Your New Year’s Resolutions Can Change the World
It’s New Year’s Resolution time again! You know, those things we are all so excited about January 1st, and then quickly forget about on January 2nd? I’m terrible at keeping my New Year’s Resolutions. I mean, really terrible. This year I’m leaving mine here as a way to hold myself accountable. I really do want to make some significant changes. No excuses.
As I reflected on the past year and began thinking more about the coming year, I realized I have quite a few New Year’s Resolutions I hope will improve myself and make me a better mom. But,
is more than one New Year’s Resolution completely impossible to attain? How can I narrow down my goals and set myself up for success in 2018?
Not long into this self-reflection time, I came across an article in Newsela about the most amazing kids of 2017. It was so inspiring to read about these young children making such a huge difference in the world. Here are a few of the stories:
- After realizing that most of the books she read had characters who didn’t look like her, one well-spoken sixth grader named Marley Dias set out to collect 1000 books featuring a girl of color as the main character. Her hope was to make a difference for anyone who feels different. She ended up collecting 10,000 books and wrote a book of her own to be released this January.
- 11-year-old Gitanjali Rao, after the water crisis in Flint, Michigan exposed over 100,000 people to high levels of lead, invented a device to test lead levels in water.
- Armando Perez (11 years old), despite qualifying for free school lunch himself, has created campaigns to help others. One event raised funds to feed malnourished children in other parts of the world, while a fundraiser in his own community helped to house families of children in the local hospital.
- 10-year-old Isabella Nicola Cabrera, born without a left hand and part of her forearm, still sought to learn to play the violin. When her disability restricted her she would say, “I can’t yet.” She never said, “I can’t.” Hearing her story, senior students at the nearby university designed a prosthetic arm specifically for her, and now she can play what she couldn’t before.
After reading these unbelievable stories, one New Year’s Resolution shot to the top of my list.
It is undoubtedly my hope to participate in as many community service projects with my boys as possible this year. My goal is to complete at least one per week for the full 52 weeks. While many of these weeks will include projects with specific organizations, some will be smaller acts of kindness (e.g., taking time to call a loved one, making cards, and holding the door for others). Service doesn’t have to take up massive amounts of time or involve large groups of people. It can be simple, as long as it is meaningful, heartfelt, and lifts someone else up.
Once I set my main New Year’s Resolution, I began working on a post about community service projects to do with young children (coming soon). As I have been writing, researching, and reflecting on various opportunities, not only am I more excited about this challenge, but I also realize something I never thought about before: All of the additional goals on my list will be met through our service to others.
I don’t have to give up my other goals after all!
For example, in the New Year, I hope to
- be grateful and content in the present moment, rather than longing or looking too far into the future. Doing community service makes us feel more ingrained in our communities, helps us appreciate what we have, gives us the opportunity to witness gratitude in others, and helps us feel happy. By filling others’ buckets, we fill our own, too!
- spend less time relying on screens to entertain my kids. By engaging more often in projects to help others, we’ll have more quality time together at home and out in the community.
- continue working on my blog and collaborating with others. The more we serve and are kind to others, the more amazing people we’ll meet, and the more I’ll have to share with others.
- expose our family to greater diversity. By doing community service, we’ll meet people with perspectives and backgrounds very different from our own, which teaches us to love and respect a variety of people.
I want to stress this:
NO goal is more important than any other. Own and be proud of your New Year’s Resolutions. Do this with the realization that
anything we do to improve ourselves also benefits our families, communities, and societies in ways both large and small.
- If your goal is to eat clean, exercise more, or reduce your stress or anxiety, you will be healthier, which leads to happiness. Health and happiness lead to more positive and active involvement in our families and communities.
- If your goal is to start a business, get a new job, or write a book, you will be putting your talent and skills out into the world. Anything powerful we can share with others benefits others, too!
- If your goal is to take more time for yourself, you will be more rested, more centered, calmer, and happier. We all have to take care of ourselves before we can serve others.
What are your New Year’s Resolutions?
Post in the comments below. I’d love to hear what they are! I’m putting mine in this blog post because writing down and sharing goals with others helps us hold ourselves accountable. If you’d like a place to support each other in our resolutions in 2018, sign up for my email list.
If you’d like to participate or check in on my boys and I as we complete our 52 Weeks of Service this year, subscribe and follow along.
Please email me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org. Let’s support each other.
Much love and HAPPY NEW YEAR!