If you’ve been following along with this blog at all (and I know I haven’t been really good about updating it…) you know that in 2011 I decided to do #PayDayFriday in honor of my late grandmother. Now almost two weeks into 2012, I wanted to provide a quick recap of the year, my donations and how I’m feeling about the whole thing. Over the 52 weeks in 2011, I made 26 donations to organizations, fundraisers and individuals in need. I donated right around $1,000 over the course of the year and while I wish it could be a lot more, I know it made a difference.
Through the magic of social media, word about my project spread and others started similar campaigns of their own. I polled my followers for donation ideas and was exposed to organizations and people in need I would have never found on my own. It’s been a really inspirational project for me and I’m super glad I decided to do it (although when I’m doing my taxes later this month, I might grumble a little bit!).
I think my Grandma Marlys would be proud of what I’ve done with my money, but I think she would have been more proud of the happiness this brought to me and others. I looked forward to every #PayDayFriday for a different reason than I had in the past–I got to literally put my money where my mouth was.
I just finished reading “The Happiness Project” and it made me realize that there are so many ways to work on increasing our own happiness and without a doubt I can say that #PayDayFriday has increased mine. Helping others makes us feel good and that typically makes us happier. So here’s my challenge to you–find something that will increase your happiness and pledge to work on it for a year. Having this blog kept me accountable and reminded me every Pay Day to find something to donate to. It worked for me…and it could work for you too!
My 2012 project is #PuttingMeFirst and this one is going to be a lot harder for me. I’m a giver…I have a difficult time saying “no” to anything and it often means putting my needs aside to help others. While this may not seem like a bad thing, it’s caused me a lot of stress and unfortunate weight gain. It feels selfish to me to say I can’t help someone because I need to go to the gym, but finding a way to better manage both needs is my personal challenge this year. Will you join me? I’d love to hear your ideas for personal improvement!