Words of Wisdom

31 Little Acts of Kindness to Kick Off the New Year

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Happy New Year, lovelies!

As we finish the last of the cookies, take down our trees, and Hallmark Channel goes back to playing it’s non-holiday movie collection (still addictive, but with added variety), it can feel a little like all the magic is being drained from the world. The nights seem longer and everyone seems to retreat back into their own lives. It’s as if the planet has gone into a dark, cold hibernation.

However, when retreating seems like the easy thing to do, we need to reach out even more to hold on to those warm and fuzzy holiday season vibes. As cheesy as it sounds, the holiday spirit can continue to thrive in the darkest winter and beyond if we nurture it. A little kindness goes a long way into this world. Something as small as a smile can be like a cup of hot cocoa on freezing night. Who knows? You could be the spark that starts the wildfire as bright as the sun.

Here are 31 one ways to spread a little more kindness in 2019.

  1. Share a smile with everyone you meet.
  2. Hold the door as often as you can.
  3. Clean out your closet and donate all your unwanted clothes.
  4. Pay for a stranger’s coffee.
  5. Compliment a stranger’s outfit.
  6. Text someone just to say hi.
  7. Bring in something yummy for your coworkers.
  8. Email a former teacher or professor and tell them thanks for the impact they made in your life.
  9. Treat a loved one to lunch.
  10. Give your best friend a social media shout-out about how awesome they are.
  11. Shovel an elderly neighbor’s sidewalk. (Or rake their leaves depending on the season.)
  12. Spend an afternoon volunteering.
  13. Instead of wishing someone a Happy Birthday on Facebook, mail them a a card with a heartfelt note inside.
  14. Spend an afternoon making memories with your grandparents.
  15. Send a care package full of treats to a long distance friend/relative, a relative in college, or sign up with an organization that sends them to the troops overseas.
  16. Treat someone to lunch.
  17. Make a donation to a charity or your church.
  18. Really listen.
  19. Pick up some $10.00 gift cards and send them out randomly to people.
  20. Make someone a playlist of songs you think they would love.
  21. Leave a positive review for your favorite author.
  22. Offer to babysit so a friend can get a much-needed break.
  23. Do a little baking and pass out treats to your your neighbors.
  24. Leave an anonymous note for someone who could use a pick-me-up.
  25. Say a prayer for someone.
  26. Recommend a a great book or podcast you think someone would love.
  27. Thank your parents for everything they’ve done for you.
  28. Call your grandparents.
  29. Send someone flowers just because.
  30. Stay the extra five minutes.
  31. Say “I love you” whenever possible.

New Year New Goals

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Happy 2018!

It’s the first day of a new year. We have a new chapter to fill with exciting new adventures. It is our chance to wipe the slate clean, reboot, and plot a new course. We vow to make it a better year than the one before, to improve the things we find less than stellar about ourselves.

I’ve never been much of a New Year’s Day resolutions kind of girl. The connotation alone puts a ridiculous amount of pressure on a person to complete them. Is it any wonder why so many are broken before we hit double-digit dates in January?

So this year, rather than make resolutions I’ve decided to simply set some goals I would like to achieve this year.

Read more books.

I’ll admit my To Be Read pile was seriously neglected in 2017. I would hit up my local Barnes and Noble and buy new reading material with every intention of diving right in. Yet, I would get distracted mostly by my phone or another screen and put it aside. This year, I am channeling my inner Rory Gilmore and tackling that TBR pile head on. My ultimate goal is two books per month, but, if I do one month, I will consider that a battle won. This leads me to…

Break my phone addiction.

I seriously have a problem with my phone use. Last year, I let myself get consumed during my lunch break and weekend mornings with aimlessly surfing the web on this tiny portable screen. I know it is not a healthy way to live and severely cut into my reading time. This year, I want to learn to limit my screen time in order to focus on my writing and books in 2018.

Walk more.

I’m not a girl who believes in weight loss goals. I never liked the idea of becoming a slave to the number on the scale and seeing food and the mirror as the enemy. I get frustrated waiting for results and end up quitting when they don’t come fast enough. At least, that is how my mind interprets it. I would rather make a small healthy change and see what it results in. So this year, I am committing to hitting that treadmill for at least two miles 5-6 times per week. It is a small thing I know I can easily incorporate into my routine without feeling I am making some radical life change.

Write and publish more fanfiction.

I’m a nerd who loves her fanfiction. I love to read it, and I love to write it. I’ve published a couple pieces over the last year, but I really want to up my production in 2018. I want to explore new fandoms like Major Crimes and The Resident and continue to produce pieces for old favorites like Gilmore Girls. However, my real goal is to finish the pieces I start and to create stories I would be proud to see published on my favorite fanfiction website. This a smaller goal that I believe will help me with my next one…

Finish writing at least one novel.

Remember how I was so eager for NaNoWriMo? Yeah, that didn’t exactly pan out for me. Turns out, if I try to force myself to binge write, I go blank. I’m starting to realize that I may not be the type who can focus on one project at a time. (At least not initially.) I think I’m going to take a page from Rory Gilmore’s multi-subject studying technique (the one she used for her finals senior year) and allow myself to take on working on at least two novels. This allows me to let my creativity flow without the pressure to commit solely to one project. The only catch I have for myself is to complete a least one.

Be kinder to myself.

Of all my goals for 2018, I think this is the most important one. Even in my late-twenties, I tend to be really hard on myself. I beat myself up over my mistakes and obsess over my flaws. And what does all this negative self-talk get me? A stifled creative spirit and an unbearable and unrealistic need for perfection. The worst part is this is all self-inflicted. Well, I’m done. This year, I want to make the conscious choice to embrace who I am worts and all. It’s high time I gave up trying meet some stupid standard and just focused on being the me I can be. To quote the motto of my alma mater DeSales University, “Be who you are and be that well.”