Ways to Include Service Into Your Daily Routine

Here are 11 simple ways to be the person of your intentions.

1. Look for ways to encourage others on social media.

The average person spends around 2 hours on social media every day.   Think of social media platforms as a platform to spread joy.   Use your “like” buttons freely—people feel good when they get likes.  Consider posting uplifting or inspiring messages or something funny that might give another person a reason to smile.   Before you get on, remind yourself that you aren’t going on to compare or judge, but to add your vote to online communities becoming a more positive and safe place.

2. Give and accept sincere compliments with grace.  

Actively look for ways to give sincere compliments to friends and strangers.  Compliment the bank teller for her friendliness or quick service, and thank the salesperson for folding your clothes so nicely before he puts them in your bag.  You can appreciate someone’s efforts even if they are being paid.

Graciously accept compliments from others with gratitude.  Try not to shrug them off with a self-deprecating remark about yourself.  Don’t cheapen compliments by returning an insincere compliment when you receive one.  Simply say, “Thank you, that makes me feel good.”

3. Be present-give the gift of yourself.

Eye contact is not something to take for granted as many people go about their day multitasking with their personal electronic devices.  Disconnect from your device to connect with the people in front of you.   Initiate friendships with people, the person who always gets you your drink in the morning, your mail carrier.  Introduce yourself to someone while you both wait.

4. Donate your unused items.  

When you go to your closet and you notice the shirt you pass over every morning, start a pile and when it gets big–donate it. Do the same for books, duplicate kitchen utensils, everything you don’t need.   Not sure if you are still going to need something?  Try putting those questionable items in a box for a month.  If you don’t need to open the box in a month, donate all the contents.

5. Let someone go ahead of you.

If you notice someone with just a few items or someone who is flustered juggling kids or someone who appears to be in a good old fashioned hurry, let them cut you in line.

6. Purchase goods that give back.

Look for brands that donate proceeds to good causes or are ethically and fair-trade sourced.  Pearls with Purpose is one such brand.

7. Be a courteous driver.

that person doesn’t deserve to get in front of you but you are the kind of person who treats others like you want to be treated

8. Take advantage of those short minutes of downtime.

When you have an extra minute send off a quick text or e-mail letting someone know you are thinking of them.  Even better, keep stationary in your car or bag and write a short while you wait.

9. Start a chain of kindness.  

So much of what we do and say is reactionary.  If your boss is cross and takes it out on you, it’s easy to take it out on someone else.  Instead of being a link in that chain, start a new chain- a kindness chain.  By being a positive force in your circle of influence you may start a ripple that moves beyond those you know.

10. Pick up litter

Trash on the ground attracts more trash–it’s like a sign that says “Throw more trash, this place isn’t nice anyway.”  Keep a plastic glove handy with a trash bag and get to work.

11. Use reminders to be more intentional.

A lot of us have good intentions to serve but get caught up in the daily grind.  Post quotes or reminders in high traffic places to remind yourself to think of others.  A note with  “Today isn’t a test of my intelligence, it’s a test of my compassion” by your refrigerator might do the trick. Maybe set an alert on your phone that says, “Have I served anyone yet?”