It is a new year and that means it is time to create our list of acts of kindness for each month.
This year, as my first full year of being a 'stay at home mum,' we are trying to focus on saving money and really buckling down on where our limited funds are going. After an uneasiness feeling that came with e-banking yesterday (yeesh, after Christmas is always the worst time to look at your bank account, no?) we decided that for 2014, our 12 Months of Kindness Project would focus on Gifts of Time.
Each month, we picked a different 'group' of people that we wanted to give our time too. Obviously, we already spend quality time with most of the people listed, but we want to strive for making a focus on being present and making new memories - going out of the normal to really give of ourselves the one thing that money can't buy: time. We sketched out some ideas of gifts of time for each group as well - some of the months are designated for a group because of an annual kindness we do, like May - for young people in our community because of our yearly scholarship and July - for our friends because of Beer Olympics.
In June we plan to give each other gifts of time. Brandon suggested that we switch one chore with each other to try to better appreciate what we do. I'll be tackling garbage and burn duty while he attempts to take on laundry (washing, drying, folding, AND ironing! ah!!)
Other months will focus on accomplishing things we sometimes don't make time for that we want to but sadly push to the back burner; Like in March (Grandparents) visiting Grave sites and in November (Home) doing a deep cleaning.
It will be a new sort of 12 Months of Kindness Project for us - but one that I am really looking forward to - I think we might be on to something here:)
Maintaining our commitment to the 12 Months of Kindness Project has been such an important part of our family life. We started it five years ago and have made honest attempts at completing (at least) one act of kindness as a family each month. It has given our year such a strong focus on gratitude that helps keep us reminded that we are so lucky to live this life - no matter how difficult or messy it feels at times. It is easy to get caught up in the everyday hum of adult life, the small disagreements or challenges - but having a monthly goal towards giving out kindness and reflecting on how truly lucky we are has been a key to our happiness as a family.
As the kids continue to grow, it has been awesome to watch them understand more and more about giving back - and this year, with our focus on gifts of time - we hope it will be ever more clear to them that the most important gift of kindness of all is that of yourself; of your time.
I hope so much that other families will join us in this commitment to 12 Months of Kindness Project. It's so important to make a plan so that you can hold yourself (and your family) accountable to acting out in kindness. I promise you, it will be a rewarding and inspiring year of gratitude for each member of your family.
Check out my kindness pinboard here.
or Read about our past acts of kindness here on the blog.
If you're interested in more information, please visit our dedicated blog at the 12 Months of Kindness Project.