When the holiday season is well and truly over, many of us begin the New Year by making a long list of resolutions. They’re usually focused on tackling our health or bad habits and include promises to eat healthier, give up alcohol, join the gym etc.
But why not ring in the New Year in 2023 by adding in a really meaningful resolution? Add kindness to your list, and as well as improving the wellbeing and happiness of people around you by spreading some joy, you will without a doubt boost your own sense of happiness. It’s a win-win!
When it comes to random acts of kindness, a small gesture or a few kind words in the right place can matter more than you realize. You could make your partner or your mom a cup of coffee, take the time to call or send a text to someone who has dropped off your radar, or even just give a warm smile to a stranger in the street. Or you could pick up some litter from the street, help a neighbor or work colleague, send a thoughtful card or gift to a friend – or just do something kind for yourself.
So spread some happiness in 2023. Brighten up your own life, help improve the environment and your community, read on for our guide to making five New Year’s resolutions that have kindness at their heart.
Why do we make resolutions?
New Year’s resolutions date back 4,000 years. The Babylonians, Egyptians, Romans and early Christians all recognized that the New Year was a time for making amends and promising to do better.
Babylonians crowned a new king or renewed their allegiance to the reigning king and made promises to the gods to pay off their debts and return anything they may have borrowed. If they kept their resolutions then the gods would reward them with good luck and favor in the year to come (and if not then it didn’t bear thinking about!). The Romans offered sacrifices and made similar promises to the gods in the hope of future prosperity and fortune.
For early Christians, the New Year was more an occasion for reflecting on past mistakes and resolving to do better. They held religious services with hymns and readings – a spiritual alternative to the usual rowdy festivities.
These days, New Year’s resolutions are more about self-improvement and a more secular practice all round. Recent research says that about 45% of all Americans make New Year’s resolutions, and although only 8% keep them, it doesn’t stop them making more the following year. A 4,000 year habit is obviously hard to break.
Why make kindness your resolution?
Small, selfless gestures and little acts of kindness that may seem insignificant to you can be so much more powerful than you appreciate, helping to create better, stronger relationships and generate happiness for you and the people around you.
In an uncertain world, deciding to focus on kindness and compassion to others can have a knock-on effect all around us. It encourages a positive outlook and enhances the lives of not just family and friends, but acquaintances, work colleagues, neighbors and even people you don’t even know that well. And don’t forget how happy it’s going to make you feel about yourself.
1. Staying in touch
One of the kindest things to do is to stay close and connect with those you love more often. Why not make a New Year’s resolution to set up a weekly phone call with your Grandma, Grandpa or a relative who lives alone? Or send a monthly postcard packed with eight of the month’s best memories to relatives and friends you don’t see very often. And if you usually text friends, why not call or video call them instead. It’s so much better to see someone in person – even if it is on a screen.
The winter months after the holidays can be a bit depressing, and just about everyone can relate to the January blues (no social life and no money!). So why not make a resolution to organize a coffee morning or cook a mouth watering meal for friends? There’s no reason why you can’t carry on with that one right through the year.
2. Random acts of kindness
Remember how good it felt when someone did something really nice for you out of the blue? Well how about a New Year’s resolution to pay it forward? You could treat someone to a coffee, send a gift for absolutely no reason at all other than to say you’re thinking about them, volunteer at a local homeless shelter, buy a homeless person a meal or even just compliment one stranger every day.
3. Be kind to Mother Nature
Just about everybody is aware of the impact of global warming. Even the smallest changes in our own communities, whether you live in a small town or a big city, can help create a healthier and kinder environment for people, plants and wildlife. Make it one of your New Year’s resolutions to set up a litter pick, buy or build a bug hotel or beehouse, hang nest boxes for the birds, or you could make it a point to only plant bee-friendly flowers in your yard or window boxes.
You could also help tackle the thousands of pounds of trash that we generate every year. Try using homemade cloths made from old towels and clothes instead of buying paper towels, and make the switch to reusable grocery bags to help reduce the plastic waste that negatively impacts our wildlife. Kindness isn’t just for humans.
4. Never forget a big day
Celebrating birthdays and anniversaries is a great way to show you care and love your friends and family. But sometimes things you plan to do get lost in the mayhem and general busyness of everyday life. TouchNote is a great way to help you with this kindness resolution without having to remember to buy a card early, visit more than one store before you find the perfect one and then get it in the mail on time. You can easily brighten someone’s day today with a card to celebrate their special event.
5. Find time for self-kindness
There is no doubt that being kinder to yourself is the first step on the road to being kinder to others. So don’t forget to top up your own wellbeing tank too.
Make a New Year’s resolution to do the things that make you happy and positive about your life and your world in general.
Try a yoga or dance class, think of at least two things you like about yourself every day, or keep positive sticky notes at home and at work (where you can see them). Eating a healthier diet is part of being kind to yourself, but don’t forget to treat yourself to something naughty every so often (everyone needs cake now and again).
Make sure to count your blessings every day – your loved ones, friends, accomplishments – whatever makes you feel grateful. And above all, take time to smile – both inside and outside – it will make all the difference to you and others around you.
Kindness is the key to happiness in 2023
Adding some kindness to your 2023 New Year’s resolutions will positively impact you and bring a lot of happiness to all the people around you. So why not start spreading kindness right now and brighten up the day of someone in your world with a TouchNote personalized card or heartfelt gift of kindness?
You’ll feel so much better in yourself just knowing the difference your act has made to loved ones, friends, neighbors, colleagues and even strangers. And hey, you never know, you may even kickstart a trend of kindness in your whole community.