The Gift That Keeps on Giving


2017 is winding down, and soon we will see all the “New Year, New You” ads and promotions; it’s invariably time to start thinking about where we have been, where we are now and where we are going. Let’s face it, even if we get tired of seeing the same slogans each year, ultimately we all want to be on the way towards that often-talked about and coveted happy and healthy New Year. Filling yourself with happiness and spreading kindness doesn’t always take much…here are some easy ways!

1) Give someone a compliment…and mean it.

We often do not truly know the effect we have on others. Words are so powerful; they can truly make or break someone’s day.

2) Smile.

It’s so simple, yet, have you ever noticed sometimes how many people forget to smile or make eye contact? Even if you maybe don’t want to, smile anyways, because ultimately, it can’t hurt! Making eye contact with the greeter at Kroger or the person pumping gas next to you is so easy, yet sometimes overlooked. It doesn’t have to be long or intense or creepy eye contact (unless you’re into that, of course); just a sweet smile and some acknowledgment goes a long way!

3) Forgive.

Even if you’re upset, and even if it takes some time, forgiving ultimately allows you more peace and less stress and angst. It’s much better and healthier not to let others have that power over you anyway, and for you to just try to love them more and let go of the negativity.

4) Check on your elderly neighbors.

Bonus if you bring them flowers!

5) Ask more questions…and listen to the responses.

Sometimes a lot of us wait to talk instead of actually listening, yet listening and being there for others is often the most important part.

6) Donate.

Purge, purge, purge! Toys, clothes, tools, whatever. Don’t stop, get rid of it, get rid of it…and then donate it!

7) Let it go, let it goooo!

One of the 18 times you have a perfectly good reason to be upset with your spouse or partner, don’t be. So what if you asked them to buy the lean 80/20 ground beef and they accidentally came home with pork chops…there’s always next time. Chin up, tiger!

8) Be present.

I am TOTALLY guilty of sometimes not actually being present, even when I’m physically present. Whatever it takes to pay more attention to your children or your family or friends; put your phone away more or eliminate unnecessary distractions and try to clear your mind and truly enjoy the presence of others. Your presence can sometimes be their gift.

9) Tip generously.

And when you think you already have, add another dollar! (Unless your service was terrible. Then yeah, don’t do that.)

10) Write and mail a surprise letter to someone.

Maybe it’s a friend, parent, grandparent, former teacher, whomever; guaranteed a card or letter in the mail will totally make their day. (Unless you have been really rude or flaky; in that case, also send chocolate and/or booze. Hee hee.)

11) Be kind.

It’s just that simple. Remember that everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about; being kind is best, always.


Who is a person who made your 2017 better? And what is one thing you really want in your life in 2018?