A New Year, a New Challenge

Wow, another year has passed.  Another year is before us.  How strange is it that we as a species track time the way we do.  The last time I checked, the squirrel in my yard may have a concept of seasonal changes, but there was no day-timer sticking out of his back pocket.  I cannot remember a time when a giraffe was wearing a wrist watch.  Do they even have wrists?

Tracking time gives us an interesting opportunity.  The calendar resets each year and as the prior year fades away, we can challenge ourselves to achieve something, do something, or be something different.

Beyond goal setting or finding your sentence, how about a different challenge?  A challenge we can all try together and see what we can collectively do to make this world a better place.

The 2012 Collective Challenge

1.  Try not to watch, listen to, or read the news for the next 30 days.  The news cycle is interesting.  In order to entice us to keep reading, it portrays events in catastrophic and negative terms (the world, economy, life, society, or whatever is horrible, on the brink of disaster, the worst in a generation…) and tends to criticize everyone and everything along the way.  Being happy and having a positive outlook on life for the upcoming year becomes hard if you constantly hear how bad things are out there.

2.  Randomly help someone who is outside of your circle in a generous way. Why not surprise someone in this world with an act of kindness or generosity that helps restore their view of the world as well.  Outside of your circle means either a stranger or someone who you don’t regularly connect with.  It is easy to help someone close to you, because they may help you back, but helping strangers is much more selfless.  A few ideas: You could pay for someone’s gas at the pump, pay for some groceries, or send 40 bucks to a random address.

3.  Dream Big.  What is that thing, that idea, that amazing thing that is brewing inside you?  Write that sucker down!  Leave the fear back in 2011, it doesn’t belong in this new year.   “The only thing we have to fear…is fear itself” may help you, but I have a better one.

“The only thing to fear is snakes.  If it is not a snake ignore it!”

If you want to participate, let me know.  Leave a comment, and encourage everyone here to try this.  Post comments as the month progresses.  Let us know about how you feel without the negativity of the news cycle, the creative way you helped someone else, and the progress towards your dream for this year.

Thanks for being part of this community, and together we can change the world.

14 thoughts on “A New Year, a New Challenge

  1. No problem. If I can ditch facebook and not miss it after a month, how hard can the news be? And for the record I did write out a list of goals for the year, attainable, but not overwhelming. I usually rebel against resolutions/promises, etc. because I hate seeing people make them and then seeing them give up after a month (or a day). Or maybe I am just afraid of failure….oooh…Yet I figured setting goals must be better than treading water.

    1. I think attainable, but not overwhelming is a great combination. Thanks for being part of this.

  2. this is a great idea Carl! I will attempt to do so. I have already failed today as I am a bit late to the party in reading this post, but I will start tomorrow. I will have to adjust my home page and avoid clicking the links in my RSS reader…thanks for a great post!

    1. You have not failed. You have been driving across the Country. Thanks for being part of this, and I enjoyed your blog a lot. Carl

  3. I like the idea of a news-free 30 days. I’ll miss “Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!” but not the NPR pledge drives.

    1. It certainly does take some adjustment. You can always call me and we can play the limerick challenge.


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