Tag: New Year

Sprinkle kindness everywhere!

Sprinkle kindness everywhere!

It’s been a great month because kindness is floating around everywhere.  From kindness days at my high school to the amazing night I had when I went to speak to the American Association of University Women (AAUW) group in Carbondale.  It was such a pleasure to meet and interact with such a lovely group of women who are dedicated to making their community and the world a better place for others.  I felt honored to be invited to speak to them about my Backpacks for Success project and my passion for giving back and helping others.

Backpacks for Success is a community project that I started so that I could give back to students that cannot afford backpacks and basic school supplies.  This is the third year I’ve coordinated it and each year it seems to get bigger and bigger.  This group was phenomenal to speak with because they do so many amazing things in the community.  In fact, one of the coolest parts that I learned that evening is I actually had the grandson of the women who invited me to speak in my one of my classes at the high school.  Small world!

Lastly, kindness days at the high school were fun, but the best thing about it is the door that my mom helped me create to correlate with our kindness message.  We created a door that emphasized what I think it important – sprinkling and spreading kindness everyday to as many people as possible.  Help make the world better by doing one random act of kindness at a time.  Happy 2019 – may you embark on my #ProjectKindnessBook challenge and spread more kindness where you live!

~jj

#ProjectKindnessBook

#AlwaysChooseKindness

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The #1 NYE Resolution!

The #1 NYE Resolution!

There are lots of resolutions to be made and goals to be set as we head into another New Years Eve.  As you add a new diet to your list, new health and nutrition goals, weight loss, less sugar, and the countless other resolutions, I hope kindness is at the very top for each and every person.  It’s what keeps the world going!  It will give you more purpose, meaning, and happiness than any other goal on your list.  I promise you this, and my book, Giving Back: Lessons from an adopted immigrant on why a happy life is about helping others will affirm why this is true.

As I wrap up 2017, I am thankful for the trip to the nation’s capitol that my husband and I just embarked on.  While there, I was reminded once again why I find travel to be so therapeutic.  The melting pot of people and cultures was lovely, but more than that, the ability to provide guidance and help to them was at the heart of the trip.  My husband and I gave directions to several in DC (while we were ‘tourists’ ourselves it never fails that we get asked how to get somewhere, even when we were in Ireland!).  We also helped someone off the ground who fell at one of the monuments.  What was even sweeter is when my husband said, “I did the same thing earlier today” to make the young twenty-something feel better.

Lastly, as we traveled home we got behind a very slow person in the security line at the airport.  It was a mother with a young child who didn’t put her stuff through the scanner.  The security personnel instructed her to do so and we continued on our way.  Later, I ended up sitting next to her on the plane.  The little girl she had was absolutely a doll.  I lipped to her “Hi” and in the most bubbly little voice she said “Hi” back.  While the mother was between us, the little girl liked to observe me discreetly.  I eventually lended a hand to the mother who was giving the little girl her lunch by throwing her trash away and providing extra napkins for a small spill that occurred.  After all, it can be overwhelming and stressful when you are traveling alone with a small child.  She said back to me, “Thank you so much.”  It wasn’t more than a minute or two later when she looked at me again and said, “That was so kind of you” (after throwing her trash away).  These are the resolutions I hope we are all making for 2018 – to be kind to one another, help one another, and give back to those around us.  Cheers to much happiness and good health next year and LOTS OF KINDNESS!

While Christmas, New Year’s, and the holidays will soon be over until next year, kindness and giving back throughout the year should be resolutions for all.

~jj

#ProjectKindnessBook

#AlwaysChooseKindness

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What will YOU do in 2016?

What will YOU do in 2016?

It is normal to set new goals and milestones at the beginning of the new year.  You may want to lose weight, eat more fruits and veggies, go to church, save more money, write more on your blog (ME!) 😉 and so on.  It can include anything you want to accomplish and do throughout the year. For me, one of my biggest goals is to publish a book I have been working on for almost two years. When it comes to health and well-being, there are many areas that you can focus on – social, emotional, environmental, spiritual, physical, and mental health.

Will you focus on your social health?  This comprises your friends, family, and interactions with others.  Will you sign up to be involved in new groups or events such as community development? Will you volunteer with local charity organizations?  Will you be planning a wedding or other special event?  Will you give selflessly to others through random acts of kindness?  All of these things make you active in ensuring you have a happy, healthy, and successful social component within your life.

