Around this time of the year, people suddenly find themselves feeling much more heartfelt and friendly. Maybe it's the reminder that comes with Thanksgiving or maybe it's the warm nature of the holiday season that gives us a chance to take a break from our daily lives to spend time with friends and family.
It's absolutely great that people feel so generous at this time of the year, but I have a proposition for you. What if people took the time to consciously be aware of what they can do for other people throughout the entire year? Below you'll find a list of 56 random acts of kindness. I challenge you to choose one to complete each week for an entire year. Think you can do it?
1. Pay for the car behind you in the drive-thru line.
2. Bring your co-worker a coffee in the morning when they're not expecting it.
3. Tape a dollar bill to a vending machine for the next person with a kind note.
4. Make your roommate's bed for them.
5. Give a generous tip to your server.
6. Reach out to an old friend that you haven't talked to in a while.
7. Send an anonymous gift to someone who could use a smile.
8. Bring a tray of cookies to your office to share with co-workers.
9. Donate clothes that you don't wear anymore to a shelter.
10. Leave extra time in a parking meter.
11. Give an umbrella to a homeless person on a rainy day.
12. Make an inspiring playlist for someone going through a hard time.
13. Donate old books to a local library or school.
14. Leave a positive note on a co-worker's desk or a friend's car.
15. Compliment someone who looks like they could use a smile.
16. Leave a box of candy or cookies in your mailbox with a note for your mail carrier.
17. Drop off flowers at the hospital to be given to someone who doesn't get a lot of visitors.
18. Volunteer your time.
19. Donate canned goods to a food bank.
20. Hide a dollar in a dollar store for someone else to find.
21. Leave diapers and wipes on a public changing table in a restroom.
22. Let someone check out ahead of you in line at the grocery store.
23. Offer to babysit or petsit for free so someone can enjoy an afternoon off.
24. Be the designated driver without complaint.
25. Cook a meal for a sick friend, single mom, new mom, etc.
26. Write a thank you note to a friend or teacher.
27. Return a stray shopping cart from the parking lot.
28. Leave quarters at the laundromat.
29. Leave a basket of treats on your neighbor's doorstep.
30. Give someone positive feedback on a blog post or online article.
31. Call a family member and remind him or her how much he/she is appreciated.
32. Pick up litter at a local park.
33. Let someone into a line of traffic with a genuine smile.
34. Send a friend a gift card to their favorite coffee shop.
35. Recommend a book or song to a friend because it reminds you of him or her.
36. Start a piggy bank for a cause to leave in your workplace.
37. Leave a kind note with your monetary tip at a restaurant.
38. Leave a coloring book and crayons in a pediatrician's waiting room.
39. Tape a pouch of microwave popcorn to a Redbox movie rental machine.
40. Leave coupons you don't need near the products at your grocery store.
41. Buy a lollipop or small toy for a child you see while shopping.
42. Leave sticky notes with kind messages on the mirrors in public restrooms.
43. Send flowers to someone anonymously to brighten their day.
44. Give up your seat on the bus or subway to someone who looks like they need a rest.
45. Ask a cashier or barista about their day with a genuine smile.
46. Send your copy of a newspaper picture to the person who's in the picture.
47. Send letters or care packages to soldiers.
48. Give arcade tickets to a child in the arcade.
49. Buy dessert for someone at a restaurant anonymously.
50. Share a talent or fun activity with the residents of a retirement home.
51. Let someone else have the better parking spot.
52. Leave a bucket of tennis balls at a dog park.
53. Give your bottle deposit return slips to someone at the grocery store to cash in.
54. Surprise your co-workers with lottery tickets.
55. Help someone carry their bags to their car in a parking lot.
56. Shovel out someone else's driveway after a snowstorm.
Remember, random acts of kindness are meant to be done while expecting nothing in return. If you've never done an anonymous good act, try it! You'd be surprised how great it feels to know you did something to make someone else smile.