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New Year’s Resolutions of a Different Kind: Cultivating Happiness

The ball has dropped, the hangover has subsided… Pinterest and Facebook land are full of blog posts and articles about self improvement, how to lose the holiday weight, and become fit/wealthy/fill-in-the-blank in 2017…

I don’t know about you, but I’m a bit disillusioned with resolutions like these.

With a toddler and a newborn, I hardly have time to shower, let alone make it to a gym. I’m a mom, I don’t need to feel like I am failing at anything else. I already fail daily to keep the children and house clean enough, the laundry done, and keep my cool amidst toddler tantrums. Besides, by the time mid-January rolls around, these typical resolutions are but a distant memory, something to throw on top of the pile of dirty laundry.

This year I challenge you to make a resolution of a different kind. One that cultivates happiness and increased satisfaction with your personal relationships, is free and is doable every single day.

Are probably sitting there wondering what kind of snake oil I am trying to sell you? This is totally legit, I promise.

I propose you resolve to do something kind for someone, every day, for at least 10 days.

Choose a relationship that you would like to strengthen. I chose my husband, but you could choose a parent, a colleague, a child.

Do one kind thing every day, coming from a place of unselfish service. It can be big, it can be small, but it should be selfless. Do it even if your husband is ticking you off, or your child pushing your buttons. Do it even if your colleague left their dirty dishes in the sink again, or your mom is nagging you about how you parent.

I will be honest with you. There are days my kind act is resisting the urge to yell, and smiling instead. There are days when I sit and listen to my husband’s day, and am really hurt when he does not ask about mine.

But my kind act is to ask about his day, so I let it go.

Other days my act is to offer to make a cup of tea, to do one of my husband’s chores, to make his favorite dinner.

These acts of service cultivate happiness, and not just in the lucky recipient of your kind acts!

When focusing on doing things for others, we practice the art of letting small things go, which reduces our stress. We begin to look closely at the lives of our loved ones, paying attention to them… While paying close attention, we begin to re-notice the kindness they do for us. In return, we feel valued, valuable, and cared for. Everybody wins. 🙂

Can you accept the challenge? Comment below with your commitment and who you will focus on! It’s a small daily act, but one with huge impact. Let’s fill 2017 with love and kindness!

 

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