Join us for 30 days of intentional kindness, starting on March 20!
For 30 days, you will:
- Say nothing negative about your person—either to them or about them to someone else. If you must provide negative feedback (for example, to discipline a child or correct a subordinate’s mistake), be constructive and encouraging without a negative tone.
- Every day, find one thing that you can sincerely praise or affirm about your person and tell them—and tell someone else.
- Every day, do one small act of kindness or generosity for them.
Each day, we will post the challenge on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. We will also add them below so you can keep track of what we’re doing together.
Today’s Day #1 of our Raise the Curve on Kindness 30-Day Kindness Challenge!
Ask your person what the best part of their day has been so far. Then, compliment them on their involvement in that event (i.e., You played so nicely with your siblings!; I loved drawing with you during our lunch break; I’m impressed you were able to finish that report in our full house!; That was a great idea to take a family walk!)
Don’t feel bad if this feels strange! We’re in training, much like an athlete. Keep at it. It gets easier every time you do it.
How did it go yesterday? Did you surprise your person with a compliment?
Today, think of a task or chore your person normally does. Is it emptying the dishwasher? Taking out the trash? Making their bed? Whatever it is, big or small, do it for them and expect nothing in return. If they ask why you are doing it, just tell them you wanted to make their day. (It’s kind of fun watching to see how they react to that!)
Keep up the good work! Little things like this make a BIG difference.
Think of something that normally drives you crazy about your person. Maybe it’s the amount of time they spend on the computer or playing video games. Maybe it’s their non-stop talk about their favorite podcast or their obsession with color coordinating their closet. Now stop and think of a way you can turn this into a positive interaction between the two of you. For instance, try asking your teenage son to explain how he plays his game. Or ask what their favorite websites might be or to share a favorite meme they found that day. Ask who the latest guest was on their podcast or compliment them on how organized they are with their clothes.
Whatever you normally roll your eyes or nag about, stop and turn it into a positive exchange. You may be surprised at what you learn!
How did the past few days go? Lots of time together and opportunities for kindness, right?!
Today’s goal is to replace any negative thoughts such as “why doesn’t he ever” . . . or “why does she always “. . ..(which are often unrealistic), with thoughts that answer the question: “What is something I love about this person? What is something that is special about them?”
Then, sometime today, tell them what you came up with! For example, “You always make me laugh!” or “You are such a good Dad—these kids are crazy about you and love having you around!” or “I am so impressed with how hard you are working to stay in shape for your sport.” It not only will put a smile on their face but it will also remind you why you love and value this person in your life.
Tell us how you’re doing so far! Share a story about how you are “Raising the Curve on Kindness” in your home, and use the hashtag #JoinKindness2020 in your post.
We’re almost done with our first week of “Raising the Curve on Kindness!” Way to go!
Today’s challenge is simple. Think about something special that will make your person’s day. Is it making a cup of coffee or tea—just how they like it—before they can get to the kitchen? What about leaving out a favorite snack with a note for them saying you thought they could use a treat? Even though you might be giving them something small, it most likely will make them feel very loved and appreciated.
Don’t forget to share your stories! Use the hashtag #JoinKindness2020 in your post.
Ready for today’s challenge? If your person (or people) are your kids, think back to a time when they were younger and you gave them choices. This works remarkably well for older children too! Instead of telling them to mow the lawn or clean up their room immediately, give them options instead. For instance, “Would you rather mow the lawn now or wait until after dinner? It’s your pick!”
If your person is not a child, try this instead: Commit to not arguing with them today. Unless it’s something life-or-business-altering, defer to them. You can politely and positively let them know that although you might do it differently, you’re willing to do it their way. No need to get into an argument if it’s just a matter of preference. And trust me, it will be a big dose of kindness for them today!
Congratulations on making it to the end of Week 1! How have things been going so far? Have you noticed any differences in your relationship?
Today we’re going to focus on really hearing and listening to our person’s feelings. Suddenly finding ourselves working or studying from home can lead to some legitimate discouragement and frustration! Instead of ignoring the people in your home when they express their feelings, really listen and engage. You could say for example, “It sounds like it’s hard to study for that exam when you haven’t heard the teacher lecture on it in person. Is there something I can do to help you prepare?” Or “ know working from home with the kids around is not ideal. Will you let me know when you have an important call and I’ll make sure to take the kids on a walk so they don’t disturb you?”
Your person will appreciate that you’ve seen and heard their concerns and want to help. We’re all in this together! And because you’ve taken a moment to really listen, they’ll know you’re on their team. #JoinKindness2020
Loneliness. It’s a feeling that is becoming more real as we find ourselves several weeks into our “social distancing” . . . and facing many more to come. Yes, we are finding ourselves together in close proximity to our family, but let’s also recognize that our person (or people) are most likely missing their friends, colleagues, gym buddies, Bible study members, church community, etc. Today’s focus is on how we can help them feel less lonely!
Can you set up a video call for your child to have an online playdate with a friend? What about creating a virtual meetup with your small group? Maybe schedule a FaceTime dinner date with your best friends? Look for ways to connect your person with whomever they are missing. It will make a big difference in their day!
