Firstly, don’t worry, I’m not going to tell you to join the gym or set goals for yourself. Instead I’m going to suggest you set your mind in a good place for other people this year. January 3rd is not too late to add to or create your list people!
This year there seems to be a lot of pessimistic “no point in resolutions no one keeps them”, negative energy on my Facebook and Twitter timeline. I resisted indulging in this and still wrote a few resolutions before the new year. Although it was more like a to-do list (pass my driving test, travel with Jaxon etc, etc).
Then yesterday I was in the shower and I thought to myself (does anyone else think the most thoughts in the shower, or is that just me?) I want to make people happy this year, I want to be a better, nicer, kinder me. But my new years resolution list is all about me and things I want to do for myself (and Jaxon, naturally)? You know, they say, you get out of the universe what you put in. And so, yesterday on the second day of the year, I decided to create a separate list of resolutions for 2018 that were solely about making other people happy. I’m not talking crazy charity events or running a marathon, I’m talking about the little things that can make a big difference to someones day.
I’ve decided to share them with you in hope that you too may adopt one or two, if not all, and make the world a nicer place 🙂
There is no sense of fulfilment like making someone smile.
- Pay more compliments
Telling someone their hair looks nice, they’re pretty, they have nice eyes, they inspire you, they have a great smile etc can make someones day. And it’s such a small gesture. A recent study showed that receiving a compliment improved individuals performance up to a day later, and that isn’t surprising. A compliment can make someone feel good, feeling good makes you happy and when we’re happy we’re motivated, enthusiastic, encouraged and much more. Lifting someone else up does not put you down!
- When you think something positive about someone, share it with them
This one is basically an expansion of the first. Whilst going through my struggles I can’t express how many people messaging me telling me their thoughts on how well I was managing, and how much it helped. It was thoughtful and inspiring. I appreciated that they not only saw my posts and thought something kind but actually took the time to let me know. It made a difference. Then when I thought about it. How many times do we see someones post or hear something about someone and think “Oh I hope they’re okay”, “I hope they have people around them”, “they’re doing so well, that’s good to see” and so many more passing thoughts that come and go? I do it all the time. My experience taught me it makes a difference to actually say these things to people, to tell them these positive thoughts. It probably takes two minutes, not even that, and it could strengthen their feeling of achievement, support and love.
- Give things away
People close to me know that on top of Jaxon being in hospital I had a difficult housing situation when Jaxon was first-born and to top it off my maternity pay didn’t come through until late November (he was born in August!). For three months finances were tight and I had a flat to furnish in the hope of getting out of hospital. During this time I had to look on Facebook groups and Freecycle for people giving things away. I was lucky enough to get two matching sofas from different people for £35 and a spotless TV stand for free! I can’t express the feeling of gratitude and relief. So now this year when I clear out all of my belongings I vow to post them on these sites to give them away rather than throw, sell or give to charity (sorry but I’m not a big believer in Charities – wanting £5 a week but you’re paying street fundraisers £9/hour?! Hmm!). I encourage you too also!
- Pay it forward
Again, what goes around comes around. I intend to do little things where and when I can. Pay for the person behind me coffee in Starbucks. Help someone struggling with bags (I never see this anymore actually, do you?). Give my bus ticket to someone at the end if the day.
This year I was inspired by those helping the homeless at Christmas. My timeline was flooded with people volunteering their time and skills to do food kitchens, give to food banks, take out blankets and coats to people on the street. Normally I would think, “ugh, all to get some likes on social media”. But this year it felt different. It was effective. It was heartwarming. It was inspiring. I feel like social media was used for a good cause, not to show of a good deed, but to encourage others, to motivate others, to start a trend of giving. I loved it and I was inspired. Therefore, at some point, and it may not be until next Christmas, but at some point, I plan to volunteer to give, to help. It may only be an hour or two (I barely have time to shower every day at the moment), but it will be something.
Despite these being encouraged by the whole “get out what you put in” that’s not what they depend on. The feeling of doing something good, something for others, something to make someone else smile, is a beautiful feeling. It makes you a better person. Making others feel good makes you feel good. Even if you don’t get back a great year, even if things still go wrong, knowing you’re good and your soul is pure, is worth it. Give it a try.