person tending to their garden

Your Result

Use your time, energy, and money to support the people and causes you value

To be happier, consider a habit that will help you use your time, energy, and money to support the people and causes you value.

Why this aim is likely to make you happier

When we’re caught up in our day-to-day routines, it’s easy to lose track of how we’re spending our time, energy, and money. We all have demands on those resources, and often we don’t prioritize investments that put our values out into the world. 

But when we use our time, energy, and money to support the people and causes we value, we know we’re making a difference in a concrete and meaningful way. Our actions can foster a sense of community and help us to support something larger than ourselves. Also, action is often an antidote to anxiety. When we’re feeling overwhelmed by the news, we often feel better when we take action to do what we can, in our own individual ways, to address the pain of the world.

Aims you might consider

Set up an automatic monthly donation to a trusted organization that furthers a cause you believe in

Schedule a regular Empower Hour—set aside time to do research, contact representatives, volunteer, or share resources

Set aside one day per month to volunteer in your community, or donate skills to a cause that’s important to you

Know Yourself Better

Self-knowledge is an essential aspect of happiness, because we can create a happy life only on the foundation of our own nature, our own values, and our own interests. 

As you consider ways to use your time, energy, and money to support the people and causes you value​​, ask yourself:

  • What aspect of your life fills you with the most purpose?
  • What values are important to you, and how might you use your time, energy, or money to support them? For instance, you could donate money to a voter-registration organization, and volunteer your time to help register people get registered.
  • Write your personal manifesto. What are the rules, mottos, or values you want to guide your life?
  • What organizations do the work that most reflect your values?

A few notes of caution…

  • Even the smallest actions add up over time. If you can’t afford to make a big donation, a small recurring donation can still have a big impact.

Consider your Tendency. Learn whether you’re an Obliger, Questioner, Upholder, or Rebel by taking the
free Four Tendencies Quiz.

  • If you’re an Obliger, joining a group can offer the outer accountability you need. 
  • If you’re a Questioner, remember your “why.”
  • If you’re an Upholder, put your Empower Hour or volunteering time on the calendar.
  • If you’re a Rebel, consider how your actions support your identity.