Need ideas for a new beginning?  This is part of a series on New Year’s resolutions.  Join me and explore how learning, going green, getting fit, and reaching out can be transformed into community contributions.

If you are the indecisive type who has yet to come to a conclusion on a resolution for the year ahead, allow me to make a recommendation:  Reach OUT!  In my experience, each moment given in service to the community is an investment that gives abundant dividends.  As I watch relationships grow, imaginations expand, and individuals reconcile in my neighborhood, I experience greater understanding, forgiveness, creativity, and endurance in my own life.  For those in need of a to-do list:

12 Ways to Reach Out in 2012

  1. Help a neighbor in need.
  2. Share stories, tools, recipes, favorite books, and new ideas.
  3. Cook for new moms & neighbors.
  4. Talk to someone you have not spoken to on your block.
  5. Build a home, a relationship, or a birdhouse with a younger neighbor.
  6. Celebrate block-party style with the people on your street.
  7. Welcome folks into your home with a potluck or a simple get-together.
  8. Read a book with someone learning how to read–or a book club.
  9. Grow and help plants to grow, too.
  10. Create something with or for your community.
  11. Get out and about, and see what you discover on foot or by bicycle.
  12. Restore something, and give it new life in your neighborhood.

This year, instead of putting your resolve toward a strictly personal endeavor, choose to spend your time on others and see what happens.  You may very well discover a simple truth spoken simply by Fred Rogers, “How important you are to the lives of those you meet; how important you can be to the people you may never even dream of!” In the year to come, I will continue to share new thoughts, discoveries, and stories about people along my journey and, together, we can learn how to live the neighborly way.

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