This post is part of the January synchroblog “Serving Others In The New Year”
I will put a list of all the synchroblog links at the end of this post when they become available.
A few years ago I began the new tradition of choosing one word as a theme for the upcoming year. The idea is that instead of making a list of specific New Year’s resolutions you choose one word that will serve as a sort of guide or inspiration for the whole year.
As I began this year I had several words that were floating around in my head but I couldn’t get comfortable choosing any one of them because they all seemed too “little” to be a theme for the whole year. And then it hit me that they were all connected to small acts of kindness that I had the opportunity to do or that had been done for me and “voila” my word for the year became “Kindness”.
I’m a firm believer that one of the best ways to make a big difference is through the little things so I am really excited about my 2013 word!
One thing that I’ve learned in the past few years is that I have to be intentional about my one word or else I end up forgetting about it the same way I often forgot about the list of New Year’s resolutions that I used to make. For example, in 2011 my word was “Awaken” and I scheduled some specific activities on my calendar throughout the year, such as meditation, gardening, reading poetry, practicing silence etc., to help me stay connected to my one word.
To help me remember to be guided and influenced by the word “Kindness” this year I have made a list of little things that I am putting on my calendar. I have a list of 24 things and plan to scatter them out so there are a couple of little things for me to do each month.
As always, I hope that this one word will help me become a better me and at the same time have a positive impact on the world I live in.
Here’s my list:
(1) Send a card or letter to someone letting them know how they have positively impacted my life.
(2) Pick a day of running errands and shopping to focus on people I can open doors for, help carry things to and from their car, let them go ahead of me in a waiting line, give them my seat in a waiting area or any other way that I can be kind on the spot to a stranger.
(3) Donate a favorite possession.
(4) Bring a snack to work to share with my co-workers.
(5) Offer someone an unexpected tip.
(6) Invite someone who is alone over for dinner.
(7) Compliment a stranger sincerely.
(8) Listen intently.
(9) Give someone a flower just because.
(10) Donate books to the local library.
(11) Bake something delicious and give it to a neighbor.
(12) Buy some extra groceries and take them to the local food bank.
(13) Leave a favorite book in a public place with a note.
(14) Tell family members what is special about them.
(15) Send an anonymous gift.
(16) Leave an extra big tip for a waitperson.
(17) Return someone’s shopping cart for them.
(18) Pay for the person behind me in a drive thru.
(19) Take the time to let management know how much I appreciate
a specific employee and the way they served me.
(20) Take my already read magazines to a senior center.
(21) Send a care package to someone that is spending a significant time away from home (a military person or a college student for example).
(22) Drop off something delicious at a local fire station.
(23) Pick up trash everywhere I go for one weekend.
(24) Slip a $20 gas card or public-transportation pass into someone’s
shopping bag with a note.
Here is a list of the other contributions to this month’s synchroblog:
- Glenn Hager – Finding the Joy in Loving Others
- Chris Jefferies – A Light on a Path
- Carol Kuniholm – Learning Compassion
- Liz Dyer – Little Things
- Jeremy Myers – Serving Others in 2013
- Kathy Escobar – Three Things about one Word: Serving