Will you focus on your emotional health?  Do you handle stress and excitement appropriately?  Do you balance the spectrum of all emotions in a healthy way?  You may choose to work on emotional health by taking deep breaths when stressed, not “closeting” your feelings, listening to your heart and mind, and making decisions for yourself and how you feel rather than to please others.

Will you focus on your environmental health?  This means that you foster a positive work and personal environment.  Further, this includes preserving the water, air, and the land around you. Will you begin to recycle more this year?  That includes less waste such as paper products including paper plates, napkins, and printing unnecessary documents.  Will you reuse paper to prevent further waste in landfills?  Will you reduce water bottle usage by using reusable plastic bottles to decrease landfill wastes?  When you discuss land and air safety, this means you reduce harmful chemicals such as burning toxic wastes and disposing of chemicals in landfills.

Will you focus on your spiritual health?  This requires that you “talk the talk and also walk the walk.”  In other words, you have morals, values, and ethics that you follow to lead an honest life. Additionally, it means you encourage peace and harmonious relationships between yourself and others.  You may mediate, read about your belief system, pray, or attend a religious organization.

Will you focus on your physical health?  Will you exercise more this year?  Will you join a gym or participate in group exercise classes?  Are you training for a 5k, half marathon, or full marathon? This is probably one of my strengths when it comes to the six components of health.  I regularly exercise, take walks, and go outside to be active.  It helps me lower my stress level and makes me feel great.  This is particularly important to reduce health diseases such as heart problems, obesity, diabetes, and other health concerns that can be created from being overweight.

Will you focus on your mental (aka intellectual) health?  Will you improve your mood or attitude in 2016?  Will you work to cope better with your stress, anxiety, depression, or self-confidence and self-image?  Part of mental health is finding solutions to cope with your daily struggles.  It may mean reaching out for help, recognizing that those around you care, or changing the demands of your life to reduce the mental stress you are facing.

It is very important to find a balance of the six components of health and well-being.  Like me, you may find that you are strong in two to three of the six components.   If that is the case, that’s fantastic!  It means you can use 2016 as a way to focus on the ones that you are not as strong in. As for my book, it focuses on my mental/intellectual health, social health, and emotional health. Consider finding projects, activities, and events that will allow you to work on several components. For example, participating in group fitness classes will focus on your physical, social, and possibly spiritual and emotional well-being.  Spiritual well-being through mediation or yoga, and emotional well-being to reduce stress.  You can work to improve components that you struggle with to find a better balance to lead a healthier and happier 2016!

~jj

#ProjectKindnessBook

#AlwaysChooseKindness

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Feel happy in the New Year!

Feel happy in the New Year!

A new year can often feel as though it is absorbed by everyone making new resolutions to visit the gym more often, lose weight, and eat healthier everyday, but these can be overshadowed by other great changes and new beginnings that can get you off to a great start in 2014!  New beginnings and new changes don’t have to mean weight loss and diets, but can also mean being happier with yourself and your surroundings, so here are a few great tips I have gathered that make me feel happy, healthy, and keep the adventurous edge of life in me.

If you’re feeling the new year “blah” because the holidays are over and you don’t have the optimism and positive attitude to go along with the New Year, consider some simple changes that might help give you a new perspective or outlook.  For example, consider painting a wall in your house or a specific room to have an accent wall or rearrange your furniture to give a room a new look.

Consider booking a spring or summer vacation in January so you have something to look forward to.  Whether it be a small weekend getaway or a week at the beach or in the mountains, you will thank yourself for booking something.  It will give you the motivation and energy to get through the rest of winter and build momentum as your getaway gets closer.

Allow yourself to be more open and honest with yourself and others.  If you don’t want to attend the numerous baby showers, bridal parties, and weddings that you get invited to, quickly send back the RSVP card with a “no” response and cross that obligation off your calendar.  If you don’t want to go, it will show, so there’s no reason to show up to someone’s party or celebration with a poor outlook or attitude.

Lastly, try to improve the characteristics and qualities about yourself that cause additional stress.  For example, if you tend to run late for everything learn to get up earlier to pad yourself with additional time.  While running late may seem somewhat harmless, it adds additional stress to your day and can cause you to be thrown out of your routine.  It often makes you feel frazzled, which is typically carried throughout your entire day.

~jj

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