November was the month of gratitude – we filled our newsfeed with all the things we are thankful for. We mentioned our loved ones, favorite people, events and happenings… It sure was heart warming all right, but I think we can step it up a notch! What have you done to make someone else thankful? Did you see your name in people’s newsfeed! Were they grateful for knowing you? Have you gone out of your way to make someone else feel blessed and appreciated?
On December 5th I am participating in the third annual Thankful Hearts Project. – Join me! The day is a celebration of life started by my dearest friend, Mary. Her husband had a risky heart operation on December 5th four years ago. Mary is an incredibly giving and positive person. She decided that they should celebrate her husband’s cardiac surgeons, cardiologists, medical staff and support system by doing good deeds towards strangers on the anniversary of his successful operation.
I encourage you to join us December 5th by doing random acts of kindness – in honor of Mary’s husband, Bryan – and anyone else you know who might be struggling with a medical issue.
I went through the RandomActsofKindness website and found a great amount of inspiration for ways that you can touch someone’s life. They had ideas ranging from small and quick to big and very impactful. In case you need creative suggestions to participate in the Thankful Hearts Project – here are my 100 favorite RAOK activities. There is a great variety of tasks; some cost money, but most of them are free and require little to no planning.
This category is my favorite, the ideas are simple and FREE. They are really just attitude adjustments. Instead of going through life thinking: “me me me”, try to broaden your horizon. Find opportunities to make someone else smile, remind them that others care and that they aren’t alone. You only run the risk of making someone else’s day!
- Let someone go in front of you in line.
- Say “bless you” when someone sneezes.
- Compliment a stranger – sincerely.
- Let the car next to you merge into traffic.
- Hold the door open for the people behind you.
- Genuinely ask the person helping you at the bank/ doctor/ store/ restaurant how their day is going.
- Be on time.
- Call an older relative to see how they are doing.
- Scroll through your phone and send a kind text message to contacts # 23 and # 36.
- Send a handwritten birthday card to the next Facebook friend with a birthday.
- Offer to help someone.
- Forward an email with a money saving coupon to a friend.
- Be kind to someone you dislike.
- Help a fellow shopper at the grocery store.
- Offer to host a playdate for a friend’s child, so the parents can have a date night.
- Speak kindly of others – all the time.
- Return the shopping cart to the store – all the way inside.
- Give a stranger a coupon for an item they are buying.
- Talk to a stranger in an elevator instead of looking at your phone.
- Warmly hug the next friend you see.
Let’s not forget the people in our lives who matter the most. Taking our loved ones for granted is the biggest mistake we can make – ever… so pay CLOSE attention to this list – it’s can truly change a relationship/ marriage/ friendship.
- Hug the person next to you.
- Drop everything you are doing and play with your kids.
- Read a book out loud to someone.
- Rent a movie, buy popcorn and plan an movie night.
- Schedule a babysitter and make reservations for dinner.
- Send your spouse a sweet text.
- Leave a note with a knock-knock joke in your child’s lunch box.
- Clean your spouses car.
- Bring flowers to a relative’s house.
- Leave homemade cookies on your neighbor’s door step.
- Share your family’s holidays with someone who would otherwise be alone.
- Be a designated driver.
- Remember an important appointment for a friend, and ask them about it.
- Thank your parents.
- Thank your children.
- Play a board game.
- Take out the trash.
- Bring groceries to a sick friend.
- Make dinner for an elderly relative.
- Kiss a boo-boo.
We spend most of our waking hours with our fellow coworkers, so it is important for the atmosphere to be positive otherwise you will quickly feel drained and tired. Your attitude carries a lot of weight and can change things very quickly, either positively or negatively. These tips may cost a few dollars, but sometimes extending the olive branch to a coworker you don’t care for is the best investment in your own sanity and happiness – and career.
- Give credit to someone else.
- Bring snacks into the office.
- Share a funny article with your coworkers.
- Thank a client for their business.
- Ask the person next to you if you can take one thing off their to-do list.
- Water the plants in the office.
- Clean the dishes in the sink.
- Throw away old food in the refrigerator.
- Compliment your boss.
- Pick up lunch for everyone.
- Fill the copier and printer with paper.
- Put flowers in the common area.
- Bring soup to someone who is home sick.
- Write a letter of recommendation for a job seeker.
- Let someone park in your parking spot.
- Donate to a coworker’s charitable cause.
- Take work home to complete after hours.
- Come in early.
- Offer to drive your colleague to the airport.
- Compliment a team member on their report.
Perhaps the world would be a better place if we all walked through life thinking: “a stranger is a friend we haven’t yet met!” I know life isn’t all cotton candy and unicorns, but we often times view the world and strangers with hardened hearts. My husband often tells me to control my “inner Oprah” – but if you were to unleash your “inner Oprah” you would do some of the following things – and love every minute of it!
- Put money in a parking meter.
- Ask someone about their heritage.
- Celebrate a holiday that is foreign to you, in honor of a friend.
- Talk to others while waiting in line.
- Pay for someone’s coffee in the morning.
- Donate magazines and books to a hospital waiting room.
- Pray with someone, regardless of their religion.
- Make a care package to someone in need.
- Leave quarters in the candy machine.
- Order dessert for the table next to you at the restaurant.
- Give a gift card to a complete stranger.
- Donate your used clothes to a woman’s shelter.
- Adopt a family, not just during the Holidays.
- Read to the elderly.
- Drive someone without transportation to an appointment.
- Host a charity event for a local family in need.
- Send flowers to the oldest person you know.
- Deliver a handwritten note to a local business who treated you well.
- Leave a big tip.
- Complete a survey and compliment someone.
Be Kind to Yourself:
Remembering to be good to yourself is as important as making nice with friends and strangers. We can’t fully love someone else if we don’t love and appreciate ourselves. It may sound like a cheesy Hallmark card, but when your outlook is positive, the days are brighter, your sleep is sounder and the world seems more beautiful. So don’t forget to be kind to YOU too!
- Learn a new skill
- Buy yourself a dress.
- Schedule an appointment to be pampered.
- Laugh more.
- Have a good cry.
- Allow yourself to be bored.
- Read a book.
- Drink a new tea.
- Try on clothes you wouldn’t normally wear.
- Keep a daily gratitude journal.
- Write a letter to yourself.
- Go for a run.
- Bake your favorite cake.
- Become an organ donor.
- Introduce yourself to a stranger.
- Forgive an old friend.
- Smile when people expect you to be upset.
- Plan a vacation.
- Start a new hobby.
- Volunteer your time.
Once you have completed your Random Act of Kindness on December 5, please go to the Thankful Hearts Project’s Facebook page to tell us about your good deed and how it was received! My favorite part of the day is reading what everyone did and how it made someone’s day special.
Please print these cards and leave one at “the scene” – help us spread the word about this incredibly giving and happiness-inducing day!