Kindness is an important component of a personal growth plan. Use these suggestions to integrate kind acts routinely.
Personal growth and development is a conscious plan for becoming a better human being. Kindness and generosity are easy qualities to nurture in oneself. Doing kind acts costs little or nothing, no special training is required, and there’s no need to buy a self-help book for instruction.
Kindness is a way of being, a way of behaving that is easily habituated and brings outstanding benefits to the giver, as described in Positive Psychology Studies on Happiness.
Following are more than 30 acts of kindness that anyone can utilize. Use this as a “starter” list to begin habituating kind behavior.
Begin the kindness-habit journey with yourself. It will be far easier to be kind to others when you’re feeling good about yourself. Do one of these acts of self kindness each day for 30 days and notice how much better you feel.
- Resolve for the next 24 hours to avoid all negative self talk.
- Recognize one positive aspect of your body.
- Recognize one of your positive personality traits.
- Initiate one self-care act today.
- Spend a full day without whining or complaining.
- Forgive yourself for something you regret.
- Forgive someone’s unkindness to you.
- Learn something new.
- Take a walk by yourself in silence.
- Take a nap.
Kindness to those Close to You
Now that you’re feeling good about yourself, doing kind acts for others will come naturally and easily. Select from any of these suggestions or create your own kind ideas.
- Give someone a long, warm hug.
- Call an elderly relative and chat about their day.
- Before your grocery trip, call a shut-in neighbor or family with small children and offer to pick up something for them.
- Tape a note of thanks to your mailbox for good service.
- Treat a co-worker at coffee break.
- Write a note of appreciation to a co-worker.
- Congratulate your boss for an aspect of leadership well done.
- Congratulate a co-worker for work well done.
- Tell your child how much you love him.
- Tell your child the qualities you most admire in her.
- Tell your spouse or partner their qualities you most admire.
- Thank your family for the routine chores they do.
- Surprise your family by doing one of their chores.
- Put a love note in your family’s lunch, briefcase, or book bag.
- Plan a family fun activity every week.
- Have a good laugh with your family after dinner with an appropriate story or joke.
Kindness to Others
- Make eye contact and sincerely smile at a stranger.
- Greet a stranger with a wave, a smile, and a sincere “good morning.”
- Smile and be tolerant of morning commuters in a hurry.
- Yield your place in line to someone obviously in a hurry.
- Tape a note and some change to a vending machine for someone who’s short of change.
- After a restaurant meal, seek out your server and offer a generous tip along with your personal thanks.
- Pay for the coffee or tea for the person behind you in line.
- Pay for the lunch or coffee break of the person behind you in line at work or school.
- Leave an inspirational quotation on your bus or train seat when you exit.
- Greet a store cashier warmly and sincerely ask about her day.
- Spend an hour at a senior’s home reading or chatting.
- Volunteer once a month at a facility that brings you into contact with people you would not normally interact with.
- Leave a positive comment on a website that you enjoy.
- Send a thank you email to the author of a book or article that you enjoy.
- Feed a parking meter that has expired.
- Walk through your neighborhood and pick up trash in other’s yards.
- Pack an extra lunch and give it to a homeless person.
- Stop and chat with a homeless person who’s a regular near your work or home.
Kindness is Catching
Being kind to others not only feels good and benefits other people, but it tends to spread as those who receive an act of kindness often pay it forward.
Refer to How to Fight Depression, Cheer Up, Find Happiness for details of the secrets of happiness.