16 Ways to Be Kind in 2016

Make 2016 an amazing year by helping others and showing appreciation. Why? Being kind and grateful can decrease anxiety and improve self-satisfaction, but most importantly, it makes people happy.

Set a goal to be kind in 2016. Here are some actionable ideas to get you started:

  1. Write a thank-you note. Send heartfelt words to someone who went above and beyond for you. This could be a family member, friend, teacher, co-worker, or store clerk.
  2. Call a relative. Has it been a while since you’ve spoken to an elderly aunt or grandparent? Pick up the phone on your lunch break.
  3. Send a greeting card. Skip email and write a small note to a friend. Tell them you’re thinking about them, even on the busiest of days.
  4. Bake treats to share. Whip up a batch of your favorite cookies or bars and take them to work. They’re sure to make everyone with a sweet tooth smile!
  5. Donate unneeded items. Fill a box with clothes you’ve outgrown or kitchen gadgets collecting dust in the back of the pantry. Others might find them useful and affordable at thrift-store prices.
  6. Walk a dog. Visit an animal shelter, pet rescue group, or pet-owning neighbor. Offer to spend an hour behind a leash to give the dog some exercise and socialization.
  7. Volunteer your time. Be a reading tutor at a local school or offer to help with a community project. Just an hour a week can inspire others.
  8. Count your blessings. Start a gratitude journal, and write down things in your life that you’re grateful for each day. This counts as being kind to yourself.
  9. Make breakfast. Bake a favorite coffeecake recipe on Sunday morning for the family, or surprise your spouse with scrambled eggs and toast before work. It sure beats another morning of cold cereal!
  10. Visit the homebound. Go to a nursing home or veterans’ retirement center. Ask the activities director if you can help with a project or share a talent, such as playing piano, with the residents.
  11. Shovel snow or mow grass for a neighbor. Help someone who has mobility issues or their hands full with a new baby.
  12. Pay it forward. Next time you order a gourmet coffee or grab a quick lunch, offer to pick up the tab for the person behind you in line.
  13. Love yourself. Splurge on a colorful bouquet for your home, or give yourself permission to spend time doing a hobby you love.
  14. Give a compliment. Next time you’re in a store, be honest and tell the woman next to you that you love her hairstyle or that her kids are simply adorable. It’ll make her day!
  15. Help a colleague. Is a co-worker buried under a big project? Offer to pick up part of the slack or run some of her personal errands to lighten her load.
  16. #TakeBackYourMorning. The way you start your day can be a key indicator for the way you approach challenges throughout. Take a pledge to be intentional about your the start of your day. #TakeBackYourMorning and tell us how you did via social media.

It doesn’t take much to be kind in 2016. Commit to doing just one of these ideas each week to put pep in your step.

Image source: Flickr