My friends we are well into December and in the full swing of the holiday season. I don’t know about you, but there’s something in the air this time of year that gives me a sense of joy and hope.
I know many of my blogs recently have had a different tone than you may be used to from me. There have been a lot of politics, current affairs, and the state of the world, which is somewhat different than my regular tips on how to live a happy life. This week I’m gifting everyone a month long challenge that will not only benefit you, but those around you as well.
To end this year in a powerful, kind, uplifting way we are going to take it back to the basics. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that simple actions can make the biggest difference in our lives.
So, I am enrolling us all in my December Kindness Challenge.
Often times the world around us can harden us, wear us down, and turn us bitter, and we unknowingly can take this out on the people around us, or even close ourselves off from the world itself.
The simple intention of being kind can break down these barriers. Kindness can turn sadness to happiness, apathy to sympathy, and despair to hope… not just for those around you but for yourself too! I want us to end this year feeling well in mind, body, and spirit.
Let’s all commit to being kind this month (and I’d be jazzed, if you wanted to extend it to eternity).
I have laid out my kindness challenge checklist for you below. Feel free to print it out, make it a game for yourself, and give yourself brownie points (or maybe just a brownie ;)) for a job well done.
Doing good in the world doesn’t have to be difficult; you just have to be motivated. Let’s get to work!
1. Be kind with loving yourself first. Make yourself a priority. Take care of yourself. This challenge really won’t work if you are ignoring your own needs. Set aside some personal time each and every day.
2. Be kind in eye contact. We have closed ourselves off to the people around us. Make eye contact with those you pass in the streets, with those you see in stores, schools, in lines, and with your loved ones. Making eye contact is a simple, meaningful way to let the people around you know you truly see them. Earn happiness points for giving them a smile as well.
3. Be kind in your time. Volunteer work is an incredible act of kindness. Our time is so valuable, intend to use it for good.
4. Be kind in your patience. Allow yourself the time and space so you can be patient with those around you. The holidays can mean lots of long lines, crowded spaces, and many different personalities. Set an intention to bring patience to the chaos.
5. Be kind in letting your loved ones off the hook. December can mean lots of family time (or time with the people closest to you). We all know that family dynamics can push our buttons, leading to awkward interactions and hurt feelings. If you have annoying relatives, let them off the hook. Intend to take a deep breath and accept them for who they are, in this very moment annoying quirks and all. We can’t change others we can only change our actions.
6. Be kind in generosity. We have so much to be grateful for. Generosity, no matter how small is always appreciated. Intend to perform random acts of kindness to those around you. It could be as simple as buying a coffee or a meal, or holding the door for someone in passing.
7. Be kind in meaningful conversation. We are human beings who strive for connection and meaning. Give the gift of kindness by engaging meaningful, connecting conversation. Bonus points for kind conversations with people you don’t know.
8. Be kind in your presence. When you are with someone, are you truly with them? Do you give people your undivided attention? Intend to be with the ones around you. When people are with you, they want all of you. Give the gift of your presence.
9. Be kind in forgiveness. If you are holding resentment toward long standing feuds or even the current political climate, set the intention to forgive. It’s enough right now to be willing to forgive those who have wronged you. This action of willingness is the beginning of wiping the slate clean for the year ahead.
10. Be kind with your finances. Are there causes, charities, and organizations near and dear to your heart? Intend to give to those in need. No amount is too small, your funds will always be of benefit. Remember helping one we help all.
Let me know in the comments if you are in for the challenge! Keep us posted on how it’s going!
Michelle is Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life's Creative Director and resident writer. She has a degree in Journalism from Indiana University and is also a certified holistic health coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and registered yoga teacher with trainings with Anuttara Yoga Shala and Strala Yoga. Michelle has a deep desire to help people find happiness in all areas of their lives, and truly believes the Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life movement will bring lasting change to the world. Michelle splits her time between Florida and New York City and loves connecting with people from all over the world. If you'd like to contact her, she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org