“Barbara, it feels very selfish and unimportant to use my coaching session to discuss ways to get new customers for my business” said Gail a week after the presidential election. “I should be spending most of my time trying to save a women’s right to choose or protecting illegal immigrants,” she said with conviction. “But I really do like my business and I need the money. With so little time I guess there’s not much that I can do.” I thought for a minute and responded with “Gail, imagine you had all the time in the world. Then what would you do?”
From there Gail and I followed this process to identify what making a difference would look like to her.
- Created a list of ideas and areas of interest.
- Answered these questions:
- Do you want to do the work alone or with others?
- Do you want to work remotely or travel to the causes location?
- Do you want to work with those in need directly or work on creating changes?
- Do you want to make a weekly long term commitment or work on a short term project?
- Discussed who to contact, learning objectives and possible actions.
- Broke each idea down into smaller steps with estimations of the frequency and hourly commitment attached to each one.
- Brainstormed opportunities to use her own business to contribute to making a difference in these areas.
- Noted the steps/tasks best aligned with her skill set. (What comes easy to her.)
- Circled the ideas Gail was most excited about.
Gail then decided how much time she was comfortable spending on making a difference each week as well as the time of the day that worked best for her. Gail then revised the list to include those that both excited her and aligned with her preferred time frame. Here is the out-come of the exercise:
Gail’s 2017 Making a Difference (Changing the World) Plan
- Send two letters per month to elected officials about issues that are important to Gail.
- Spend 1 hour per week reading about current immigration issues and regularly sharing her knowledge with her friends/colleagues and family.
- Create a campaign donating a percentage of her profits to causes/non profits that have meaning to her. Give her customers the opportunity to donate as well.
- Join me at the Boston Women’s March in January.
Many of us have been affected by our countries’ challenging political/emotional climate over these last months. We may feel angry, sad, scared or hopeless. We want to make a difference, but maybe don’t we think we have the time, don’t know what to do or don’t think we can make a difference. Imagine if each one of us made the same commitments as Gail. Our elected officials would be flooded with letter from constituents, we would be equipped with the knowledge to effectively advocate for immigration options, non-profits would have the resources needed to carry out their mission and millions of women would feel empowered as they marched together.
Instead of making New Year’s Resolutions in 2017 I invite you to join me in making 2017 the year that we make a difference, the year we become our best selves, and the year that we begin our midlife legacy.
As part of my 2017 making a difference plan I am offering the first ten women who email me a ½ price session to create your Making A Difference Plan. We will strategize together as I take you through the process that Gail and I traveled through. Email me with the subject line “I want to make a difference” at Barbara@barbarawassermancoaching.com to schedule an over the phone or in person session. Don’t procrastinate; there are only 10 spots.
In addition, I am inviting everyone in my coaching community to march with me on January 21, 2017 at the Boston Women’s March. Email me at Barbara@barbarawassermancoaching.com to get the meet up details.
Sign up for March 4, 2017 Midlife Reinvention One-Day Retreat HERE. Only a few spots left. Price increase on January 5, 2017.
For those of you who would like to make more connections with other midlife women, I invite you to join my Midlife Reinvention Facebook Group. You will gain access to training and resources from me and connect to almost 300 like-minded midlife women who inspire and support one another as they navigate and create their most fulfilling next acts.