Setting New Year’s Resolutions? Spare a Thought for your Community
It’s that time of year where millions upon millions of people are setting personal goals for the new year ahead. Early January is always a time for reflection of the year past and of the year ahead. It’s a time for a fresh start. A new beginning.
People naturally take pause at this time of year to think of ways that they might improve their lives. Goals are often set under the S.M.A.R.T. framework (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time Specific). The typical categories that people will note down their goals fall under fitness, diet, career or job, vacations, money, family etc.
I’d like to suggest that if you are one to set new year’s goals, that you look for a theme. Go through the exercise of looking at your list of goals. Ask yourself this question, “are all my goals centred around me and my family?”. Be honest. Is everything you are working to improve all about you and your life? If yes, I’d like to propose one last thing…
Spare a Thought for your Community
We should all resolve to set at least one community-minded goal for 2022. The last couple of pandemic years have been tough, to say the least. A lot of people have and are suffering, in different ways. Let’s think of ways that we can improve our local community. Whether that’s at your neighbourhood, village, town or city level. Make it a goal to lift someone up or lend a helping hand.
What’s one thing that you can do to make your society a better place to live, work or play? Maybe it’s donating money to a worthwhile cause like a food bank. Or perhaps you can spare some hours each month to volunteer. You could explore options like helping out at seniors homes, litter patrol, crime prevention, homeless shelters, disaster relief, coaching, etc. The possibilities are many.
If we can just think beyond ourselves, we can transform our communities for the better. Whether it’s through sharing money, time, knowledge or expertise, we all have something to offer our neighbours and community members. You may be resigned to thinking that you can’t make a difference. But if everyone thinks like that, we will never be able to advance our society forward in better ways. Such self-limiting thoughts will disable us from combating major collective problems, like climate change.
Positive transformative societal change is possible. It just requires us to carve out some of our time, focus and energy for something that benefits others. An atomized existence is an empty life. Let’s expand our sights beyond selfish tunnel vision. Humanity will be better for it, if those in a position to help others, help others.
Happy new year.