31 Ways You Can Practice Kindness Before the New Year
Being generous and showing kindness come naturally to some people.
But, for the rest of us, it is hard work.
We don’t think about it.
We aren’t used to it.
We haven’t seen it.
We don’t feel like it.
They don’t deserve it.
We have lots of reasons.
We also know that being kind and being generous brings a special joy. Extraordinary happiness that you can’t find anywhere else.
So, here is a simple list of things we can do every day to practice.
- Dec 1st – Send a text message to a friend. Make their day!
- Dec 2nd – Thank a soldier. Write a note or send a care package. There are a lot of organizations that help soldiers and families during the holidays. Feel free to inbox me for ideas.
- Dec 3rd – Tip a server or help staff generously. (If you can spare it, tip way more than even makes sense!)
- Dec 4th – Pack a bag of old clothes to donate. Inbox me if you need ideas of where to contribute; I have a list for you. (Drop them off today if you have time; if not, drop them off during errands later in the week.)
- Dec 5th – Facetime (or video call) a distant family member. Just a smile, let them know you are thinking about them and whatever else will make THEIR day. If you don’t have their actual phone number, all major social media apps offer video calling.
- Dec 6th – Be NICE at work. BE so nice that people look at you differently. Be genuine. Smile. Greet people. If this is out of character for you, all the better! If this is normal for you, take it to the next level. You got this!
- Dec 7th – Take a few extra steps at home, near your office, or while running errands to pick up some trash. Go out of your way to pick up trash and properly dispose of it.
Feel Free to Adapt This List.
I used a simple pattern to create this list, but you can change any of these out. Just find a few essential areas, and then pick four or five activities that meet your budget and schedule.
- Monday – Focus on co-workers.
- Tuesday – Neighbors and community
- Wednesday – Friends
- Thursday – Write and send notes
- Friday – Be generous!
- Saturday – Volunteer
- Sunday – Family
- Dec 8th – Happy Birthday (or Anniversary or Congratulations) Call! Instead of texting your friend happy birthday or sending a message or post on social media…do a video call!!
- Dec 9th – Write a thank-you note to a friend, a service provider, a staff member, a boss. Extra points if you drop it in the mail with an actual stamp!
- Dec 10th – Fill a tip jar! Make a special effort to give generously in a tip jar this week. Whether a server, a specialty provider (nail tech or barber), or even a virtual tip jar. Be creative and generous!
- Dec 11th – Volunteer for a few hours at a soup kitchen or food bank. Many charity organizations need volunteers, so don’t limit yourself. If you need ideas, feel free to inbox me. Note: some organizations may require volunteer applications, but don’t let that hold you up. Start the process today and get your hours in as soon as you can.
- Dec 12th – Invite family or friends over for dinner or take some food to someone. If you cook and enjoy hosting, then invite a family or friends over. If you don’t cook, don’t worry. Stop by the grocery and pick up some fresh rotisserie and sides from the deli. Too easy!
- Dec 13th – Bring donuts (or a fruit tray) to work! Consider individually wrapped items if appropriate for your workplace. Send a few co-workers a gift card for a pastry at their favorite coffee shop if you work from home.
- Dec 14th – Help a neighbor. Offer to run an errand or pick up groceries. Perhaps move some furniture. Maybe even help set up a Christmas tree. Lots of opportunities here.
As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. We need not wait to see what others do. – Mahatma Gandhi
- Dec 15th – Invite a distant friend for lunch or happy hour. (Don’t overthink this one.) Just think of a friend you’ve wanted to catch up with, but life has just been busy. Nothing serious and no agenda; just enjoy some good food and catch up.
- Dec 16th – Send a Christmas Card to a neighbor or distant friend. Choose someone that has never received a card from you before. Extra points again for an actual stamp.
- Dec 17th – Tip your Mail Carrier! Write a note to your mail carrier and include a tip. Extra points if you know your mail carrier by name! If you have different carriers every day, thank the team of carriers in your note. If you use a PO Box, take the letter to the counter and thank them personally.
- Dec 18th – Help deliver holiday baskets or Christmas presents for a local charity.
- Dec 19th – Host a family facetime or zoom call! Get “everyone” together for the holidays.
- Dec 20th – Get to work early and leave notes and little presents for your co-workers. Be sure to write messages that are kind, generous and thoughtful. Little presents can be as simple as candy bags, tree ornaments, handmade gifts, or even gift cards. For teleworkers, consider how to send e-cards or perhaps even have flowers or gifts delivered!
- Dec 21st – Prepare a handful (or a few dozen) gift bags and hand them out randomly as you run errands and see people throughout the day. Gift bags should include originally packed individual items (since you are giving them to strangers). You can also include an encouraging note.
There are three ways to ultimate success: The first way is to be kind. The second way is to be kind. The third way is to be kind. – Fred Rogers
- Dec 22nd – Invite your closest friends to happy hour (in person or virtually) and just have fun. Laugh, tell stories, celebrate them and let them know how much you appreciate them. Be sure to send a gift card or even have happy hour delivered to them if you are doing it virtually.
- Dec 23rd – Time for handwritten and hand-delivered holiday greetings. Think about people that could really use a special holiday greeting. Handwritten is key, even if you have terrible penmanship like me. The letter will still be meaningful to the person that receives it.
- Dec 24th – Deliver a care package to your local police or fire station. Freshly baked goodies from a local bakery are a great option! Be sure to include notes of appreciation.
- Dec 25th – Tip the Amazon Delivery Associate! (Or UPS, FedEx, etc.) If you know you are expecting packages on Christmas day, plan ahead to show appreciation.
- Dec 26th – Park and Walk. As you are out and about on this busy day, be intentional about selecting a parking lot far from the entrance. Leave that perfect parking spot for someone else. (and get extra steps in today!)
- Dec 27th – Bring a care package for the custodian at work. Please make a special effort to seek them out and shower them with appreciation.
- Dec 28th – Take time to thank people generously today. Ask their name. Say thank you and use their name. Make eye contact, slow down your transaction and let them know you appreciate them. Make their day!
Remember, kindness isn’t about the recipient.
It isn’t about what is deserved or earned. Kindness doesn’t need a reason. We practice kindness because we can. Showing kindness is our ability to demonstrate our gratitude and appreciation for our own life and blessings.
- Dec 29th – Go for a walk or jog with a friend. Join your friend for a workout or yoga session. If you live somewhere warm, go for a bike ride. Get out and do something different with a friend.
- Dec 30th – Clip an article. Ok, I know everyone doesn’t get an old-fashioned newspaper anymore, but we can still do this. Ideally, you would see an article that features a friend or relative, and you would cut it out, attach a note, a drop it in the mail. If you can find an article, definitely do this!! It means the world to someone. The second option, see a social media post that meant something to you and either print it and attach a note (best option) or take a screenshot and send a text message.
- Dec 31st – Donate money to a non-profit! This is one of the most important days of the year to donate to charity, and they will appreciate you!! So plan ahead and donate before the clock strikes midnight!
A leader’s coach and skilled communicator, Micah Maxwell is the founder of DiamondCrest International. Over the last twenty-five years, he has guided thousands of leaders to find purpose and meaning in their personal and professional lives. He helps people who want more out of life but don’t know how to get it by finding a purpose that empowers them to create real impact in the world around them.