I’m happy to have another great guest post today on the obviously timely topic of revamped resolutions.  This guest post is by Maxine Dee who first contacted me after a recent article about small things that make a big impact to others.

Part of her original contact was the following: “I was greatly touched by Unnoticed Significance which was such an incredible reminder of the power that every human being possesses and the simplicity of putting it to work. The innate gratefulness that Jim had for what he was blessed with also resonated with me and I was actually writing to suggest a guest post about how your simple story has inspired me to transform a yearly tradition.”

Maxine made several other comments about how seeking resolutions that are focused on contributing to the lives of other people instead of ourselves is a great way to ensure we actually accomplish our resolutions and that they are worth pursuing through the entire year.  I couldn’t agree more and so I’m happy to have her article on this subject.

More often than not, our busy lifestyles reduce our commitments to things that are convenient.

Although much of life is about the small things, it also means being part of something bigger than we are. For me, this ‘something bigger’ is how my decisions and actions have a ripple effect on the world. This year I’m revamping my resolutions with the idea that small actions based in good will positively impact someone else’s life – and that feels very good to me! With that in mind, here are a couple of things you can do to make a lasting impression on those in need, and hopefully bring about a new state of awareness for yourself too:

January – Purchase more fair trade goods for daily use.

Fair Trade involves providing sustainable economic solutions for developing countries by placing a fair price on goods exported to developed countries. Most of these fair trade companies have a mission – to improve the lives of those who create their products. Companies like Gianna Fair Trade and People Tree empower individuals to become self-sufficient. Consumers in developed countries that purchase these fair trade goods pay slightly above market, but in many cases the price is still comparable to something mass-produced and the quality is the same. Fair trade helps small businesses to thrive and stimulates the income of these developing countries.

February – Donate blood and save a life.

Blood and blood products are vital necessities in hospitals and other health institutions. When blood is in high demand, many individuals have to go without – this could spell the difference between life and death. By volunteering to provide blood and blood products, you are potentially saving a life. Get screened as a donor or participate in local blood drives; either way, you are providing a great service.

March – Participate in tree planting projects for a better environment.

Deforestation has largely depleted our natural forests. Trees are part of a fragile ecosystem that allows humanity to grow and thrive as a species. This year, you can pledge yourself to future generations by engaging in tree planting drives organized by your local community or other environmental organizations. Every tree you plant ensures a better place to live in for yourself and your children.

April – Volunteer for feeding programs.

Food is one of our most basic and most essential necessities. It is sad indeed that many people are without it. This year you can help the hungry by volunteering at nearby soup kitchens, hosting a fundraiser, or by donating money or non-perishable food items. By giving others access to the simplest of needs, you can help them get back on their feet and get on their way to living a better life.

May – Use Organic products and save Mother Earth.

The use of organic products has been gaining huge momentum, and its usage spans generations. There are many organic and/or environmentally friendly alternatives for many of  today’s necessities, from shampoo to garbage bags. By using products derived from organic sources, you can help lessen the biological waste burden generated by non-biodegradable materials. Organic products easily degrade when disposed of, unlike their non-biodegradable counterparts. When shopping, check the packaging of the products you buy and if possible search for organic alternatives.

June – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

If you aren’t yet doing all you can to involve yourself in recycling, now’s the time to do so. Check local resources to ensure that you’re recycling what your town waste management accepts, and separate accordingly. Another tip is to reuse products, such as cardboard and paper, to alleviate the burden on our forest population. You can help make the world a better place for everyone.

July – Assist charities.

Getting involved on a regular basis with a charity is satisfying for many people. There are many opportunities within charities, and many are driven by their volunteer force. Choose one that is close to your heart or utilizes one of your talents. Carpenters are desired by charitable organizations, such as Habitat for Humanity. There are other ways to support charities, usually by word of mouth and purchasing products whose proceeds go to the charity. For example, Trekstock, a hip English charity that raises funds for Teenage Cancer Trust, has a wild website that caters to rock and rollers and their style. Trekstock puts on shows in the UK, but anyone, anywhere can purchase their t-shirts, bags, and ephemera created by some very cool designers. Pick a charity that speaks to you and donate your time, money, or energy in any way that you see fit.

August – Go on a volunteer vacation.

Instead of taking in the sights, why not offer to help your fellow man? Some states and countries offer a variety of outreach projects that get you involved with the local residents. Not only do you immerse yourself in a different culture but you also help others maintain their livelihoods.

September – Help the elderly.

Our elderly population is often neglected in American communities. By volunteering to accomplish little tasks for them, you can provide great help and, at the same time, learn something new and interesting by listening to their stories.

October – Donate your clothes to charity.

This month, take stock of everything you have and everything you can live without. Providing others with shoes and clothing will truly warm your heart and make a difference.

November – Keep your community clean.

Start where you live and participate in clean-up drives to beautify your community. Involving your family in such activities as harvesting a local community garden or cleaning hiking trails, teaches future generations the importance of doing something good for their community.

December – Raise your awareness.

Get yourself ready for next year’s resolutions by researching worthy causes online. Ask friends and neighbors about their favorite charities and causes.

With the year almost over, it’s time to stop and take stock of all that’s happened. For most of us, it’s time to list those New Year’s Resolutions. Some folks will have their resolutions all mapped out, while for others will take their time thinking about what to do to make the coming year more worthwhile. Here’s some food for thought: Why not make resolutions that last?

Maxine is a dedicated mother who works to instill in her children the ideas of giving, charity and frugality so they have a solid foundation for their future. When not with her family, she works for Treetopia, a seller of artificial Christmas trees. The Christmas tree sale this holiday season was particularly busy but a great reminder for her of the need to balance work and family.

Maxine is a dedicated mother who works to instill in her children the ideas of giving, charity and frugality so they have a solid foundation for their future. When not with her family, she works for Treetopia, a seller of artificial Christmas trees. The Christmas tree sale this holiday season was particularly busy but a great reminder for her of the need to balance work and family.



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