Paying it forward in 2016

New Year’s Resolutions? Mehhhh….

While I commend the idea of having long(ish)-term goals in order to better one’s self, my repeat resolutions of 1) drinking less, 2) acquiring abs and 3) reading more never seem make it very far. Three weeks is typically the max. before I’m back to binge drinking, double-fisting burritos and relying on Wikipedia to further my education.

This year, like every year, peer pressure compelled me into writing my 2016 list of personal goals. (I can only respond to the “What are your NY resolutions?” question with “Fuck resolutions!” so many times before feeling like an ambitious-less dirt bag.) Here’s what they boiled down to…

  • Write more! (Hence, the reason for this post)
  • Read at least 6 books over the course of the year.
  • Run the Disney half marathon in sub-2 hours.
  • Send a hand-written note to at least one person a week.
  • Explore at least 10 new West Coast adventures before I move.
  • Explore at least 10 new East Coast adventures after I move.

I then went on to list potential West Coast adventures (AKA locations all my friends posts photos of on Instagram): Crater Lake, Joshua Tree, Mission Peak, Half Dome, Big Basin, Whistler, Banff, Tahoe in the summer time, Mt. Shasta, Point Bonita, Point Lobos, New Mexico, Monument Valley in UT/AZ, Havasupai Indian Reservation, Zion National Park, Death Valley, Great Sand Dunes.

And as I continued to Google more awe-inspiring places around the world to add to my list, I thought to myself…

LUCKY, FUCKING BASTARD.

Seriously. How lucky am I to have the opportunity to go to all these amazing places, see all these amazing cultures, and meet all these not-always-amazing-but-definitely-interesting people around the world? And while the majority of my friends are also lucky enough to have the same opportunity to pursue happiness, it’s so easy to forget about the people who don’t – often people I interact with on a daily basis.

After some thought, I decided to over rule my travel wish-list with this one simple resolution: PAY IT FORWARD IN 2016.

So, what exactly does that mean? It means I start to responding the universe’s kindness to me by being kind to others. It means I start giving back either by volunteering my time or resources to something more than popping bottles on the weekends. And it means not taking my experiences and opportunities for granted.

Hopefully, after a year of doing this, it’ll become almost second nature, and I will get to close the year as a kinder, nicer person – instead of the asshole I am now.

My goal is to volunteer 52 hours this year (one hour for every week). My first 3 weeks of January are already spoken for as I’ve just signed up for a 3-hour jam at the Ronald McDonald House in SF where I’ll be serving meals to low-income families of children with life-threatening illnesses.

I haven’t pinned down anything for February or March, so if anyone would like to join in on my resolution—or maybe just hang with me for a few hours a month—definitely let me know. The world needs more kindness, don’t you think?

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