With the holiday season upon us, it is time to not only reflect, but to figure out ways we can positively impact the lives of those around us. If being “nice” doesn’t come naturally to you, outlined below are some easy methods to integrate intentional thoughtfulness into your daily life.
1. Recognize important events in other people’s lives. Get a calendar for the upcoming year and put down all the birthdays, anniversaries, etc. for your family members and close friends. Purchase a boxed set of cards to fill out and mail at the beginning of each month for special events. If you have a niece, nephew, or grandchild, a $10 bill or gift card is always very welcome.
2. Pay it forward. Whenever something good happens to you, make it a rule to do something nice for someone else. For example, if someone allows you to go first in the checkout line, repay the favor the next day by paying for the coffee for the stranger behind you at Dunkin. Soon you will be looking for opportunities to do good and it will be the norm versus the exception.
3. Let it go. Obviously this can’t be applied in every situation, but make a conscious decision once a day/week/month to either not argue OR let the other person win the next argument. For example, a constant source of angst for me is when I do laundry, my husband won’t empty his pockets. Not a big deal until my favorite blouse is covered in ink from an exploded pen. Take a deep breath, and as Elsa would say, let it go. There, not so hard!
There are many additional ways to help others, such as volunteering in the community. However, if you practice being consciously thoughtful every day, in the long run it will be you who reaps the benefits of stronger relationships, being a role model if you have kids, and personal fulfillment from helping others.