December 31, 2013 at 12:43pm
For many of us, ushering in a new year means a chance to transform aspects of our lives. We do that by resolving to do things – lose weight, quit a bad habit, increase physical activity, call our moms more frequently and so on. While they are all great aspirations, all of which are on my list, there is something else that makes for a great resolution – doing good and helping others.
Based on my personal experiences, along with extensive professional experience and review of research, I know the transformational benefits of serving others. Being of service can impact you in many ways, including building your self-esteem, learning new skills, elevating your level of gratitude and increasing your joy.
Essentially, helping others can change your life. So, why wouldn’t you resolve to increase the good you do?
While there are countless ways to engage in service, I am going to share three thought-starters with you that might help you in your resolution to do good.
- Combine giving back with your other resolutions. A commitment to doing good in 2014 doesn’t have to be mutually exclusive from other resolutions, in fact in many cases they can and should go hand-in-hand. For example, if you have resolved to get more physically active, sign up for an upcoming charity walk, run or triathlon that will be a physical challenge for you. Then start training and raising money. While you’re at it, get a friend or two to join you – after all there is strength in numbers.
- Get your kids involved. One thing about New Year’s resolutions I don’t really like is that they are often very solitary, which can make them very challenging to follow through on. One of the great things about helping others is that there is something every man, woman and child can do. So, resolve to get your kids involved in service. It will benefit you and them, as well as those receiving your kindness. If your like me and don’t have kids, get someone else to commit with you and see how it impacts your relationship.
- Look into workplace opportunities. More and more companies are making corporate social responsibility a priority, which often includes providing employees with opportunities to volunteer. I highly encourage you to see if this is something your company offers, as it’s a great way to find opportunities and get involved. Some companies support all types of service while others focus mainly on skills-based – applying your workplace skill-set to your service. Both are highly rewarding and can often be done on company time. One other thing, see if your company has a “dollars for doers” program in which they donate money for each hour you volunteer.
So, whether you follow one of the above paths or chart your own course, I hope you will make doing good part of 2014. There aren’t many guarantees in life, but I can assure you that you will benefit by helping others.
Wishing everyone a joyous 2014!
Contributing Writer: Brad Jamison, Founder of Good Citizen
P.S. Tell us how what you resolve to do. We’ll tally the results and will share in an upcoming newsletter. Click here to do the survey
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