It’s the new year and that can often mean it’s time for a fresh start or to pump fresh energy into our lives. A chance to make improvements to our bodies, our minds, our life, and to the world we live in. Right now, we’re all focused on New Year’s Resolutions, goal-setting, and our own personal journeys, but what better time to focus on outward rather than inward? To give selflessly and to brighten someone’s day? I’ve been thinking about my new year goals and I don’t just want to think in terms of my own fitness and life goals, but also about ways to give back and pay it forward. So I thought before I share my 2017 goals, I’d talk about ways to pay it forward.
7 Ways to Pay It Forward in 2017
1. Volunteer. Give your time to an organization that has done something positive in your life, or for an organization that does good work for others. My daughter and I plan to spend some time volunteering together this year for organizations like the Ronald McDonald House, where we have stayed for years for her medical appointments. I also volunteer at races and for non-profits, and want to do more of this in 2017. I work in the arts and we rely on our volunteers.
2. Be kind to an older person. Smile, hold a door, offer to help with the bags – or just listening to their story. Better yet – go visit an older relative that you haven’t seen in a while and ask them to share memories of their life.
3. Give something away to someone who needs it. I don’t mean dropping a huge pile of old, slightly stained clothes in a Goodwill bin. Take something more meaningful that you don’t use as often as you thought you would, or has value of some sort, and find someone who needs it and could use it and pass it along.
4. Compliment one person every day. A genuine, real compliment that might brighten their day.
5. Take a friend out to lunch who is having a rough time. Let’s face it, things aren’t as rosy in everyone’s lives as they sound on social media. Connect with a friend who has been quiet, or even hinted at a struggle in their lives, and take them to lunch. Listen.
6. Help a neighbor, family member, friend (or even a complete stranger) with a project. Without expecting anything in return. Things like shoveling a walk, helping hang a picture on a wall, or babysitting for an hour so they can run to the store – really anything that could make someone’s day a little bit easier.
7. Fundraise for a good cause. Of course my favorite way to do this is via a race – it’s such a great feeling knowing you’re accomplishing your goal for others and not just for yourself. Sign up for a race – a 5K, half marathon, an Ironman, or any goal you want to tackle in 2017 – for a good cause, rather than just for the bling.
A couple of years ago I wrote about paying it forward in the fitness/running realm – you can find that here!
Performing “Random Acts of Kindness” can bring joy and satisfaction to your soul, which in turn will improve your own day – in addition to someone else’s day too! To give and not receive (or even to see the effect of your giving) is a really cool thing.
I’m excited to focus on these positive, selfless acts in 2017 and hope that you’ll join me as we try to make the world a bit brighter.
What’s one positive thing that you will do in 2017?