It's heeeeeere: the official start of the holiday season. From now until the end of the year it's probably going to be go-go-go for most of you. Places to go; people to see; parties to be partied. Yes, it can be very hectic, but let's not kid ourselves — it's an awful lot of fun as well. Plus, before you know it, it'll all be over and the January chill will be knocking on your door. Maybe we can all try to be in the moment as much as possible through this season so that we can fully appreciate the time spent with family, friends, and loved ones. Oh, and let's not forget about gifts! If you're anything like me, giving presents is just as wonderful as receiving them...maybe even more so. But, there's actually another kind of giving that gets me the MOST excited this time of year — a kind of giving that deals in gestures both large and small, and that gives back in the most amazingly resonant ways. If you've been following this blog for a while, you probably know that I'm talking about our 29-Day Giving Challenge.
Wow. It doesn't seem like two(!) entire years have passed since we did our first Giving Challenge, but when I think about it, SO much has happened in the those years (for me, in particular, the biggest occurrence was obviously the birth of my daughter, Zoe, last year). One thing I love about the Giving Challenge is that it offers me a time to reflect on everything in my life — to take stock of all that I have and everything that's happening around me. It's such a profound experience that I now look forward to the challenge way before we announce it. Speaking of...let me make this official and say that it gives me great pleasure to announce our 2013 29-Day Giving Challenge!
For those of you who are new to the Challenge, here’s the story in a nutshell: the inspiration came from this NY Times article about Cami Walker, creator of the original 29-Day Giving Challenge. 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. We decided to give it a go in 2011 (and again last year), and I can attest to the power of the experience. So, we’re doing it again and we want you to join us.
First, we’re going to exercise our giving muscles by giving away the following (over $1200 in Capes Coaching services/programs!):
- One (1) 3-Session Private Coaching package (valued at $600), consisting of three 45-minute career coaching sessions with me via telephone
- One (1) Artists In Action Complete Downloadable Coaching Program (valued at $495); details of the program can be viewed here
- One (1) Private Coaching session (valued at $200), consisting of one 45-minute career coaching session with me via telephone
That’s right, three lucky participants who complete the challenge will win one of the above. How do you become one of the lucky three? Here are the details:
- The Capes Coaching 2013 29-Day Giving Challengebegins on Friday, November 29th, and ends on Friday, December 27th.
- 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 27th, 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 winning one of the career coaching prizes we’re giving away. 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 3rd, 2013.
- Sometime during the second week of January, five eligible participants will be chosen as the recipients of the giveaway prizes (based on their emailed paragraph).
Let’s do a Cliff’s Notes version, just for the sake of simplicity:
- Challenge runs from 11/29/2013 – 12/27/2013.
- 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 01/03/2014.
- Feel proud that you completed the challenge, and maybe you’ll hear from us during the second week of January…
As always, 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 get involved in this, the bigger the difference!
There you have it. Now get out there are start giv...oh, wait. There's a holiday this week, isn't there? Let's not forget about that in all of the giving excitement. So, I want to wish all of you a very Happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy the holiday...remember what you’re thankful for...and then get ready to start giving!