Yesterday we talked about how these are times when discouragement or frustration can easily sneak in. Today is the day to look for ways to cheer your person up! Try scrolling through the pictures in your phone and relive some of your special or funny memories. Laugh about silly moments when the kids were younger or that favorite vacation you took together. Flip through actual photo albums and laugh at your outdated clothes and hairstyles. Tell stories of when you were little, when you were dating or about your wedding. You might be surprised at how fun this activity is–not only for your person, but also for you! There’s something nice about remembering “the good old days!”
Accountability check: How are you doing in refraining from saying anything negative? Think back over the last few days and see if you’ve accidentally said anything negative to your person (or about them!) and identify where you might’ve slipped up.
Today’s challenge is to go out of your way to express gratitude for something they’e done. If it’s your spouse, they may be surprised to hear these positive words out of your mouth—especially if things have gotten tense with all the time spent together. Think about saying something like, “Thank you so much for volunteering to go to the grocery store this week. I know it’s a big job.” Or leave a note thanking them for something you normally might take for granted.
If it’s your child (or children), realize they probably don’t hear appreciative comments very often. We parents tend to inundate them with instructions and corrections rather than pointing out the great things they are doing (even if we expect it of them!) Tell them you appreciate them helping put the dishes away or how they asked their younger sibling to shoot baskets in the driveway. Let them know you see them and recognize the things they do for the family.
Everyone loves to be caught doing something good—even if it’s everyday stuff! Be the one to catch it and acknowledge it. It will blow them away!
Today’s challenge is easy—email or text a fun meme (there seems to be no shortage of those these days!) or an article that your person might find interesting. Let them know you were thinking about them and thought they might enjoy a laugh or appreciate an article about their favorite public figure, book or dream vacation. Sometimes it’s the little gestures that make people feel important. Remember, we’re getting ourselves in the habit of showing an act of kindness every day—big or small!
Keep up the good work! It’s making a difference!
Everyone looks in the mirror and has insecurities—either about their appearance or about whether they measure up at work, at home, or in their relationships. What is something your person might be worried about? Today, say something that will encourage them in that area. Do they need to hear how proud you are that they’ve been working so hard on their latest project? Do they need to hear how beautiful they are, inside and out? Let them know you notice them and think they’re amazing.
It’s a brand new day to focus on kindness! How’s it going so far?
Stop and think about how your person typically shows kindness to others? Are they helpers—do they jump at the opportunity to assist others with tasks? Or are they good listeners? Or do they love to give hugs or an encouraging word? Take note of this because it’s most likely a way they would appreciate kindness being shown to them. If they’re helpers, do a small task or chore for them that they would otherwise do themselves. If they are encouragers, leave them a note with something that will lift their spirits. Or if they are affectionate, give them a hug in the middle of the day. Whatever their everyday mode of dispensing kindness may be, give it right back to them.
Wow! We’re already 2 weeks into our “Raise the Curve on Kindness” 30-Day Kindness Challenge! Has it gone quickly? Or slowly? Make sure to leave a comment on how things are going in your house and if you’ve noticed any positive differences since you started.
Today’s challenge may seem . . . challenging. Is there anything your person complains about you? For instance, do they say you always roll your eyes and sigh dramatically when they pull out their gaming system? Do they say you nag them about putting their stuff away on your timetable rather than theirs? Do they say you’re always correcting their manners at the dinner table and not just enjoying their company?
Whatever it is you may hear them complain about, resist the urge to defend yourself and just listen. You may disagree with what they’re saying but today really hear them and respond with something like, “Ok, I’m sorry. It sounds like that frustrates you when I constantly remind you to put your stuff away. I know you’ll do it and I won’t fuss at you about doing it right now.” Or “I’lll try to remember that you deserve some relaxation time–I won’t roll my eyes when I see you start your video game.” Or “I hear you about correcting you at the table. It’s important to me that people have good manners but I can see that it makes you feel like a child. I’ll work on that.”
It may seem hard because you disagree. But the point is to pay attention to how you’re making them feel. Focus on how to show kindness by really hearing the heart behind their complaints and make a change in how you interact with them.
How are you doing at finding something you can praise about your person each day—and telling them and at least one other person? Are you bragging on your spouse or child at the dinner table? Are you telling someone over the phone how great your kid is being to his siblings while they’re all home together? Or how your significant other has gone above and beyond helping with stuff around the house?
Make a list of the things you appreciate about your person so you can refer to it often—and keep up the good work of praising them (and telling others!) It makes a difference to them—but it also makes a big difference in how you see them. Kindness changes US!
Is there a particular situation where you know there might be conflict with your person? An activity or conversation that tends to trigger an irritated response? Or what about something they do or say that usually triggers an irritated reaction in you?
Today, plan ahead with a positive response. Don’t be caught in the usual cycle of conflict but be prepared to say something positive. Decide ahead of time how you could diffuse the situation before it starts. Instead of responding in an irritated way, simply say, “Ok, I’ll check back with you later on that topic.” And then do your best to redirect the conversation to a “safer” focus while staying in a positive frame of mind. Having something prepared and positive will help stop the negative interactions before they get out of control.
