By Nicole Tinkham
I always like starting a new month with an overall goal in mind to improve who I am. Every day I strive to do one small thing that gets me closer to that goal. For example, January was all about showing love to others. I had on my to-do list to compliment at least one person a day, reach out to an old friend just to see how they’re doing, help someone else out, and just to be friendly. Little things like that add up and make a huge difference. Plus as you do these things daily, they become a habit and you’ll start doing them anyway without having them on your to-do list. If you were to focus on one area of improvement every single month and just kept adding to it for the entire year, can you imagine how many different things you’d be really good at? It’s incredible what small tasks, done daily can produce. For the month of May, we’ll be focusing on being more generous. Read on for 6 ways you can be more generous this month, broken down into small manageable tasks that you’ll actually enjoy doing.
1. Become a great receiver.
This may sound odd but hear us out. When you’re uncomfortable receiving (compliments, favors, gifts), you’re carrying around some sort of doubt. You don’t think you deserve these things. You may also feel that you don’t have anything valuable to give either. Work on your receiving skills to become a better giver. Here’s how:
Accept compliments. When someone notices you did something well, simply say “thank you” instead of mentioning the things you didn’t do well.
Appreciate gifts. Instead of turning them down, let the receiver know how much you appreciate the thoughtful gift. The more you receive, the more you’ll be able to give.
To do: Be aware of opportunities to receive this month and practice accepting them. You deserve these things and they will give you the power to start giving back.
2. Give to a cause you’re passionate about.
The idea of donating money is always a great one but can often fall through the cracks when you realize that you may not have much to give. You have a big heart but no funds to make it happen. This month we’re focusing on the small things so here’s what we recommend you do:
Set a small amount of money aside each day for the entire month. If you start today with one dollar, you’ll have $31 at the end of the month. That’s a lot! Now think if you were to get a friend to join you this month, the two of you could double that amount.
To do: Choose a cause you’re passionate about and set an amount of money to save up each day.
3. Give love.
I mentioned that January was all about giving love for me but the things I did in January could easily apply to becoming more generous this month. You can give love in many different ways. Here are 7 ideas so you can do a different one each day of the week.
Pay a compliment.
Call an old friend.
Set up a lunch date with a friend.
Smile and greet everyone you see.
Tell someone how much you appreciate them.
Offer to help someone.
Send a “just because” card to someone in your life.
4. Give a small gift.
Little things go a long way. Choose someone this month that has made a difference in your life and find a thoughtful gift to thank them for all they do. Choose something based on what you know about this person but don’t drive yourself too crazy trying to find the perfect gift. You don’t want to go overboard either. Choose something simple. It could even be a candy bar! I like to browse Amazon for small gifts because I can find just about anything, have it sent directly to them and include a message.
To do: Choose a person in your life who deserves a small gift and keep your eyes out for a gift they would love.
5. Embrace gratitude.
I start every morning writing down three simple things I’m grateful for. Sometimes we move through life so fast that we forget to stop and really think about what makes our lives so special. These daily things range from big (good health) to small (my husband cooking me dinner). Writing these things down helps you appreciate the little things and show your appreciation to others.
To do: Challenge yourself to write down one thing you’re grateful for every single day this month.
6. Give your time.
We mentioned giving donations, love, gratitude, and gifts. Another way to give that we often forget about is our time. This could be volunteer work or helping out a friend. But I don’t recommend doing something just to say that you did it. Really consider where your passions lie, what skills you have, and where you’ll have fun. I truly believe that the more fun you can have with something, the more of an impact it’ll make plus you’ll be compelled to help out even more. If you love pets, help out at a shelter. If you’re an artist, teach your skills to others. Find something unique to you that you can really thrive in.
To do: Brainstorm different ways you can give your time. Do the research and see where you can help out. Pick a day to dedicate your time to and go out there and do it! Even an hour on a Saturday afternoon can make an incredible difference.
If there’s one thing you take away from this blog, let it be that small things make a huge difference. Don’t let this month of generosity overwhelm you. Remember that you have 31 whole days to work on your generosity. Your daily to-do list could include something as simple as calling a friend. It doesn’t have to take you all day to do and you don’t have to do everything all at once. Make it simple!
Tell us, do you have a May goal to become more generous? Let us know in the comments what you plan to do this month to make it happen!