How many times, over the course of your life, have you heard the period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day referred to as “The Season of Giving?” We’ve all participated in this metaphorical season in some capacity or another – usually by giving gifts to friends and loved ones. And as anyone knows, the best part about this ritual is seeing someone light up when a gift that you’ve given them really strikes a chord. It’s actually better than getting gifts (okay…most of the time!). Well, recently, I came across something that inspired me to take the idea of giving to another level and I decided that this would be the perfect time to do so, essentially making “The Season of Giving” earn its name. I want to introduce you to Capes Coaching’s 29-Day Giving Challenge.
The inspiration came from this NY Times article about Cami Walker, creator of the 29-Day Giving Challenge. I want to encourage you to read the article in order to get a little context for how Ms. Walker came to create this challenge. In a nutshell, during a particularly difficult time in her life, Ms. Walker took the advice of her spiritual teacher to give something away each day for 29 days. During that time, she journaled daily about her experience, and by the end of the 29 days she noticed a radical shift in her emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual energy – a profound change that had an indescribable affect on her entire life. She’s been sharing her story ever since, inspiring people around the world to take up the torch and embrace their spirit of generosity. I’m up to the challenge, and I want YOU to join me.
First, we’re going to exercise our giving muscles by rewardingeveryone who participates in – and finishes – the challenge with a copy of the Artists In Action Inner Balance package (valued at $77). And of those who complete the challenge, one lucky person will receive a 6-Session Private Coaching package (valued at $900), where they will get six 45-minute career coaching sessions with me via telephone. Do I have your attention now?
Here are the details of the challenge:
- The Capes Coaching 29-Day Giving Challengebegins on Friday, November 25th, and ends on Friday, December 23rd.
- Register here to participate. (You MUST register to be eligible for the giveaway)
- Each participant gives one thing away each day for the entire 29 days. These “gifts” can take any form and can be as large or small as you like. The idea is to get creative. Physical gifts and money are obvious (and they certainly count here), but think about the less obvious ways to give: a phone call to a friend in need of support, helping someone carry their groceries, an email of encouragement, dog-walking, making dinner, texting a compliment, just listening to someone who needs it, crafting something, offering your seat on the subway/bus – there is no limit to what you can gift. If you can think it, you can do it.
- Log all of your gifts. Whether you write complete journal entries or just jot down what the gift was and who it was to, keep a log of them because this will be your proof of completing the challenge.
- If you miss a day or you begin the challenge late: don’t sweat it. We’d like you to make up for the missed days by giving multiple gifts on the remaining days of the challenge. This is where we differ from Ms. Walker’s original “rules,” and we do so because of the giveaway. But, staying in the spirit of things, we don’t want you to overthink this or to stress out about it – this whole challenge is about the spirit of giving, not the prize at the end of the road. Again, even the tiniest gestures count. Think back on your day to see if you actually gave something that you might not have been aware of in the moment.
- To remain eligible for the giveaway, you must return to this page at least once during the challenge to share with us (in the comments below) one of your gifts. We’d love for you to come back as often as you like – the more examples we get, the better. Just make sure you do it at least one time.
- Once the challenge ends on December 23rd, email a list of all 29 of your gifts to firstname.lastname@example.org, along with a short paragraph detailing how you feel you would benefit from a complimentary coaching package. We know that this is a VERY busy time for many of you, so we’re giving you an extra week to email us, however, we MUST receive your email no later than January 1st, 2012.
- Sometime during the first week of January, all eligible participants will receive a downloadable copy of the Artists In Action Inner Balance package, and one person will be chosen (based on their emailed paragraph) as the recipient of the complimentary 6-session private coaching package.
Let’s do a Cliff’s Notes version, just for the sake of simplicity:
- Challenge runs from 11/25/2011 – 12/23/2011.
- Register here.
- Give one thing away each day for 29 days.
- Log your gifts.
- If you miss a day, or come to the challenge late, make up those missed gifts during the remainder of the challenge.
- Stop by this page at least once and comment on one of your gifts.
- Email a list of your 29 gifts and a paragraph about how you feel you would benefit from a coaching package to email@example.com no later than 01/01/2012.
- Get a free copy of the Artists In Action Inner Balance package (and maybe a 6-session coaching session!) during the first week of January.
I don’t know about you, but just thinking about this challenge makes me excited! And, of course, I’m going to be blogging about my experience along the way. I’d love to hear from anyone who wants to share their experience as well, so please don’t be shy – use the comments section below! And, if you know of anyone who you think would be interested in taking part in the challenge, pass along the info – the more people we can get involved in this, the bigger the difference we can make!
Before I head off, I want to wish everyone here a Happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy the holiday, remember what you’re thankful for, and get ready to give!
For additional guidelines, visit the official 29-Day Giving Challenge website.