As 2014 rapidly came to a close, I found myself straddling the line between the past and the future, as I reflected on the ups, downs, and the middle ground of the past year and looked forward to the endless opportunities that the new year brings. As I do every year, I excitedly am preparing for the upcoming year by dreaming new dreams and then devising plans to make these dreams realities. As I end my first year as a co-administrator for The Kindness Blog (thank you, again, Mike O'Connor for this incredible opportunity), I decided to come up with a list of resolutions related to being kind.
Being kind sounds simple enough, and in general, it is actually. That said, sometimes, I have a way of complicating matters by either over thinking things or leaving things up to chance, both of which can sabotage the best of my intentions. So this year, I decided to focus on intentionally being kind to myself and to others to make it a daily practice and a way of living and being, not just a lofty concept. So I present to you these ten resolutions for 2015:
By far, this may prove to be the biggest challenge for me, as I struggle to quiet my "monkey mind" for more than a few minutes at any given time, but I know that adopting a meditation practice would help to manage the stress, anxiety, and depression that sometimes overwhelm me and to help me to be more present.
Listen more, talk less.
This is another challenge for me, as I am known for my gift of gab, but sometimes, the greatest gift you can offer to someone is an ear to bend. It feels incredibly good to be heard.
Working out does my body, mind, and baby soul a world of good, and taking care of myself then enables me to better take care of others.
Offer sincere compliments whenever possible.
Who doesn't like to hear that they look nice or did a great job on a task?! OK, I know that it can be difficult to accept compliments sometimes, but deep down, most people like it. So in a world of critics, I intend to be one who compliments.
Complaining, gossiping, criticizing, making negative comments, etc. seem to be in vogue these days, but this year, I want to bring positive self-talk and speaking kindly and respectfully to others back into fashion.
As a parent, I try to ensure that my daughters eat healthy and well-balanced meals, while I will allow myself to either skip meals or make less than healthy food choices. This year, I intend to return to eating "clean" (fruits, vegetables, whole grains, unprocessed foods, etc.) and drinking more water to make sure that I am healthy enough to do all of the ordinary and extraordinary things I have planned for myself and others.
Perform random acts of kindness regularly.
I love to surprise my friends and family by sending them cards, flowers, or small gifts for no reason at all, in addition to making a stranger's day possibly brighter by paying for their beverage, leaving change in a vending machine, donating money to a charity, and so on. It's a practice that I look forward to doing more often, because no matter how big or how small a kind act is, it matters.
Say "thank you."
Whether it is spoken or written, two of the most meaningful words are "thank you". So, when you appreciate someone or something, give thanks and make it known. By the way, thank you for reading this!
Say "I love you" and back it up with actions.
Too often, love is assumed or implied, but it is most powerful when it is expressed in words and complimentary behaviors. It can be scary to profess your love to another person, trust me, I know, but it can be a risk worth taking. The world definitely needs more love.
Be honest with myself and others.
The truth may hurt, but I would rather hear the ugly truth than be told a pretty lie. The truth shall set you and others free, and freedom is one of the kindest gifts of all.
This is not an exhaustive resolution list or an original resolution list, but it is a list to focus my intentions on making it a kinder year for myself and others. I hope that you will resolve to do the same . Happy New and Kind Year!
Just one thing each day . . .
Kristi Jo Jedlicki of Kindness Blog resides in Kentucky, where basketball, horses, and bourbon reign supreme, and not necessarily in that order. She says she is "a perfectly flawed Southern girl who dreams big and has stories to tell."
This post originally appeared on Kindness Blog.