Kelly Frederick

    Meet with a good friend once a week. I’ve changed schools, and I’ve realized just how many good friends I had at my old school. So I’m going to focus on reconnecting with them! Thanks for the idea 🙃

  • Erin

    These are all great suggestions! I think meeting with a friend once aweek is most feasible for me! Thanks for all you do, Jen!

  • Pat Dolci

    I like #3 because it allows me to breathe and focus on the positives in my life. There are many and I am thankful for that.

  • marina samaltanos

    hi there, jennifer. thanks for all that you do! i’ll commit to meeting with a friend once a week. additionally, i’d like to take more action in groups to increase community. do less in isolation as far as my activism goes.

  • Susan

    I don’t sleep with my phone by my bed now, unless I listen to a book on tape to help me fall asleep, which is rare. But I love the idea of a screen-free day. I’m going to commit to that one.

  • Susan Lynx

    I am choosing one day a week to be screen-free (except for my phone). That is a huge deal for me. Definitely need to reduce the hyper-vigilance that really affects me – my sleep, my communication with others, my digestion, everything.

  • Kate Luhr

    I will do two and try to do three. I use a meditation app on my phone before I fall asleep and when I wake up, so having it by my bed is actually part of my de-stressing method. (Plus, it’s my alarm in the morning.) 🙂

  • Cathy Rutherford

    I have already made the activism commitment. I am now a PC for my precinct and the PC coordinator for all of Sedona. I hope to find a lot of support and fellow activists to join me in this fight!!

  • Diana Stack Roberts

    I am ready to do what I can to elect progressive, pro-choice Democrats who support reversing Citizens United. Let’s go!

  • Mary

    I choose #4
    Or….. practice gratitude by writing 3 things I am grateful for at the end of each day.

  • joan robins

    choosing to meet with a friend weekly–a stretch but if not accomplished, i can fudge a little with day without e-mail probably already happening on saturdays/shabbot. will try for establishing a time with friend.

  • Geraldine Mellon

    Actually, I choose 2 and especially 3. Sadly, I admit media and screen time often spread clouds of doom over my day. It’s been a tough year and your civil, respectful activism method has proven very beneficial to me. Thank you and Happy New Year!

  • Analisa M Allen

    Number 3 seems most impactful to me.
    It doesn’t decrease engagement
    In fact it may promote more compromise and reduce the echo chamber effect, assuming you talk to people more on your screen free day.

  • Radha Newsom

    A screen free day a week. I can’t remember the last time I did that at home, where screens are always available, and email must be checked 4x a day (not really).

  • Kate Alonzo

    Thank you, Jen. I often take parts of your research and use it as postcard prompt for a group of Resistance Writers. I’m trying to increase my donation, but don’t seem to be able to edit.

  • Katie Songer

    I have been doing #3, a screen-free day, for the past year! I call it Sabbath even though I’m not religious; I do it on Saturday or Sunday. I also try to do very little that’s left-brained or productive that day, although often cooking creeps in. It is so helpful, maybe even critical, to fully rest my brain. I often feel antsy at the beginning of the day, like I should be getting something done instead of just reading or journaling or visiting with people, but by the end of the day it feels blissful and I often want to keep it going. I can feel my brain (and body) relax over the course of the day. This practice has become very important to my mental, physical, and emotional health!

  • C.A. Kail-Tucker

    Thank you for smart New Year’s “resolution” tips, Jennifer! Resolution No. 1 is already a fact of life at my house. Digital devices are never charging nor on-hand in my bedroom ’cause a deep, restful night’s sleep is vital to focused well-being the next day. I’ll give it a whirl to achieve Resolution No. 3 — it may result in temporary “digital withdrawal” symptoms but will absolutely nudge me toward more beneficial people-time and beloved bookworm-time! Happy New Year to ya. CAKT

  • Sarah Griffith

    Meeting with a good friend once a week is my choice. Also agree with the time outdoors thing mentioned below, but I don’t need any self-discipline for that.

  • Linda Doherty

    I choose #4, because I would like to hear new ideas. Also, I propose adding #5: volunteer an hour a week. Helps release endorphins!

  • Joan Baily

    All of them! Why choose one? The first three will make doing the fourth one easier?…..

    It is “Times Up” in the political realm too as a totally new Congress will be elected in November and if the 70% of the country that is anti-Trump does not outvote the 30% then we only have ourselves to blame!

    Thank you and good luck!

  • Mary Clare

    Funny – I saw ‘resolutions.’ I saw ‘activism.’ Then I read, “I know, I know” and thought it was a resolution: “I KNOW WHAT I KNOW!”

    I’ve Loved your stuff from the beginning, Jen ~ what a gift to us all.

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