Many of us try very hard with good intentions to improve ourselves in the new year. Of course, most of those don’t come to fruition and the best plans often fail within a few months. (Check out the worst New Year’s resolutions you can make). But for anyone who is serious about making this world a better place, there really is only one way to make that happen – just do it!
It’s difficult to think of things to do sometimes, and for five years, this column has provided readers with hundreds of examples. It doesn’t take a great deal of money, time or effort to make a positive difference. And you don’t need a project to affect an entire population; you just need to make it better for one person at a time and let the single rain drop turn into a flood.
So what is the easiest way to ensure you are making a positive difference? Simply purchase a spiral notebook or a tablet where you can write down each day of the year. At the end of the day, under each date, record something that you did to make the world a better place. Here are some examples:
- January 1 – Went out to dinner and tipped 30% instead of 20%
- January 2 – Started a conversation with the grocery store checker and asked her how her day was going. Bonus action: Also picked up a box of candy to give to my next door neighbor who is a shut-in
- January 3 – Offered to babysit the grandkids next weekend so that my son and daughter-in-law could have a date night
- January 4 – Wrote a check to the local food bank
- January 5 – Had lunch with a friend and picked up the tab
- January 6 – Complimented a stranger on her outfit
- January 7 – Put extra money in my parking meter so the next car wouldn’t need to pay to park
- January 8 – Sent a “thinking of you card” to someone I hadn’t seen in a while
- January 9 – Sorted through closet and dropped off donation to Goodwill
- January 10 – Added extra money to my pledge for the pastor’s discretionary fund
- January 11 – Let person behind me in line go first through the checkout
Now you see how easy it is to make a simple and positive difference in the world. Like many behavioral changes, we just need to be aware with a reminder of what we need to do.
So when you are thinking about your New Year’s resolutions, think about this easy task. It’s one that will not only be easy to complete, but one that will definitely make the world a better place.
Happy New Year!