A New Year’s Challenge

I don’t know about you, but I’m not necessarily making any new year’s resolutions. Instead, I’ve set a few goals and one specific challenge for 2015.

A New Year's Challenge

Okay, maybe that’s just semantics, but I recently read that only 8% of resolutions are kept each year. Now I’m not a mathematician, but that’s not great odds. So, I’m staying away from the word resolution!

Here’s my challenge:

Each week this year, I want to send at least one person a hand-written note of encouragement. That’s probably only 5-10 minutes per week. And I really want to do it, so I’m challenging myself to get it done. (I’m pretty competitive, so if I call it a challenge…Game on!)

Why do I want to do this? Well, for one, I’ve been encouraged this way.

When I lost my father, I received card after card (along with phone calls and texts) that helped me get through perhaps the toughest season of my life. I can’t tell you how much they meant to me…to know people were thinking of me, praying for me, and hurting with me. It’s been nearly six years and I still have every one of them.

A New Year's Challenge

Those cards gave me a sense of hope, and I want to share that with others.

In fact, would you consider doing this with me?

Now if you’re like me, your first thought is “Who am I going to send that many cards to?”

You don’t have to know all 52 right now. You just need one to get started. I’ll bet someone has even ran through your mind already.

I mean, everyone needs encouragement, but if you check your Facebook timeline, Twitter feed, or prayer request list, I bet you’ll find plenty of specific opportunities.

Your note could also be a congratulations or word of thanks. I’m sure some folks you know have done some pretty cool stuff lately. And there’s always someone to thank! (Like those awesome volunteers who work in the church nursery…they change diapers for kids who aren’t even theirs!)

Or perhaps you’re thinking “A whole year…that’s a long commitment.”


But even if you don’t make it all year…even if you send just one card…that’s one more than someone would have received if you hadn’t done it at all. And that’s a good thing!

If you’re like me and you’ve received cards during a tough time, you know how much they mean. Do you have an example to share? How did it make you feel?

Not a card writer? Then commit to one text or email per week instead.

I really hope you’ll join me. If you plan to, please leave a comment below letting me know. Share this post and ask others to join us! In 2015, let’s choose to be encouragers!

Happy New Year!

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Chrissy Smith Gunning

    I would like to try this…..

  • Elizabeth

    Definitely would like to get more notes out this year!

  • Emily

    Great idea and goal! A hand written note is such a wonderful thing and it’s becoming a lost art. And the Bible says be and encourager and you yourself will be encouraged. I will need to research where that verse is though. ( hope I’m not making that one up)

    • Hey, either way I think it’s true! I know when I’ve sent a card out, I’ve been encouraged just as much, if not more, than the other person!

  • Rachel Duffer Phillips

    Wow, this feels like you’ve been inside my head – writing notes has been a “resolution” of mine many times that I’ve never followed through on. Maybe I’ll call it a goal and get it done this year! Great post!

    • Thanks, Rachel. Yes…call it a goal! You can do it!

  • Dale Lucy

    Stephen, I love to send cards and I do send them often. Unfortunately, by the time you enter your senior years most of the cards you send are sympathy cards. I will accept your challenge to send more encouragement cards, just because, in 2015. We can’t begin to measure the value of this, for the sender and the receiver !

    • Right on! Thanks for accepting the challenge with me!