How To make Kindness an Everyday Habit

Every January, I reflect on the previous year, and ask myself what I can do to make a positive difference in the coming year. The answer is always the same; kindness. I try to always live in positivity and kindness, but, admittedly, it isn't always easy. Sometimes it can be difficult to infuse into our everyday lives. I take comfort in knowing that even the smallest acts of kindness can make a great difference in not only the happiness of others, but also my own. That's why I'm happy to share this article on how to make kindness an everyday habit.  I hope you find your year filled with happiness and kindness.

A Four Step Process for Making Kindness an Everyday Habit in 2017

When Lady Gaga recently told her fans that kindness – not wealth and fame – is what creates harmony in the world she may have been on to something.

Research has shown that being kind makes us happier and also is contagious, inspiring others to be kind as well. For example, one such study published in the Journal of Social Psychology linked performing acts of kindness to an increase in life satisfaction.

That’s why as people make their resolutions for the coming New Year, they should make up their minds to commit purposeful acts of kindness every day, says Gabriella van Rij, a kindness activist and author whose latest book is Watch Your Delivery.

“Making kindness a habit changes lives – your own life and others,” van Rij says. “I believe we’re born with innate kindness, but we’ve just forgotten about it because we’re always running. We’re just too busy doing other things and we need to remind ourselves to be kind.”

She says we as a society have dropped the ball on human kindness and it’s time we picked it back up.

“I truly believe that we are all born with innate kindness, but then the hand that feeds us or the environment makes us abandon it pretty fast,” van Rij says. “By the time we are 5, we have learned to compete and to strive for success. It’s time for a new measuring stick for success.”

She says by following a four-step process, people can put a little more kindness in the world and quickly fall into the habit of committing kindness every day:
• Be kind to yourself. It’s hard to have the patience to be kind to others if we can’t even take the time to be kind to ourselves. “This might seem selfish, but it’s not,” van Rij says. “By being kind to ourselves, we shape our attitude toward others.” 
• Answer rudeness with kindness. This one is difficult, van Rij acknowledges. “When someone is rude to you, the first thing you do is instantly react and not always in a positive way,” she says. “And the second thing you do is say it’s about me. They were nasty to me.” But van Rij says it’s not about you, it’s about the emotion. By answering rudeness with kindness, you diffuse the situation and there’s also a certain satisfaction in seeing the change in the attitude of the person who was rude. 
• Watch your delivery. The tone that accompanies your words is as important as what you are saying. Do you need to soften your tone? Does what you say sound more aggressive than what you mean? Body language also can send a message you didn’t intend, so be aware of your body language and your facial expressions. 
• Acknowledge kindness when you see it. When you acknowledge the kind acts you see, that person will be encouraged to continue to spread kindness. Acknowledging kindness in others also will serve as a reminder to you about how you can show kindness.
“Unfortunately, one of the reasons we don’t always treat each other well is that we are a fear-based society, and fear only breeds more fear,” van Rij says. “But luckily there is an antidote because just as fear breeds more fear, I believe kindness grows more kindness.”

About Gabriella van Rij
Gabriella van Rij ( is a speaker, author and activist whose latest book, Watch Your Delivery, explores how we often fail in communicating. She began her life as an orphan in Pakistan, and today is a frequent guest on TV and radio. She also is the author of I Can Find My Might and With All My Might.

Disclosure: No compensation was received for this post but this site uses affiliate links. The article was posted with permission.

Make Your Resolution Mean More With 100 Good Deeds.

It's that time of year where people everywhere are making resolutions for the new year. These resolutions include everything from lose weight and be healthier, to get organized, travel, and be happier. There is nothing wrong with any of these resolutions. They are all good focuses to have, but they are all focused on the self. That's the funny thing about New Year resolutions, we end the year with a focus on giving to others, and go right into the new year with a focus on "me"; how do I make "me" better.

What if you made a different kind of resolution this year? A resolution that focuses on giving to others throughout the year. And, what if you had a way to hold yourself to that resolution, so it doesn't fade way like so many of our other resolutions do? Might giving to others actually result in you being happier? I think so.

How To Start a Family Giving Back Tradition

After Thanksgiving is over, the holiday season kicks into full gear. We quickly start thinking about finding the perfect gifts. We often get so caught up in buying things, and making lists of what we want, that we forget about the true joy of giving. You can change this by starting a giving back tradition with your family. Use this holiday season to think about giving back to the community and helping those in need. By getting your children involved with this, you can teach them the importance of giving to others.

Make a plan to give to others in a way that works for you and what your family is comfortable with. You may be able start a new tradition for you and your family that will bring new meaning to the Season of Giving. Here's some ideas to get you started:

Is Doctor Strange Worth the Cost of the Ticket?

Okay, so, in general I always like a superhero movie because it's a chance to remove yourself from real life and just be entertained. I especially like the Marvel universe that Disney has created with the intertwining story lines. So, it was probably a given that I would like Doctor Strange. What I wasn't expecting is just how much I would like it!

Doctor Strange is a complex character that has to make a journey from arrogant rich selfish surgeon to a much deeper spiritual being. It's a Marvel movie, so it tells this story with fun and humor, and it certainly has it's share of action and excitement, but it's just a little deeper than some of the other Marvel movies we've seen. Doctor Strange becomes part of a group of spiritual defenders like they say where Avengers protect the physical world, they protect the spiritual.

They practice magic like sorcerers, and are able to change and bend reality in a mirror world which makes for a visually stunning film. I'm not a big fan of 3D, but Doctor Strange is worth putting on the glasses. And, it simply must be seen on the big screen to get the full visual effect of seeing the New York City skyline folded in on itself. Don't wait to rent Doctor Strange; go see it in the theater. It's worth the price of the ticket.
Tweet: I'm not a big fan of 3D, but Doctor Strange is worth putting on the glasses.

Much of the movie was filmed on location in Nepal, so you get a chance to see another part of the world. While on location, Benedict Cumberbatch said he was inspired to give back to the children there. You can help do that by taking a picture in your favorite hero pose. See the video below for more details or go to the Hero Acts website.

Vegetable Chili with Kale and Quinoa Recipe

Fall is here and the weather is turner cooler, even here in Florida. The cooler weather is perfect for a day outside, hiking, and exploring all your favorite local travel spots. After a day of adventure, it's nice to come home to a nice hot comfort meal, especially a healthier version that's quick and easy.

This recipe for Vegetable Chili with kale and quinoa is the perfect way to get the comfort of chili with a healthier twist.

Vegetable Chili with Kale and Quinoa
 Makes 8 to10 servings

·         2 tablespoons olive oil
·         ½ medium onion, chopped
·         1 carrot, peeled and chopped
·         2 celery ribs, chopped
·         1 medium zucchini, chopped
·         1 small yellow squash, chopped
·         1 red bell pepper, chopped
·         4 ounces sliced mushrooms
·         3 (15-ounce) cans HORMEL® chili
·         ½ cup quinoa
·         2 cups chopped fresh kale

Directions: In large Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-low heat. Sauté onion, carrot and celery 10 minutes. Stir in zucchini and next 3 ingredients and sauté 8 minutes.  Stir in chili, quinoa and kale and simmer 15 minutes.

What's your favorite twist on chili?