When it comes to new year's resolutions, most of our goals tend to be about improving ourselves. And while that's certainly important, what about new year's resolutions that help other people who really need it? By lending a hand and showing empathy for others, we can make a huge difference in someone else's life. Often, they might just need an imaginary shoulder to lean on. A little good karma never hurt anyone, after all.
Of course, that doesn't mean we shouldn't forget to take care of ourselves. It's an essential component to living a healthy life. However, it's totally possible to spread some of those good vibes to the people around us. There are definitely ways we can love ourselves and others through respect, gratitude, and kindness.
Fortunately, doing all of this is easier than it seems. You can even make a difference in your own neighborhood or town, no matter how big or small. Keep in mind that you don't have to make a scientific breakthrough or build an entire house. Think of the basics: How you approach others, the words you say, the things you do. It all adds up.
To get you started, here are five simple new year's resolutions for you to consider. These actions might be small, but can make quite the difference. Happy 2016!
1. Say "Thank You" More
A simple act of showing gratitude for another person's actions can make his or her day. Basically, it shows that their efforts have not gone unnoticed. This is more than just acknowledging that someone is able to hold open the door for you or serve you some coffee. It comes down to showing respect and appreciation for someone as a human being.
For some people, this can be a game changer. You never know when someone is feeling insecure, inadequate, or just having a rough day at work. Make an effort to say "thank you" to every single person that plays a part in your life, no matter how big or small. I'm talking about everyone from the bus driver to the delivery guy. It's all in the little things.
2. Offer Help To Strangers
In a world of appointments and to-do lists, it's easy to get caught up in our own minds. This year, try to pay attention to the people around you. Train stations, malls, sidewalks — you name it. Is someone struggling with groceries? Bring them a shopping cart. Spot a person who looks a little lost? Ask them if they need directions. The act of reaching out and approaching them can change everything.
Of course, safety is still important. Only lend a helping hand in situations that you are completely comfortable in. Use your best judgement and offer help in a careful yet kind way.
3. Be More Honest
This one is an interesting new year's resolution because it can be interpreted in so many different ways. However, let's take a look at the root of honesty, and how it can help improve other people's lives. Being honest is a way of respecting the other person (and yourself) enough to tell them what's really going on. And even if the truth sucks, it is always better than building up lies that will eventually hurt them.
Remember, it's possible to be honest without being a pushover. It's also possible to be honest without being mean or rude. This sort of thing takes practice and time. What better time to start than 2016?
4. Donate Stuff You Don't Need
One of the best ways to create a fresh new start is to get rid of your excess belongings. This also happens to double as something that can help those who are less fortunate. Today's culture is so used to hoarding things; it's easy to forget that there are people in our own neighborhood that can benefit from our extras.
That's right... I'm talking about that pile of clothes that you haven't touched since 2009. There's also a good chance you have a collection of knick-knacks and trinkets that you barely think about. I know I can't be the only one.
This year, take some time to clear out anything that doesn't play an active role in your life. Thrift stores welcome donations all year round. The inexpensive price points of donated clothing make it easier for people from all financial situations to purchase clothing and other necessities. You can also donate your items to a clothing drive or even host one yourself.
Community service is one of the best ways to improve the lives of other people. The awesome thing about volunteering is that you can take part in it as much as your schedule allows. Consider choosing an opportunity that fits in your interests and hobbies. This will ensure that you provide an amazing, enlightening experience for other people.
Looking for more holiday cheer? Check out Bustle on YouTube.