How To Plan Ahead For Kindness Acts

Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless
— Mother Teresa

I’m a big time planner. I like for things to be organized and in its place.  I get totally psyched when I have to buy folders with dividers for a project.  For my upcoming vacation (t-minus 3 days!), I have a seven day itinerary with all hotels, tours, flights, etc. typed up and printed with at least two copies to leave with family and friends.  Yup, I’m one of those people.  So, when my mom called me last week to tell me that she didn't do her Random Act of Kindness because she didn’t plan ahead, it gave me an idea to share my quick and easy tips for a successful kindness experience.

2 Days Prior to Kindness Act: Research
My planning usually begins on Monday, I surf the web for ideas and inspiration and let them marinate in my head for a day or two. Just Google ‘Random Acts of Kindness’ and you’ll be overloaded with kindness goodies.  This week I found a blog of a woman who did 50 Kindness Acts for her 50th birthday (how awesome is that?). One thing that she did that caught my attention was passing out lollipops and coloring books to kids at a local mall.

Before I decide on an idea, it must pass my 3 non-official Rules of Kindness:

  1. It must not require more than an hour to complete:  I usually do my RAOK during my lunch break so it needs to be something I can fit within that time frame.
  2. It must be cost effective:  I truly believe that it’s the thought that counts, but sometimes the thought requires a purchase so I keep it to a $10-$15 maximum.
  3. More bang for my buck:  I prefer to do a kindness act for more than one person at a time so I keep that in mind when choosing my idea.

1 Day Prior to Kindness Act: Gather Supplies

The idea of giving coloring books to kids passed right through my 3 non-official rules, so I got moving on getting supplies.  Some days I pick up the items right before I need them but last week’s challenge (Upcycling Is The New Black) had me working into the wee hours of Tuesday night.  This is where the planning ahead kicks in. If you know that you won’t have enough time the day of, try to get them a day before.

Day of Kindness Act: Spread Joy
Since I had to go to the mall to run a personal errand, I decided to pass out the coloring books at the mall food court (two birds, one stone!). Surprisingly there was only one person eating with their daughter who was of the appropriate age. I didn’t want to give coloring books to a bunch of infants ;) After a few minutes of waiting, I found another little girl who was very happy with her new gift.  Both parents were very appreciative and shocked. I felt like a waitress delivering an activity sheet in a restaurant to entertain the kiddies. Mission accomplished.

Kindness Acts might take a little bit of planning but the payoff is totally worth it.  In my last blog (The Science of Happiness), I wrote about making happiness a priority and I came across a chart that I wanted to share with you that shows '6 habits of happiness worth cultivating.'  The last habit is practicing kindness. The proof is in the pudding!

Now it’s your turn.  OM the moment for your soul by using these tips to plan ahead for next Wednesday’s Random Act of Kindness.  You can search online or search this blog for previous kindness acts.  Share this with friends and family and encourage them to get in on the fun.  And once you’ve done your RAOK, come on back and leave your comments, questions and stories below. 

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