These practical strategies show you how to help others without spending a dime.
The holiday season is a natural time of the year to think about being generous. We give gifts to people and make an extra effort to help those who are less fortunate. When we consider ways to be generous, our thoughts normally turn to giving money or possessions.
But these aren’t the only ways to be generous. In this post I’ll share three surprising but effective ways to help others during this time of year when they may need it most. None of these will cost a dime.
1. Your Time
People are normally busier during the holidays because of shopping, parties, and other obligations. It’s easy to think we don’t have time to help others since time is the one resource we can’t get back. In a way, your time is the most precious thing you can give.
Some practical ways to be generous with your time:
- Volunteer at a local homeless shelter or food bank.
- Help a neighbor with shopping or errands.
- Spend extra time with your family doing something they enjoy.
- Attend an event at your church or community group to show your support.
- Help a friend or family member move (this time of year is a natural transition time for many).
2. Your Connections
Charlie “Tremendous” Jones once said, “You will be the same person in five years as you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read.” Jim Rohn expressed a similar point when he said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Relationships are a vital component to a person’s success.
One of the best ways you can help others is by sharing your network and introducing people to one another. During the holidays, many people are thinking about job changes and ways they can improve their lives. You can help others by connecting them with people who will add value to their lives.
Some practical ways to be generous with your connections:
- Whenever you encounter someone with a need, think about not only what you can do for them, but others in your network who can help them also.
- Use the power of social media to introduce people to one another. You can tag them in posts or make a direct introduction, i.e. “Kent, you should meet Dan. He’s a great guy!”
- Always keep a frame of mind of helping others and finding ways to add value to them.
- Invite people to be part of a mastermind, Facebook group, or other type of networking community.
3. Your Affirmation
The “most wonderful time of the year” is not so wonderful for many people. It’s easy to feel stressed or depressed because of the weather or a schedule that’s busier than usual. One of the best ways to help others get through the holidays is to be generous with your praise and words of affirmation.
When you praise others, it helps them feel valued and wanted. Your positive, encouraging words might be the most powerful gift you can give to others.
Some practical ways to be generous with your affirmation:
- Send a note to your supervisor or employees thanking them for something specific.
- Give someone a shout-out on social media (be sure to tag the person so they see it).
- When you’re a restaurant, or a retail or convenience store, look the server or cashier in the eye pay them a genuine compliment.
- Make a point to notice the little things people are doing right every day, and tell them.
- Don’t wait to tell others what they mean to you; express yourself today because none of us is guaranteed tomorrow.
During the holidays, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and not pay much attention to helping others. But all of us have needed help at times. The holidays are much more about giving than receiving. When you choose to be generous with your time, connections, and praise, you’ll not only help others—you’ll be blessed yourself.
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