A New Year’s Resolution, or… A Plan For Blessing Others

Blogs can be a go-to resource when a sudden crisis affects someone in your world. You may hear about a job loss, cancer diagnosis, or death in the family and do a quick search for the best way to reach out.

Even better?  Plan ahead for success.  Your future can be less stressful and more fulfilling when you have examined yourself, considered lots of ideas, and figured out a plan in advance.

The start of a New Year is the perfect time to commit to making a plan.

(1) What Am I Suited For?

Posts on this blog are sorted into three helpful categories:

  • Conversation:  What can I say?
  • Acts of Service:  What can I do?
  • Small Gifts:  What can I bring?

Will you prepare for reaching out in all three ways, or will you pull out one area and focus on that?

planning x3 blue cropped

Think through who you are.  Remember that spotting a good match between you and the type of blessings you select could mean you are more likely to follow through with your plans and to reach out to others in the future.

(2) Start Getting Specific

The next step is to take the general areas that suit you and start getting a little more specific.

But it’s not time to brainstorming particular ideas yet. With the goal of discovering what you are meant to do, begin narrowing down a few things:

  • Evaluate your resources  — Do you have skills that could be useful, such as pet care or filling out forms?  Do you have friends, party supplies, or a movie collection that might be enjoyable? Do you need to limit gift-giving this year, or do you have crafty projects in process?
  • Recall your past efforts (including fails) — Has gift-giving felt too awkward for you? Did you succeed in a great conversation recently? Do you want to try offering yardwork again using a new strategy?
  • Consider needs you have spotted in the past — Did you regret not reaching out to your child’s favorite teacher when she was ill? Have you wanted to invite someone to your holiday party? Have you noticed that drivers for morning appointments are scarce?

(3) Making A List (and checking it twice)

checklist

In your mind, in cyberspace, or on paper: Create a go-to plan.

  • Start brainstorming some specific, realistic ideas — Use #1 and #2 above to narrow down the limitless cloud of possibilities. Then jot down everything that has true potential.
  • Gauge potential obstacles and note ways to navigate them 
    • Would you bring your children, or could someone else be a part of the blessing by providing childcare?
    • Do you need to find a way to bring up gas money at the same time you offer to provide rides?  Or, could someone else be a part of the blessing via gas cards?
    • Have you noticed a long-term need you can’t fit into your schedule? Are you instead good at creating a sign-up method for helpers and spreading the word?
  • When can I realistically fit this in?  Is there a best time of day, preferred day of the week, or months that are less busy for me?  Do I need flexibility? If so, should I wait to offer an errand or a visit until I am already out and about?  Or, could I set up a system of texting my someone when I actually leave the house for a planned day of service?
  • Keep your ideas together —  Use a dedicated notebook or create an editable document (use a title with all the words you might search for later, if you forget the document’s name). Leave lots of space in a hand-written list, so you can replace one idea and add details to another.  (When you discard ideas in a computer document, highlight them in gray or use the strike-through font rather than deleting them, in case you re-think things later.)

(4) Update as New Ideas Come In

Update your plan over the year, as you envision new possibilities.

  • Re-think, re-do, edit, add,  jotting down notes about areas that need tweaking… and watch even better plans emerge over time.
  • Keep blessings in the back of your mind… whether you are reading blogs or watch Hallmark movies, let stories connect to new ideas and insights you might try.
  • Seek out specific areas to learn more.  Keep gift ideas in mind when shopping.  Take note of good conversation-starters you might overhear when are out and about.
  • Ask questions.  Find ways to ask those in need what has been most helpful to them. Look for role models doing what you want to do, here and elsewhere.  Make use of their experience by asking them how they solved the problems that are holding you up.

(5) When a Specific Need Emerges, You Will Just Need a Little Tweak to Your Plan

No doubt, this is a year when more than one Special Someone in your circles will have a crisis that once again makes you wonder, What can I say? What can I do? What can I bring?

At those times, pull your list off the shelf (virtual or real) and see if you find yourself well-prepared to say,

This is what I would love to do with you!

planning blog resolve

A Plan For Blessing Others Is The Best Kind of New Year’s Resolution!

fireworks nye

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A YEAR OF BLESSING OTHERS

1. What Am I Suited For?

  • Conversation:  What can I say?
  • Acts of Service:  What can I do?
  • Small Gifts:  What can I bring?

2. Start Getting Specific

  • Evaluate your resources
  • Recall your past efforts (including fails)
  • Consider needs you have spotted in the past

3. Making A List (and checking it twice)

  • Start brainstorming some specific, realistic ideas
  • Gauge potential obstacles and note ways to navigate them
  • When can I realistically fit this in?
  • Keep your ideas together

4. Update as New Ideas Come In

  • Re-think, re-do, edit, add
  • Keep blessings in the back of your mind
  • Seek out specific areas to learn more
  • Ask questions

5. When a Specific Need Emerges,

This time, you will be able to say:    This is what I would love to do with you!

.

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Blog #23, COMMENT BELOW:  Any great plans to share?

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