THE BLOG
01/07/2015 03:48 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

I Resolve to Serve

 

I Resolve to Serve

I am so excited that 2015 is right around the corner! While everyday gives us a new chance to be the person we want to be, there is something special about ushering in a new year. It offers us an opportunity to pause in reflection, while planning for what's to come and making some resolutions.

Now, I am not a huge resolution person. In fact, I rarely make them and when I do, like many others, I often start out strong but don't see it through. Perhaps it's because I make goals that are too lofty or don't fully commit myself to making the changes. But, I am resolving to change that in 2015.

My primary resolution for 2015 is to be of greater service to others. While I already do a greater than average amount of service, in addition to writing and talking about it daily, I know I can do more. But, more importantly, I WANT to do more.

This desire to expand my service is based on a rather simple concept -- serving others brings me joy and helps me to be the best person I can be. Being of service fills me up, which in turn has a positive impact on everything in my life. My relationships with others improve, my views of myself become more positive and I have a deep sense of satisfaction and purpose.

Of course, resolving to serve more and actually doing it are two different things. Here's my roadmap for sticking with it in the new year.
  • Mantra: First, I am going to borrow a prayer from Oprah Winfrey, "Use me, God. Show me how to take who I am, who I want to be, and what I can do, and use if for a purpose greater than myself." This is going to be my mantra for 2015, my daily prayer that will keep me focused and living with intent.
  • Challenge: Second, I am going to create a new challenge for myself. Good Citizen started when I did Thirty Days of Service - thirty service projects with thirty organizations in thirty consecutive days. In 2015, I am going to set out on a new challenge to complete service. You'll have to stay tuned for what that's going to be.
  • Priority: Third, I am simply going to make this resolution a top priority. I will schedule my service like I do meetings and time with friends. I will also find ways to incorporate more service into my everyday life with acts of kindness.
Now, while I would love for everyone to resolve to serve others more, I know it might not be practical or there may be other resolutions that have a higher priority, which is very fair. But, perhaps you can incorporate service into some of those other resolutions, for example:
  • Exercise More with service - this is probably one of the most common resolutions and I know firsthand how hard it can be to stick to. But, what if you do it not only for yourself, but for a cause. Think about training for a run/walk, marathon, triathlon, bike ride or other physical feat that raises money for a great cause. And, when you just don't feel like getting moving, use the cause as your motivator.
  • Spend Less Money with service - most of us could probably reign in the spending we do on social activities and entertainment. Well, why not look to service as a way to socialize? The opportunities to meet new people while having fun are endless and serving others is free!
  • Spend More Time With Loved Ones with service - life is so busy and we often don't get to spend enough quality time with those who mean the most to us. So, if you are like me and are resolving to change that this year, try using service to help. Invite others to go serve with you or incorporate service projects into gatherings at your home. You'll not only get a chance to see those you love, but you'll create new memories based on helping others.
No matter what your 2015 resolutions are, I hope you will look for ways to incorporate giving to others. I promise you it will leave you feeling better and more whole.

As we head into the new year, I leave you with another quote from Oprah, which is from her September 2001 "What I Know For Sure" column. May it guide you well.

"Pay attention to what makes you feel energized, connected, stimulated - what gives you your juice. Do what you love, give it back in the form of service and you will do more than succeed. You will triumph."

Wishing you a wonderful 2015.

Yours in service,

Brad
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