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How to Supercharge Your New Year’s Resolutions

Anne Marie Durham : January 1, 2014


New Year's glasses full of friendship, love, happiness, peace, joy, communityI’m looking over my New Year’s Resolutions list and it looks remarkably like the same list I made last year. And the year before that. And the year before that!

Sure, I’ve been able to mark a few things off, but there are some really important resolutions that still remain. What is the difference between the resolutions that succeeded and the ones that failed?

In every case, my repeat resolutions are ones I have tried to conquer alone.

They are the resolutions that I have been determined to do myself, either because I had something to prove or because I was too proud to admit I needed help in a particular area.

But any self-improvement effort has a better chance of succeeding when it is done with others. Support groups, buddies, and mentors can exponentially increase the likelihood of individual progress toward a goal. Partners keep us focused, they teach us new tools and tricks, they inspire us when we lose hope, and they hold our feet to the fire.

Any work done in a group setting also has a number of hidden benefits we often fail to recognize. Working with others challenges us, and forces to face the truths we hide from ourselves.  It puts us in a setting where we have to give as well as receive, and this give and take process reshapes our personality for the better. We learn to exchange our pride for humility when we ask for help. And we gift others with our experiences and talents. When we work in community, not only do we become better people, we help create a better world.

Here are some ideas for supercharging your New Year’s resolutions by sharing them in community: more »

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Nelson Mandela on Community and Change

Anne Marie Durham : December 7, 2013

A child who is blind feels the face of a smiling MandelaThis week, we have all remembered Nelson Mandela by sharing his inspirational quotes with each other through social media. Many of these quotes are short and simple, but contain powerful truths. He spoke of the wonderful things he believed we could achieve – freedom, equality, justice, prosperity – and how he believed we could achieve it – cooperation, collaboration, self development, love.

Nelson Mandela was a believer in the power of community – and the amazing gifts it has to offer each and every one of us.

I put together a quote “mashup”  tribute if you will, of what Nelson Mandela had to say about community and change. The words in italics are his, the rest are mine.


Want to change the world? Start with yourself. You are connected to everyone else, so having your heart, head, and soul in the right place will amplify your effectiveness.

The first thing is to be honest with yourself. You can never have an impact on society if you have not changed yourself. Great peacemakers are all people of integrity, of honesty, but also humility.

One of the things I learned when I was negotiating was that until I changed myself, I could not change others.

As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.

Are you going to enrich yourself in order to enable the community around you to be able to improve? more »

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Sign Me Up! 5 Messages to Encourage Community Involvement

Anne Marie Durham : November 30, 2013

Anti-Litter Photos 006The people in your community are your most valuable resources.

Even the richest local asset will sit dormant and under-utilized without the innovation, creativity, passion, and engagement of community citizens. The experiences and talents of your neighbors are essential ingredients to economic success. When these forces are activated in a cooperative and focused way, small, individual actions can translate into big change.

The development and activation of local human assets can be a challenge. Many people have gotten discouraged by the scale of the work that needs to be done and don’t see how they can possibly change things. They don’t see themselves as the “big leader” who they feel needs to step in and take charge to make things better. They may not have had role models in their life to show them how to participate and teach them that what they have to offer the community is essential to progress.

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