When Kay invited me to be a part of Living Your Five, I felt a spark of fire in my heart that immediately told me this was something I wanted to be involved with. I've always believed in the power of one, and I've tried to shape my life around that simple yet profound idea. The awesome thing about Living Your Five is it's about the power of one uniting to become the power of hundreds, even thousands. Each of us alone can make a big impact, but together we can change the world. And that's something to get excited about!
I'll admit, I didn't do a lot of soul-searching to come up with my Five. I didn't need to. The following Five jumped out at me right away, and I'm going to go with my intuition on this one and say my Five and I are meant to be. After all, Living Your Five shouldn't be complex – it's about making small and simple changes that reap big rewards. So here you go – my Five!
1. Bike it!
My family is fortunate to live within one mile of all of the following: my husband's workplace, my kids' schools, a grocery store, the library, restaurants, parks, my bank and Target. The city I live in has 250 days of sun each year. The roads in my neighborhood have bike lanes. I own a bike. And yet, more often than not, I find myself hopping behind the wheel to make a quick drive to the store, library or to school. With my Five, I'm challenging myself to drive only when necessary.
2. Random acts of kindness
My personality tends to be spontaneous, so I'm especially excited to see how I pursue my goal of spreading a little sunshine in the world around me. It could be anything from paying the toll for the driver behind me, to sending flowers to a stranger, to helping a child with their homework. I think random acts of kindness are small yet powerful acts that, with practice, can become habits in our lives – things we do without thinking twice. A habit of kindness – that's my goal.
3. Pay it forward
Pay it forward is about two things: gratitude and love. I want to show my gratitude to the marvelous people who've impacted my life over the years, and to the many more who will do so in the future, and I think the best way to do this is by being the kind of person who motivates others to be their best self. Mother Teresa said it best: “Spread your love everywhere you go.”
4. Reduce personal consumption
Did you know that Americans account for only five percent of the world's population, and yet we produce 50 percent of the world's waste? When I read this statistic, I felt motivated to make some changes in my life. Am I guilty of being wasteful? Yes. It's not like I wake up each morning and consciously decide I'm going to produce as much trash as I possibly can, but I do buy things I don't need. And when I buy things I don't need or even really have use for, it's inevitable that I will eventually have to throw it out. Which is why I'm committing right now to consume less, therefore using less of the world's natural resources and producing less waste.
5. Volunteer in local schools
I think one of the biggest ways to make an impact in the world is to help others achieve their goals, especially the rising generation. Education is such a vital part of reaching goals, and volunteering in local schools is a great way for me to start here in my community and help children realize they're in charge of their futures – a place where anything is possible.
So there you have it. My Five. What about you – are you ready to Live Your Five? Comment below for your chance to win a signed copy of my debut novel, HUSH, HUSH! The winner will be announced on Saturday along with the launch week grand prize winner. And stay tuned for Tera's Five tomorrow...
Happy world changing!