A few years ago I bought the book Every Monday Matters: 52 Ways to Make a Difference. The book is a list of 52 simple and mostly practical ways to make a difference in your life and other’s lives. Even though the suggestion is to complete each of the tasks every Monday, most of them are intended to be ongoing (i.e., registering for Amber Alerts, watching less TV).
As I was browsing the web site yesterday, I was thinking about how the list of challenges would make excellent resolutions for 2012. Now, some of these I already commit to. I registered to have Amber Alerts sent to my cell phone (just go here, enter your cell phone number, and voila). I’m not a smoker, so that one is unnecessary. My wife pays almost all of our bills online. Every bulb in our house is a CFL. But that still leaves 45+ challenges for 2012.
On a very personal note, I am overwhelmed that this year I will be able to accomplish one of the challenges I originally thought unlikely: Get Involved with Foster Kids. If you are not already aware, my wife and I decided to become foster parents. We start classes next month and hope to open our home to two children by the end of summer.
Before you read my list, I encourage you to check out Every Monday Matters and let it inspire you to do something great. Even if you only choose a few from the list, you will be making a difference.
So, even though I was thinking about skipping this, here are my resolutions inspired by EMM.
- Watch less TV
- Eat healthier
- Do something to show more gratitude to troops, police, fire fighters, and teachers
- Feed the hungry/help the homeless
- Register to vote (I moved, so I need to register for our area)
- Instead of gifts next Christmas, encourage givers to donate to their favorite charity
- Donate books to local libraries, prisons, and hospitals
- Create, support, and appreciate art
- Drive less, ride/walk more
- Smile more (yes, even I need this)
- Learn CPR (this is mandatory to be a foster parent)
- Don’t drive over the speed limit
- Plant a tree
- Avoid fast food (or at least make healthier choices if I can’t)
- Donate school supplies for next year.
- Read 100 books or more
- Read through the entire Bible
- Carry a plastic bag when I walk/hike for litter
- Exercise more (Hello MovNat)
- Be more neighborly (time to visit the upper level)
- Donate blood (this didn’t work out so well before, but I’ll give it a shot)
- Spend more time with my grandfather
- Visit a nursing home
- Avoid plastic bag when grocery shopping
- Hug someone who needs it (as long as it’s welcome, of course)
- Listen to, play, and appreciate music
- Get involved with foster kids
- Donate clothes
- Pray more often (Philippians 4:6-7)
- Recycle more
And that’s it. If you’re still with me, I hope this list inspires you to make your own list that is personal and meaningful.