The 30-Day Challenge to Change a Life

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    We’ve all heard the stories about a random act of kindness that radically transformed someone’s life.

    A kind stranger in the airport saves a mom from a total meltdown by helping her with her screaming children.

    A young man helps bag groceries and befriends an elderly woman in the loneliest years of her life.

    They are moving stories, meant to inspire us to bring more good into the world, to be more thoughtful when someone is in need. They are stories that make us feel good and make us want to be better people.

    Why aren’t we waking up each day with the intention to positively change a life with an act of kindness? We schedule acts to improve our health. We schedule acts to improve our business. We schedule acts to improve our relationships.

    What if we took the time to set an intention to change someone’s life and in turn change our own?

    Science has proven that acts of kindness have a positive impact on both the person who receives it as well as the person who does the act itself. Linda Encobme states,

    “Studies show that thinking about, observing or practicing a kind act stimulates that vagus nerve, which literally warms up the heart and may be closely connected to the brain’s receptor networks for oxytocin, the soothing hormone involved in maternal bonding. Kindness also triggers the reward system in our brain’s emotion regulation center releasing dopamine, the hormone that’s associated with positive emotions and the sensation of a natural high. Intentional Kindness—which reduces stress, anxiety, and depression—can literally put us, and others, at ease. It works wonders in the relationships we have with ourselves and with everyone else, even with people we don’t know.”

    How incredible is it that we have the power to positively change our own lives by setting out to change another’s?

    I challenge each of us to implement one intentional act of kindness for the next 30 days. 

    I’ve listed some examples below to get you started.

    1. Call your parents in the middle of the day to tell them you love them.
    2. Leave a thank you note for your mailman.
    3. Leave a treat on your coworker’s desk to thank them for their hard work.
    4. Compliment someone in the grocery store.
    5. Help someone take their groceries to the car.
    6. Send a text to a friend just to tell them you love them.
    7. Volunteer at the homeless shelter one Saturday this month.
    8. Call a school and offer to pay a child’s lunch balance.
    9. Mail a friend’s child a small gift.
    10. Buy a cup of coffee for the person behind you.

    These are small examples you can implement in your day that can drastically improve someone else’s. It also doesn’t hurt that it makes you feel great too.  Let’s commit to change the world, one intentional act of kindness at a time. 

    What is an act of kindness that you’ve witnessed? How did it change your day? Your week? Your life? 

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    Charleston native Whitney Williams McDuff has devoted her life to being the best daughter, sister, friend, wife, coworker, leader, and now mother she can be. She graduated from USC with a double degree in Public Relations and Psychology, partially because she’s fascinated by the nature of people, and partially because it set her free from the claws of a monstrous statistics course that she was eager to avoid. (Hey, sometimes the truth isn’t always pretty). Her career spans across the world of sales, marketing, and public relations, thriving in a realm where building relationships was the key to the contentment kingdom. Her passions include writing, reading, painting, her piano and guitar, interesting conversation, film, her pug Bee, and a great glass wine. Ok, glasses. She and her husband Jimmy are expecting their first child, Baby Holbrook, this summer, so wine bottles have been left on the shelf for now. Her blog, No Wine for Nine, began when Whitney became fed up with the pressure to be flawless and knew that laughter and sharing her stories with her girlfriends was essential to making it through this thing called Motherhood.  Her hope is that her blog is a cherished place for any woman who longs for an escape from the stress of perfection, because she believes that true magic lies in the imperfections and hilarity of everyday life. Still trying to navigate Babies R’ Us. Biggest fears include spiders and mis-posting on a mom-swap site.