If you’ve already listened to my last podcast episode for season 3, then you’re very familiar with everything I got up to this year. It was by far my busiest year yet. There were many ups, many downs, but all in all I’d have to say the most transformative year for me.
2016 Was the Year of Being Too Busy
Now that things are winding down for the holidays, I know for a fact that I do not want a repeat of 2016. It was a great year, don’t get me wrong, but even though the tagline for my personal brand is Money. Life. Balance., there wasn’t a heck of a lot of balance in my life this year.
I tried, but in the end I realized I just took too much on and was effectively working two full-time jobs. The lifestyle I led this year wasn’t sustainable, and I got so focused on some of my goals, I lost sight of the bigger picture.
What bigger picture you ask? I’m talking about why am I here? What’s my purpose? What do I want my legacy to be? And how am I helping to make the world a better place?
I always get into a reflective mood this time of year, but on top of reflecting on the last 12 months, I’ve already started making plans on how to add more balance into my life. I won’t reveal what these plans are until the New Year, but how about I reveal one of them for good measure?
I Don’t Want to Be Busy Anymore, I Want to Be More Purposeful
The one thing I felt I sort of abandoned this year was giving back. Sure, in essence I feel like a lot of what I did on the blog and podcast was a form of giving back. I’m giving away helpful resources and knowledge for free so others can better their financial situations. But I’m not really doing it for free am I? I’m running a business at the end of the day, so I need to do more to truly give back.
Giving back has always been a big part of my life. It started with the weekly collection at church and continued when I moved out of my parents’ basement and started budgeting to have enough to donate to a cause I believe in each year. I would usually choose to donate that money around the holidays, so this year I thought it was time to really put my money where my mouth is.
And I’m Starting With Helping Those Who Really Need It
It was almost serendipitous how I came to find this year’s cause to donate to. A friend of mine, Kelly Davio, messaged me on Facebook letting me know that she was looking to spread the word on a charity she had been running. It’s called the Healthy Happy Children’s Foundation and was set up to help raise money for children’s programs in Cambodia, Thailand and Nepal.
For the longest time, it was just Kelly and her husband who donated $500/month to it, then they’d ask friends and family to donate if they could too. But things changed as Kelly and her husband decided to expand their family and they are looking for donors outside of their immediate sphere.
So, I thought I would try to do my part and sign up as a donor and spread the word on here too. Now, since it is a small foundation, they aren’t set up as a big charity that can give you a tax receipt quite yet. But because they are more grassroots, they are very open about where all the money goes.
That’s the kind of downside with bigger charities, lots of the money you donate gets tied up in administrative costs and advertising, instead of actually going to the people they say they are helping.
So, if you’re looking to be a bit more purposeful with your money and want to do something good, I personally recommend helping out this cause. As I said, I’ll be donating my money to it, I know Kelly very well (she was in my wedding party!) and I’m so proud of what her and her husband have achieved so far.
How Are You Going to Give Back this Holiday Season?
But there are more ways to give back than to donate money. I do believe that no matter how much you make, you can absolutely afford to give something. Nonetheless, if you can’t give money, time is just as valuable. And there are so many ways to donate your time, well it would probably take up a whole other blog post.
No matter what you decide to do, I challenge you to choose one thing to do to give back before the New Year, and let me know what it is in the comments!
And as a final note, this will be my last blog post for 2016. I’m taking the rest of December off to relax and regroup for 2017. A lot of big changes are coming, so make sure to subscribe to my email list if you haven’t already to stay in the loop!