A new year. That magical time of year where (it feels) a milestone has been passed. The past is behind us and the future stretches brightly across the horizon. Anything is possible. Smell that? That’s a whiff of new you on the breeze.
Most people set new year’s resolutions at this time of year. And most people have broken them all by the end of January. But you’re not most people. You want more out of life. You constantly strive to be your best self. And 2012 is going to be your year.
Perhaps you aim to “give more” of yourself in 2012 (I know I do). To help you succeed, here are 30 little ideas for how to give more and do good over the next year:
- Smile at strangers
- Make a list of 5 people you admire and write them a card or email to tell them why
- Volunteer at your local school / homeless shelter / hospice / animal shelter / church / community group
- Think positive thoughts – happiness is contagious
- Pay a strangers bill at a restaurant
- Try to gossip less – or if you must gossip, talk about nice things
- Visit an older person in a rest home who doesn’t get many visitors
- Pick 10 names out of the phonebook at random and send them a surprise in the post
- Talk to the person who sits next to you on the bus
- Offer to babysit a friend’s children so they can have a night to themselves
- Bake cookies to welcome a new person into the neighbourhood
- Next time you see a homeless person in the street, sit down next to them and ask them about their life
- Invite a traveller into your home (check out CouchSurfing for a safe way to do it)
- Clear out your wardrobe and give away everything you don’t need to a charity shop
- Give compliments freely
- Visit a prison inmate who never gets visitors
- Set your favourite books free so others can enjoy them too (try BookCrossing)
- Shake a bucket on a street corner for your favourite charity
- When you go to say something negative just pause… the urge may pass
- Buy a bunch of beautiful flowers (or pick them from your garden) and hand them out to strangers on the street, one by one
- Hand-make your gifts and Christmas presents
- Offer to teach someone something you’re great at
- Take the time to send hand-written letters – they touch the heart in a way emails never can
- If you love someone, tell them – try not to be afraid of rejection
- Make someone a mixed tape (or a playlist for their iPod)
- Organise a fundraiser for your favourite charity
- Sign up to freecycle and share the things you no longer use
- Head into town with a “Free Hugs” sign and spread the love
- If you’re against something – protest / if you’re for something – celebrate it
- Find other people who care about the same things as you and make friends – this will make your whole life easier
Each act, however small, makes the world a tiny bit better. Like the tiny drops of water that together make the mighty oceans, together our small kind deeds and personal actions can make a world of difference.
If you’d like some more ideas, check out these 10 new year’s resolutions for good from Danielle at The Cause Blog. Or these 12 ways to love in 2012 according to Laura Dickey. Or maybe these 10 beautiful new year’s resolutions by Teresa Young.
I’d love to hear your own ideas as I’m always looking for ways to give more in my life. Please leave a comment and share your thoughts.