I believe that with each day, we are gifted the opportunity to become more cognizant of how we act, speak and interact with the world around us.

Given that opportunity, it seems that if we are to operate at our highest, we take the time to make the choices that create happiness and enact positivity. No matter how small an act of kindness is, it does have the potential to profoundly affect everything else that follows.

I challenge you to enter spring with love, respect and honor for yourself and the beauty that lies in all people and things.

1. Use your first moments after you wake up to smile, set positive intentions for the day ahead and take deep welcoming breaths of gratitude for the opportunity to be here another day.

2. If you cannot make it to see someone you love in person, then give them a call and spend time asking them how they are. Listen with patience and care with a full heart for that person.

3. Give someone you see a genuine compliment. One kind word can shift someone’s entire attitude for the rest of the day. You never know when a small compliment you give changes how someone perceives their current situation.

4. Take a moment to forgive. It is maybe the most difficult item on the list for most people because it involves an exercise of (in some cases) extreme empathy and putting aside the ego. Acknowledge to yourself the act of freeing yourself from the past and any trials or tribulations you may be carrying over your head or as means to harbor hate toward others.

5. When your mind wanders to a judgmental thought, ask yourself in the moment why you may have had that thought. Unpacking our preconceived notions, resistance or biases takes work, but the outcome of confronting negative thoughts/energy is far worth the effort it demands.

6. Give yourself the space to relax. I believe in a balanced lifestyle where one works hard and to their highest capacity, yet makes the time to decompress. I think that we perform optimally when we operate in that manner and making the time to laugh or do an activity that gives you pure joy is critical.

7. Spend at least an hour outside during your week. Remind yourself of your connection to the Earth, admire the beauty that is all around us and find happiness in the amazing details of Earth’s life.

8. Do something or sign up for something each week that is outside of your comfort zone, but that will push you to become more aware, active or engaged.

9. Do not overlook people. Thank the person who holds the door for you, ask the barista about their day and their dogs, tell the professor how much you love their class. Do not let the opportunity to connect with others pass you by. It is too easy to become disconnected these days and to move through life with ego-filled blinders.

10. Start to read the book or work on the personal project that you have waited to do. Do not let another day pass where you live in the tomorrows. Live in the day and taste every beautiful note that it has to offer you when you give yourself to it tirelessly.