Here I am, running to catch up to the Change the World in 2012 meme that every other association blogger has jumped on already. Two weeks ago I was tagged by Aaron Wolowiec and Elizabeth Engel to give my take on Maddie Grant’s original post, a wildly popular one.

So where have I been? I’ve been thinking! I didn’t make resolutions this year. Instead, I took my own advice: I’m slowly changing my habits. I’m living the life that the better me would live: committing to daily exercise or yoga, eating more nutritious foods, using my time more effectively (meaning: be more focused), flossing regularly, going offline more frequently, and spending time with friends more often.

Now it’s out there. Accountability. It’s only been three weeks but I’m doing okay. Slow and steady.

What’s this have to do with changing the world? I’m not setting out to change the world, but I’d like to make a difference in the little worlds I live in. A better me can do that, a lesser me would think she’s too busy.

I never aspired to be famous or rich, or even leave a legacy, but I want my life to matter. I want to be a positive presence in the lives of others by being a better me and a better girlfriend, friend, sister, daughter, cousin, aunt, colleague and acquaintance.

How will I make a difference in my little worlds?

1.  Be grounded, curious, grateful, conscientious and accepting. In short, be everything yoga books, podcasts and teachers prescribe. I’m inspired by how others live their lives, so I hope to be a positive influence for those in my little worlds, whether they’re close to me or far away, in person or online. We’re all works in progress, writing our own story, a story that can change direction when another character enters the room.

2.  Share what I know, learn and think if I believe it will help others. I’m approaching this from two angles.

  • Practical: I like being a resource, so this is easy. I really should have been a librarian, but I like to talk too much. What I really want to do is spark excitement, energy and hope in others. I try to do that with my professional writing, especially for the association community. I want to help people see things from a different perspective, come up with a new idea, solve a problem or improve their professional lives. I’m doing that as a newly trained volunteer docent for kids at the North Carolina Museum of History, shifting their perspective and sparking their curiosity about life here in NC in the past centuries.
  • Woo woo: We teach what we need to learn. We’re not very good students because we keep having to learn the same things year after year: choosing our reactions, really listening to others, living in the present, and not judging a whole character based on one trait.

3.  Connect people who would benefit from each others’ company — a very satisfying thing to do if you keep your eyes and ears open for opportunities. Of course, it’s easier if you’re out there meeting people and, more importantly, learning about them instead of talking about yourself (note to self). I can do this professionally as well: my writing helps companies connect with their audiences, so they can live happily ever after together.

Thanks Maddie, Aaron and Elizabeth for writing your posts and inspiring me to put this out there. Thanks to all my other friends and colleagues in the association community for sharing your intentions for 2012. When we all live our better lives together, we’re an awesome and inspiring bunch.

Changing the world in 2012

Dig by Incubus: “Dig me up from under what is covering the better part of me.”

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