Putting the timeline together, Dec MCN.

Phew, 2011 has been a big year!

This collection of photos reminded me of some of the huge things that happened around the world, and there’s been so much more.

In all the years I’ve spent active on social and environmental issues, hanging out with others with similar commitments, I’ve noticed that we tend to be so fixated on problems and what we’re going to do about them, that we don’t take much time to look back. We’re especially shoddy at celebrating wins – which is one of the funnest parts of the whole endeavour, right?

At the last Melbourne Campaigners Network people shared some of their significant moments in from 2011. Here’s some of what made it on to post-its on our timeline:

Now that’s worth remembering! The Melbourne Protests Weblog provides a great record of many of the social movement events that had an impact in 2011.

Take time to review

Before everyone heads off for holidays gather your crew to review the past year. Or take time yourself to journal. Here’s some prompts for reflection:

  • What have you or your group achieved in the last year?
  • What are you proud of?
  • What have you learnt? How have you grown? What lessons are you taking away from this year?
  • What has been especially difficult or challenging in the last year?
  • What do you not want to repeat next year?
  • What goals do you want to set for the year ahead – to achieve, to do, and how to be?

Reviewing the year can be a creative process that builds the group. At the end-of-year Victorian Facilitators’ Network meeting we were asked to reflect on and share a significant moment from 2011. The Lose the Plot playback theatre troupe then ‘played back’ these stories live using physical theatre and improvisation techniques. Lynne Cazaly used the Brushes app on the iPad to do graphic recording, creating this excellent record of the gathering. You can see hints of a significant moment I shared – facilitating at an Occupy Melbourne facilitation working group meeting.

VFN Graphic Recording by Lynne Cazaly - using Brushes on the iPad. www.lynnecazaly.com.au

The end of one year and the beginning of the new one can be a good time to take stock and make new decisions about how you live and work. How are you going to sustain yourself in the year ahead? Use the momentum of New Year’s Resolutions to make decisions about self-care, such as exercise, nutrition, support and relationships.

Want help with making those decisions? Plan to Win is offering mentoring sessions at a special introductory price during the month of January, to assist folks to set goals for the year ahead. Get in touch to set up a session.

Reviewing PTW’s year

Beautiful produce given to Holly at the end of the No New Coal Bacchus Marsh workshop. Which do you prefer: prime agricultural land or a dirty big coal mine?

It’s hard to believe that Plan to Win only launched in August 2011. Since then there’s been over 15 workshops, 3 Melbourne Campaigners’ Network events, 22 blog posts, 261 tweets, and a partridge in a pear tree. It’s been an exciting time of building relationships, developing workshops, writing and sharing thinking about social movement learning.

Many thanks to everyone who has supported Plan to Win this year, including those I’ve worked with:

… and to all those individuals I’ve met, mentored, learned from and with. Your existence gives me hope!

I’d also like to acknowledge those fellow travellers whose work has informed my own this year, including smartMeme, Kotare Trust, Training for Change, Ruckus Society, SOUL, New Organizing Institute, Rhizome, and the Change Agency .

Special shout-out to Tim Norton, who has given Plan to Win this excellent online home, and Lefa Singleton-Norton for finding a physical home for the Melbourne Campaigners’ Network. You’ve made a big difference to this project – as has my wonderful partner Clare Ozich.

Which is a nice note to finish on. This time of year can be great for showing appreciation. Who has supported or inspired you in the last year? Hug an activist today!

Looking forward to seeing you in the new year and hearing about your holidays. Hope to see you at the Melbourne Campaigners’ Network on Thursday 9 February – come prepared to share your campaign’s plans for 2012.