The start of a new year always gets us reflecting on the past, present, and future. As we look ahead to 2017, what can we do to make it a year of gratitude and growth?

 

We all know how easy resolutions are to break. Perhaps you already missed an evening at the gym or neglected to floss your teeth this morning. It’s easy to get discouraged and give up quickly once you’ve veered off your intended path. So instead of making the clichéd New Year’s resolutions, let’s think of simple acts that can shape 2017 into a year of bringing ourselves and others joy and encouragement so that we can all live life to the fullest.

 

Together, we aim to:

 

Thank our teachers. They spend their days molding the minds of our children—and can get just as stressed out at work as the rest of us! A simple note of gratitude or small gift can go a long way in making them realize they are appreciated. Or perhaps it’s a teacher from your past who left a lasting impact, shaping who you are today. And remember, not every teacher works in a classroom. So many people around us have taught us meaningful lessons, and perhaps we didn’t realize it at the time. To go the next step, take the advice of Dr. Maya Angelou: “When you get, give. When you learn, teach.” Paying it forward helps turn ripples into tidal waves of gratitude and growth.

 

Put our money where our hearts are. Every dollar we spend, even on shoestring budgets, can speak volumes about our values. We know how impactful supporting small local businesses can be. Let’s go a step further and find out where our hard earned money can have the greatest effect. Our December blog featured businesses created by or employing adults with autism whose products are available for purchase online. If your business is in the Massachusetts area, Flutie Spectrum Enterprises can help with your mailing, shredding, and assembly needs.

 

Value our time. Lots of us put a tremendous amount of thought into where and how we spend our money. But not enough of us put a similar amount of energy into considering where and how we spend our time. After all, it is our most valuable asset. How many hours in your day are dedicated to activities that bring you and the people around you joy? Do you have a special skill you could offer as a pro bono service for a nonprofit? Volunteering at one of the Flutie Foundation’s annual events is another great way to have fun and have an impact on families living with autism: http://www.flutiefoundation.org/volunteer.

 

Together with you in 2017,

The Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation Team