1. Study a new culture. Sometimes we can be pretty ethnocentric. Choose a religion, country or race, and learn as much as you can about it. It will open up your eyes, and maybe you’ll be a little more empathetic toward other people.
2. Clean out your clutter and donate it. Each month, go through your house with a bag and toss in items you can donate to a charity. Clothes, toys, canned goods, shoes and even furniture can be donated at the right location. You will be helping another family out and decluttering your home.
3. Vote! Read up on the candidates and make an informed decision when voting time comes. Your vote matters.
4. Broaden your horizons. Branch out from your comfort zone. Try new foods, listening to new music or reading more books, whether it’s for career or personal growth – or just for fun.
5. Shop responsibly. Know the company you are buying products from. Be sure to choose companies who are environmentally, economically and socially responsible. You want to support companies that choose to do the right thing.
6. Volunteer. Obviously, a great way to do good is to get your hands dirty and actually volunteer for an organization you support. Try actively seeking out a nonprofit that interests you and see how you can help out.
7. Take up a new hobby. Find out what you’re great at. The world needs people to realize their talents and use them to do good things.
8. Be a better partner. Be the partner you want to have in your relationship. Communicate and love the other person and make a commitment to do more for them this year.
9. Learn from your kids. Observe your kids and learn from them. Spend more time with them. Try doing the things that they love to do. If you let them, kids will teach you a lot about life and how to live it freely.
10. Show more kindness. Be more intentional with kindness. You will see the world change before your eyes if you try to go out of your way to do one kind thing per day.
11. Give up your phone. You don’t have to give up your phone for good, but it might not be a bad idea to give it up for a weekend. See how much free time you have to pursue other hobbies when you aren’t spending it playing Candy Crush and scrolling through Twitter.
12. Adopt a pet. If you want a pet, go to a shelter and adopt one instead of shopping around. There are plenty of animals that need loving homes. And if you really love the idea of adopting pets, some shelters have a foster program. You can foster a pet while he or she waits for an adoption from someone else.
13. Donate money! This is may be slightly obvious or you may even be tired of people asking you for donations. In reality, most of us have extra money. Instead of buying Starbucks, for one month donate that money to a charity of your choice. Think about the extra things you have in your life, and spend a few weeks sacrificing those luxuries to give to those in need.
14. Lead by example. Are you annoyed with your co-workers, subordinates, friends or even your kids? Instead of trying to change them or just complaining about them, try leading by example. Be the person you want them to be. Become a mentor for someone at work. The world can only get better when we look at changing ourselves first, before looking to change others.
15. Think before you speak. Words hurt people.Try only speaking positive words, even if it’s just for a day or two as an experiment. Lift other people up instead of tearing them down.
16. Be a better friend. Life can get kind of crazy as we get older. Not only do we balance our own schedules, but we handle our spouses’ schedules, our deadlines at work and driving our kids around. Make some time for your friends this year, because you may need it just as much as they do.
17. Be generous. Don’t just be generous with money or stuff. Be generous with kind words and actions. Don’t hold back. If you see something that needs to be done, or someone who needs to be encouraged, step in and do it.
18. Learn how to forgive. Make 2016 the year of no grudges. Forgive people and mend friendships and relationships that have been broken.
19. Support local businesses. Make it a point this year to support the local businesses around you. You can get everything you need from a small business that you can get from a huge corporation. Even better, you can get to know a small business owner and realize buying from them means helping them buy groceries or sending their kids to camp.
20. Choose people over technology. When it comes down to the choice of spending time on Facebook or having a face-to-face interaction with a person, choose people every time. Don’t let your friendships just be virtual. Be intentional and meet with friends, play with your kids and date your partner.