Studies show that doing good, and being a force of positivity in your community, is one of the best ways to be happier. And being happy has been proven, time and time again, to be a powerful way to boost your immune system and make yourself more resilient to disease and illnesses. This New Year’s Eve, instead of focusing on resolutions that make it all about you, let’s make resolutions about others: How can you do good and create good in your neighborhood, town, city, or country?

Do Good in the New Year: Ideas for Outward-Focused Resolutions

1. Promote Causes That You Love

new yearIt may seem small, but simply spreading the word and amplifying the voices of others — especially the voices of those who come from underrepresented or marginalized communities and people groups — can make a difference.

Share that fundraiser you love.

Post that GoFundMe link that tugged at your heartstrings.

Talk to your friends about that book you recently read.

Get people talking, thinking, and hearing about the different causes, events, and ideas that matter.

2. Collect Things For Your Community

new yearCollect school supplies, backpacks, and other school items for a child in your neighborhood.

Collect women’s care products for your local women’s shelter.

Collect gently used clothing for a local clothing drive.

There are many organizations that need help, and your time and energy gathering the items they need can make a world of difference to the people that they serve.

3. Enhance Your Neighborhood

A healthy, clean, and well-cared-for community helps to create an environment that’s welcoming and safe for everyone who lives there. Ideas that can help include:

  • Planting a community garden
  • Helping neighbors with cleaning their gutters, raking leaves, or mowing the lawn
  • Fixing up fences
  • Picking up litter and other trash
  • Painting public art or murals, or helping to remove graffiti

4. Share Your Love and Connection

new yearWe have a loneliness epidemic in this country. Share your time, laughter, and physical connection with those who may feel lonely. This may include spending time with the single elderly neighbor in your community, or volunteering at a community center, or partnering with an organization like Big Brothers, Big Sisters.

Whatever you choose this new year, let’s make some of our resolutions about those around us instead of turning inward and focusing solely on ourselves.

References:

  • https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/2020/07/29/volunteer-happy-mental-health/
  • https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/happiness-and-health