We've all come to love the various elements to ushering in a new year: the ball drop in Times Square, parties, fireworks, college football games and thoughts about how to change yourself in some way, for the better. What if you flipped that last idea, and instead of making a New Year's Resolution to lose 10 pounds, or to quit smoking, you thoughtfully decided to engage in the act of serving others?
An online initiative I have had the pleasure of being involved with, Resolution13 is all about challenging people to post a public commitment to make a resolution that focuses on serving or caring for others. The idea is simple in it's execution, but complex in it's capacity to spread goodwill. Resolution13 is not a charity organization, and it doesn't require anything from participants other than an online posting of what their New Year's Resolution is.
It's time to start trying to change the tone around this part of the holiday season. There is so much good in this world, so many helpful people rallying around others in need. Most of them require no reward, no attention, their focus is purely on helping and serving others. www.resolution13.org is simply a mechanism for encouraging that type of activity. It places you in the midst of others who have already declared their resolution, their intention to do more, to be there for someone.
Now going into it's third year, we've seen many inspiring resolutions come in from all over the world. Weekly charitable donations, monthly volunteer commitments, resolutions to thank people, to forgive people, to mentor children and even in one case write poetry about various causes to help bring about awareness. The resolutions are as varied as the people submitting them, and are endlessly inspiring.
So although we can't all be like the 18th Century theologian, Jonathan Edwards who famously wrote out a list of 70 resolutions he then committed to reviewing every week, we can start to shift our focus. Look outward in 2013, find your opportunity to spread a little good in the world.
I challenge you to think as Edwards did when he wrote in 1723, "Resolved, always to do that, which I shall wish I had done when I see others do it."
It's time to make your impact on the world. Make a resolution that matters. Happy New Year.