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How to Make Giving Back a Part of Your New Year

During the holidays, it seems as though the bulk of humanity experiences a resurgence of the part of their spirit that excels at giving back. It’s a part that, for many, lies dormant during most of the rest of the year as we focus on work deadlines, family vacations and pressing personal responsibilities.

The holiday season may dissolve quickly, but there’s more to the spirit of giving than the temporary glow of Christmas lights. And this resurgence offers us more than just a brief rush of the excitement and happiness of the holidays.

As Thanksgiving and Christmas come and go, resolutions are set, and new starts are made, there’s an opportunity provided to focus on something more meaningful than weight loss and sugar intake: others.

“Giving back” may conjure images of writing big checks or donating goods to a local organization. These may also be accompanied by the uncertainty of the impact you’ll make or who will benefit. But there are many ways to give back that aren’t limited to the holiday season.

Here are a few simple, conscious decisions that can make giving back a staple in your new year.

Give time.

There may be a handful of tangible gifts you’ll receive throughout your lifetime that you’ll never forget. But the feeling of time spent with loved ones is something that lingers much longer. Give back by giving time to those in your life who need it most.

Give attention.

Give attention to things that deserve it. Special causes, a co-worker, a local organization, a child, a partner, an issue you’ve been ignoring. The simple acknowledgement of someone or something can make a huge difference in itself.

Give thought.

Between the products you buy, the places you spend your time, the food you eat, the people you surround yourself with, and the things you want for those you love, there is no shortage of thought that can be dedicated to something meaningful.

Give patience.

Impatience seems to not only be running rampant, but it’s also somehow become trendy. We get irritated with bad drivers, slow baristas, technology malfunctions. People who cause us minor inconveniences become major issues. Rather than jumping to anger and frustration, give back by extending patience to those that cross your path.

Give support.

There are likely countless people in your life that would benefit from the support of someone they know. Don’t get caught up in the rush of day to day life that you forget to reach out to those around you.

It’s easy to let giving back remain only a part of the Christmas season. But there’s so much worth – for you and others – to be found in making it a part of your daily life, all year through.

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