Here we are in January – and all around us, there’s talk of being better, improving, giving up bad habits, or taking up new ones. Some people avoid goal-setting, because they’re afraid of failure. They haven’t learned yet that failing to reach a goal is just an opportunity to find the lesson in it all. That’s the best part of stretching ourselves to accomplish something new! In 2018 I set a goal to win an election. I didn’t make it. What I did make were new friends, new ideas, a deeper connection to my community, and a host of resources and sources of help that I didn’t have before. I didn’t win the election, but I know I’m far more successful than I was before, because I tried.
What about you? Have you set a goal for January, or for 2019? Here are some SMART steps that are helpful as you set your goal for the weeks or months ahead:
And on that note, what’s my goal for this year? To find a paying project that takes at least 180 hours (over the whole year, or in a shorter, concentrated burst) that incorporates the work that made me set last year’s goal – to contribute to eliminating hunger, homelessness, or illiteracy. That’s specific, time-bound, realistic and measurable – and I’m taking action by putting it here. If you or someone you know has a project that needs a "do-er", I’m ready to listen. Let’s talk.
Do you volunteer? Do you give to charitable organizations? Are you helping strangers?
Strange questions, I know. But here is something I have learned, and which continued to be reinforced during the time I was travelling our community, meeting people at their doors, in their homes, at their organizations' offices: when we give through food banks, or donate to charities, we're not just helping strangers. We're often helping neighbours. The people who need help from those of us who can give it aren't just "others". They are just as likely to be a neighbour, a friend, a colleague, or a connection. Poverty is everywhere, and when we fight hunger, homelessness, and illiteracy, you may be helping right next door. With that in mind, during this season of giving, please be as generous as possible.