Welcome to 2010! I've spent the past couple of weeks evaluating my Five, and while I feel really good about the direction I'm heading, I've decided to make one modification. Looking back over the past several months, I've found that while I think volunteering in local schools is an important way of giving back to my community, and helping others achieve their goals, it isn't practical for me right now. I want my Five to be simple, attainable goals that I can strive for every day. I'm looking forward to continuing to accomplish my 2009 Fives as I carry them into 2010, and I'm also looking forward to putting my new Five into practice!
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. The power of positive words
The purpose behind this new Five is to challenge myself EVERY SINGLE DAY to say five positive things to friends, family, neighbors, and strangers. These positive affirmations might be as simple as, "Thank you for holding the door for me," to "What a wonderful smile you have." As I look for opportunities to lift others up, I believe my thoughts will automatically shift to a more positive place, and I'll bring more joy to those around me.
There you have it - my Five for 2010. Do any of these resonate with you?
Happy World Changing!