A year ago today, I decided to do just one thing each day for myself and at least one other person to make a positive difference in our respective lives. My decision prompted me to launch the “Just One Thing Each Day” section of my blog to chronicle these daily efforts, not to brag about my efforts, but to encourage others to do the same in their own lives. My thought was that if I could make this a daily practice, then anyone could do the same.
My goal was to write a daily post, and more days than not, I did just that. The first day I missed writing a post, I felt like I had failed and pondered throwing in the towel on this undertaking, as my all-or-nothing thinking kicked into high gear. Once I got over myself, I realized that whether or not I blogged about my efforts to change myself and the world one act of kindness at a time did not matter, as it is the act of kindness that is most important. I also came to realize that no act of kindness is too small, and sometimes, I did not even realize that what I said or did was construed as positive or kind until someone else brought it to my attention. Some days, kindness for myself and others overflowed, while other days definitely left me feeling and acting less than kind and positive toward myself and/or others. It has been an interesting year overall, and one thing that I can say is that when I am good to myself and to other people in some way, shape, or form, life seems all the better and brighter.
As I continue to commit myself to this daily practice of being kind and positive, I recall some of my favorite things I did over the past year:
- Sent flowers or small gifts to friends or family in need of a pick-me-up
- Left notes of encouragement or an inspirational book in a public place to be read and enjoyed by whomever discovered them
- Gave my undivided attention and a smile to the men at the day shelter for homeless men, where I work, even when I was busy with administrative tasks
- Donated gently used items or made monetary donations to local charities to support the work that they do
- Thanked my family, friends, and strangers alike when they said or did something, both big and small, that made a positive difference
- Prayed and meditated
- Surrounded myself with people who motivate, inspire, encourage, or support me
- Read books that challenged me to grow spiritually and emotionally
- Treated myself to occasional massages, concerts. and trips
As I head into my second year of this experiment in kindness, the overriding lesson I have learned is that the world could use more kindness and positivity, and there is always the opportunity to choose to do both for yourself and someone else. Thank you for joining me over the past year, and I look forward to what else we all can do in the year to come, as our work has just begun.
Just one thing each day . . .
Categories: Just One Thing Each Day