Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Eighteen Days of Service, Kind of

Today's blog entry is about a post by the non-profit All for Good that I shared on our iHeartVolunteers Facebook page.  All for Good is a volunteer service that connects volunteers with service opportunities, they are a great organization. On top of that, I enjoy their Facebook posts; they are often insightful, motivational and humorous.

A couple weeks back they Facebooked this list of service ideas:

I looked at the list and thought, "I'd like to do this".

So I commented on the post from our iHeartVolunteers account saying, "We're going to do one a day until Christmas!! We'll let you know how it goes."

Shelly laughed about it, I tend to over-commit. I hadn't devised a plan on following through, and she knew it. I thought it would be easy. All of the tasks seemed very do-able. I made the comment on December 7th, I had only committed to 18 days of service. 

My plan was to pick an act of service each night and schedule it into my phone's calendar, as a helpful reminder. I wanted to ease my way into it, so I set a reminder to thank sincerely as many people as possible.

My reminder went off at eight AM, time to be thankful. The first person I thanked held the door for me. I was glad they did it, but I was a little overzealous and ended up yelling, "Thank you!". It was embarrassing. But, I recovered and ended up thanking a lot of people. Some sincerely, some loudly. It was a good day.

I planned on going to the grocery store the following day, so I set my reminder to return someone's cart. Turns out, I didn't get groceries. So,  I resorted to cleaning up the kitchen after dinner. I decided it would qualify as doing something special for my spouse. It was my only option, even though I knew my wife would not consider me cleaning the kitchen as doing a special act of service for her.

After that I fell apart. I know, that was quick. I did not end up living up to my end of the bargain. I have no excuses, some days I just didn't make it a priority. I ended up completing ten acts of service, so just over half. Not terrible, but I can't brag about it.

However, I am very glad I did it. One of the acts I ended up completing was writing a letter of appreciation. It made me happy. I felt like the people in this video:

The 10 acts of service I did, made me happy. It makes me wonder why I don't go out of my way to serve others more often. For that reason, I recently saved the service list as an image on my phone and set a recurring reminder to look at it.

Doing good makes us happy, and it's easy. I dare you to try it.