Let’s face it. Sometimes your person’s way of doing something is very different from your way. Yet, your way may not truly be better—it’s just different.
Today, when you wince because your husband likes to wrestle with the kids before bed and it gets them all sweaty and riled up (and you just want them to go to sleep), pause. Think about how great it is that your kids love playing with your husband and how’s being an involved and fun-loving dad. When your child is determined to help load the dishwasher with you after dinner and they do it in a “creative” way, pause before correcting them. Yes, you can teach them how to load it in a more efficient manner but you can also appreciate that they’re trying to help you.
Just because your person does something differently from you doesn’t mean they are wrong. Stop and appreciate the sentiment behind their actions. And then tell them how much you love them for it.
Today’s challenge is to recall a fun or funny memory and share it with your person. Extra bonus points if you can come up with a picture or video to accompany it. There’s something special about reliving a moment when the two of you laughed or enjoyed something together. Kids especially love hearing stories about when they were little. It’ll bring a smile to both of your faces!
Times are strange right now with all of us home together. But work and school still need to get done and that can be stressful. Today, ask if they need anything that would help make their job easier. Do they need any office or school supplies ordered? Is there any equipment they need to make their home office more efficient? Would they like if you stocked their desk with a few snacks? Take a moment to find out how you can help.
What is something that your person is concerned, worried, or sad about right now? Or ask them if there is something that’s been on their mind recently. Tell them you will be praying specifically for whatever is troubling them. Whether you pray with them right then or on your own, make sure to commit to praying and then follow up to find out how things are going.
Today is our 3-week check in. Of the 3 daily challenge elements (say nothing negative, find and say the positive, and do an act of kindness), which one is the easiest for you to do? Which one seems to be the most difficult?
Today, focus on doing something on your “difficult” list. Is it hard to not say anything negative? Really concentrate on stopping those comments from crossing your lips. Is it hard to say something positive? Focus in on anything good you can praise (small things count!) and just do it! Does it seem difficult to do an act of kindness? Look for a way right now to make them smile. Each day you are working on building up your relationship with your person. You can do it!
Have you found yourself complaining or speaking negatively to someone about your person? Make a mental list of the people you’ve complained to (whether they are in your house, on the phone, or on video chats) and make a point of bringing up positive things about your person the next time you talk to them.
If it’s possible, go on a walk or bike ride with your person today. Let them lead the way. Ask questions and let them talk. Focus the conversation on their interests—or if the person is introverted, allow them to just be quiet and don’t try to fill the space with conversation. Giving your person the gift of companionship is an act of kindness to them—and to you!
Today, give your person the gift of your undivided attention. When they want to show you their latest favorite video, talk about their most recent work project or tell you a long story you may or may not have heard before, stop what you’re doing and pay attention. Ask questions. Smile. Let them know they are important to you by giving them your time. It’s one of the greatest acts of kindness you can do!
Today, think about some of the mundane things your person does each day to keep the household, schoolwork, or office going. Is it paying the bills, keeping track of stacks of school paperwork, staying on top of co-worker’s birthdays, or taking out the trash? Acknowledge the time those “unseen” efforts take. And if they impact you in some way, let them know how grateful you are.
What does your person have going on today? Leave a sticky note or send a text of encouragement about it (ie, “Praying for your big discussion today!” or “Good luck on your test this morning!”) Showing them that you are aware of what’s going on in their life will make a big difference! Make sure to follow up with them later to find out how things went!
We’re nearing the end of our 30 days! Today, let’s think back to the one thing your person has most positively responded to during this 30-Day Kindness Challenge? Was it something specific you said? Was it an act of kindness that made them smile? Or was it something positive you said about them in front of someone else? Whatever seemed to really reach the heart of your person, do that again today.
Now that you’ve been focusing on the positives in your person for almost a month, what rises up in your mind as a great character trait, skill, or quality worth celebrating? Is it their sense of humor or the way they always look for ways to serve others? Is it their amazing ability to make a normal meal taste gourmet? Is it their work ethic? Or how they always seem to be smiling? Consider a way you can let them know how you’ve noticed this and how much you appreciate it.
Today, say a prayer of thanksgiving for your person. Also for anything else that may be going on for them at work, school or home. Later, let them know you were praying for them during your quiet time. Some people are demonstrative in prayer and others are more private, but nearly everyone likes to know that someone is praying for them.
Congratulations on making it to Day 30! We hope you have not only changed your relationship with your person, but have lightened your heart. Today, look back on all you learned, review the moments when you really felt like you connected positively with your person, and be encouraged.
What is the one thing that you want to make sure you keep doing as you move forward? Or maybe there are more that have yielded big results when it comes to bringing you closer in your relationship? Make a commitment to continue and tell someone else for accountability. Even if your relationship hasn’t changed as much as you would like, there’s hope. Don’t give up! Some concerns may take a long time to heal . . . but the effort is worth it.
You’ve done a great job over the last 30 days and hopefully you recognize that it’s made a difference in your life!