16 Ways to Start 2016 with Kindness

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It's a New Year—Make a resolution to exercise your Kindness Muscle in 2016!

The world needs more people who are willing to step out and have the courage to be kind. Here are 16 ways you can be that person in 2016.

  1. Year of Kindness Box: Create a New Year's tradition. On the first day of the new year, start a Year of Kindness Box. Throughout the year, fill up the box with: compliments you received, thank you notes, moments of kindness you witnessed, acts of kindness you did, inspiring quotes, etc. Then after the year is over, review the contents!

  2. Smile: According to an article from Psychology Today, "Each time you smile, you throw a little feel-good party in your brain. The act of smiling activates neural messaging that benefits your health and happiness."

  3. Create a Gratitude Journal: "A five-minute a day gratitude journal can increase your long-term well-being by more than 10 percent. That's the same impact as doubling your income!" From Happier Human

  4. Three Compliments: Each day, compliment the first three people you talk to.

  5. Send a Letter to Your Future Self: Go to futureme.org and write yourself a letter. Pick a date in the future... a week from now, a month from now, even ten years from now and write an encouraging note to yourself. The site will send you your letter on the date you specify. Congratulate yourself on losing weight or finishing that homework assignment. Tell yourself that everything is going to be ok. Remind yourself that you are awesome and you make this world a better place just by being you. Maybe even give yourself a cool new nickname?

  6. Set a Kindness Reminder: Schedule a daily kindness reminder on your phone. When it goes off, think of a random person. Then, send them a positive message (text, email, social media post, phone call, letter, etc.)

  7. 52 Thank You Notes: Express your gratitude for the people in your life, write one thank you note every week to a different person: Need a quick thank-you note format? Check out The Five Minute Thank You Note.

  8. A Kind Twist on Happy Hour: Invite a group of people you know (friends, family, coworkers) to the happiest of happy hours and spend one hour doing acts of kindness for others. Need ideas? Check out this list of 50 Pay-It-Forward Ideas.

  9. Positive Sticky Notes: Carry a stack of positive sticky notes with you wherever you go. Post them when you're somewhere that needs a little bit more kindness.

  10. Morning Kindness: Before you get out of bed, focus on kindness. Think of a kind motto for your day or text a positive good morning note to a friend.

  11. Volunteer: Each year, think of one cause you care about or a group in your community that could use some help. Schedule a day on your calendar to volunteer or help that cause. Bonus: Volunteering has some serious health benefits!

  12. Beautify Your Surroundings: Spend 10 minutes picking up litter in your neighborhood, park or other commonly visited locations.

  13. Kind Body Image: Place positive body image sticky notes on dressing room mirrors.

  14. Coupon Fairy: Save unused/unwanted coupons and put them next to relevant products next time you're at the grocery store

  15. Self-Kindness: Do one kind thing every week for yourself. Enjoy a treat you love, exercise, eat a healthy meal, or do something you love and rarely have time to do.

  16. Be Kind to the Earth: Research ways to be kind to the environment and reduce your carbon footprint. Here are seven ideas to get you started.

For even more ideas, visit our kindness ideas page.

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