We are a culture that values having all the answers. As progressives, we often believe the answers are complex and nuanced. The result of these two, warring truths is that we are often out-messaged by conservative talking points that form around a simple solution, with an emotional appeal, framed against a starkly opposed foe.

It’s a pattern that has been difficult for us to break as a movement. It’s become a collective New Year’s resolution that never quite gets done. Even when we’ve acknowledged the problem, it’s attractive to fall into education vs. persuasion.

As a movement, we can keep setting the same huge resolutions over and over again, or decide to break the goal down into more manageable pieces. The frame in which we grew up, in which we were acculturated to talk about the progressive issues that are important to us, may be too big to break out of all at once.

So the question becomes: What consistent, repetitive habits help build the progressive frame? Here are a few of my ideas.

First: story banking. Not as part of a discreet campaign or to hit a numerical goal, but as an ongoing element of the work of the progressive community. Stories force us to step out of the dominant frame and see things from an authentic individual perspective.

Some of the most powerful moments in progressive communication have been the stories of people in their own words. From Washington’s gun control debate to the headline grabbing dedication of Gloria Steinem’s memoir – in which she thanks the doctor who gave her an abortion – stories are one of our most effective communications tools.

Second: collaborating. Too frequently, progressive campaigns are viewed as discrete endeavors. The result is that different campaigns within the same movement can undermine each other’s messaging. How can the progressive community criticize a conservative incumbent with “bad government” messages and then turn around and ask the same voters to support government as the solution on issues like education and healthcare?

Third: building review processes. It’s not simply enough to collaborate and center on the stories of real people. Progressive campaigns have to be accountable when we get it wrong. More often than not, the means really do have to match the ends. The message has to match the vision and values of the movement. When our messages undermine our values, when they marginalize communities, there needs to be a safety net in place.

Accountability begins when progressive organizations invoke review processes from the beginning of our policy and messaging strategies and are willing to act on the input we receive.

New Year’s is a time to reflect on the past and design a better future. For the progressive movement, it’s the perfect holiday to celebrate our accomplishments and develop a plan to win in 2016 and beyond.