Trying giving back for the coming year

It’s that time of the year again. Or should I say it’s the end of the year again. Time to say goodbye to 2017 and hello to a new year full of new opportunities.

New opportunities mean New Year’s resolutions for most people – but I have a better challenge for the coming year: make a difference, not a resolution.

The top New Year’s resolutions year after year tend to be the same: get in better shape, be more fiscally responsible, be happy, travel more, and so on. And it’s no secret that the vast majority of these resolutions are dropped within a month or two of the new year. Think – how many of last year’s resolutions did you follow through with to December 31, 2017?

If you look back on this year, it’s been chaotic to say the least. There have been national controversies and differences of opinion that seemed to have showcased more that divides us than unites us. So let’s take back the good. Let’s vow to make a difference in the coming year.

Personally, I’ve vowed off resolutions altogether. Sure, I have goals or things I want to accomplish. But oftentimes the pressure of “do this beginning January 1 no exceptions” really leads to burnout rather than success. In my opinion, if everyone chooses to make a difference in the coming year, there’s no telling what might get accomplished.

Making a difference can be a personal change, giving back to others, or creating a new wave of positivity that stretches the nation. The sky’s the limit, really. It’s as simple as paying it forward to someone in the fast food line, maybe spending a little extra time with people you don’t see every day, or participating with a local charity. Why not lead a campaign for a cause that you’re passionate about? Why not take a little extra time to benefit others or the community?

There’s no strings attached. There’s no deadline. There’s really no harm in giving back.

After all, giving back teaches us compassion - for ourselves and for others - and fuels hope for the future. The benefits are almost as endless as the year’s opportunities.

Call me optimistic, but if everyone makes a little difference for the coming year, I think the world really could become a better place.