In January I did a little experiment with my life. I started doing one good thing a day to become a better person than I am now. Not that I hate who I am still, no harm in getting better.
I did mention earlier that I am not a goal person. I don’t set goals. Earlier whenever I set goals i failed, multiple times and eventually I stopped setting goals. I find it perfectly well to not set a goal. Goals never made me do extra work (not that I am suggesting you not to set a goal).
My boss requires one at work, so I reluctantly put some goals in. Since our year-end appraisal depends on fulfilling those goals, we do put in a lot of effort in to setting it. Although down the line, I tend to forget those goals and work only on making my current assignments successful.
You might not agree with my goal-less approach, but believe me this works great for me when I am off pressure. I excel when pressure is not there and task is to make things better. My boss knows that very well, he’s a good manager and use me the way I liked to be used. He knows I finish off things before he expects, out of my interest.
It was an idea that occurred to me while reading a blog post at Meant to be Happy (MTBH) they listed 45 ideas to try out every day for 45 days to be a better person.
I wanted to implement those ideas one at a time every day. The reason I didn’t plan and write it down before hand as I wanted to quit any time in between without having a self-defeat feeling. So it was not a goal, rather it was just an attempt at something interesting.
So, here it goes. I continued implementing 31 ideas, one each day, for 31 days of January. I completed it without setting goal, because it gave me a feeling of accomplishment and success while doing them.
SMB was very encouraging and thought 31 days wouldn’t be enough to make her hubby a better person, I needed probably a year or more. 🙂
Day 1 – We wished happy new year to everyone (almost) on our caller list, even the ones who did hurt us in the past.
Original MTBH Idea – Forgive those who have offended you, even if they’re not sorry
Day 2 – It was first working day of the year, and over the holidays I got mail about demise of my colleagues mom. We sent flowers to them.
Original MTBH Idea – Care how strangers feel, even if they don’t care how you feel
Day 3 – Dropped SMB’s old glasses at a Lion’s club donation center, My glasses were already donated.
Original MTBH Idea – Do a kind deed anonymously
Day 4 – I Let an older couple go before us at our local Publix stores (our local grocer).
Original MTBH Idea – Let the person in the checkout line behind you with only one item go before you
Day 5 – I came home at 10PM from work, working to help someone, taking time off from blog which is generally 8 PM to midnight.
Original MTBH Idea – Give up something you love (a thing, money, time) to help someone in need
Day 6 – I gave in to SMB’s suggestion to eat out twice for the week. It was a deviation from our usual habit of eating out only once a week. She was sick and couldn’t cook.
Original MTBH Idea – Be willing to change your mind once you see another’s opinion is better than your own
Day 7 – I took a vow not to be rude over email to anybody, something I am in-famous for, at work. I am following this change of habit ever since and I feel great to be calm and cool even when things are not right.
Original MTBH Idea – Work on your character every single day you’re alive
Day 8 – It was a Sunday and we visited the hospital to see a friend’s new-born baby. Presented a collage few pictures taken during their pregnancy. They were very ecstatic seeing that.
Original MTBH Idea – Visit someone in need just to say hello and give them your love
Day 9 – Called least performing subordinate in my team, had a conversation for half an hour. Motivated him to do better this year.
Original Idea – Inspire someone else to do better
Day 10 – Typical day at work, office politics and the coffee cup talk about the boss started. I duly reminded every one not to discuss the topic. I might have been the bad guy to them that day, but to my moral, I was right.
Original MTBH Idea – Be conscious that every word and every action is a ripple sent out into the world
Day 11 – I did say No to my boss when an additional task were getting assigned to me. Later realized that this was actually on MTBH list.
Original MTBH Idea – Don’t say “yes” if you intend “no”.
Day 12 – ‘I do not know’ was my answer when my VP wanted an answer. I could have given a wrong answer, and he had no way to find out. Bit tough, I know, when it’s your boss’ boss who is asking.
Original MTBH Idea – Care more about truth than your image.
Day 13 – From 13th January I stopped being mad at people who do not pick up my call at first time. I now ask them about their well-being and health the moment they pick up my next call. And, it works!
Original MTBH Idea – Instead of getting mad at the delay, pray for the people in the accident.
Day 14 – Happened twice on a day when I gave up fighting, once on a bloggers comment and again one in the yakezie forum. Matters were subjective and opinions had to be divergent.
Original MTBH Idea – Accept that others have a right to disagree with you.
Day 15 – Showed some extra care towards SMB by saying sorry, when she was mad at my hygiene practice. Any other day I would have tried justifying why hand towel was on our bed. She was real mad and I had a mission toward becoming a better human being.
Original MTBH Idea – Weigh your words and actions and care how they impact others.
Shamelessly admit, I lapsed on 16th day and stopped taking notes of daily achievements ever since. I am still following those practices and we plan to continue this forever. We need to repeat the procedure a few times before they become our practice.
In February, I am on a mission to become a better person at work in terms of my value in the job I do. I shall post it soon.
“To succeed you must first improve, to improve you must first practice, to practice you must first learn, and to learn you must first fail.” – Wesley Woo
Readers, what do you think about the above ways? Do you think they may help you in your life? Are you interested to become a better human being?
I think that’s awesome! I’d love to do some of those things. I think that not only will doing nice things for others help you become a better person, it will push the person that was helped to also do nice things. It’s a win/win.
Good to start with yourself and then motivate others. Dreaming of a better future …
Jai Catalano says
I think just absorbing the kindness I have become a better person. Ok here is what I am going to do… I am going to let the next person behind me at the market go in front of me.
Glad you are inspired, just ensure he/she is not with a lots of coupons. 🙂
Newlyweds on a Budget says
I think it’s great that you were able to find a way to improve yourself without setting goals and finding something that worked best for you!
Yes and its effective too.
I think these are all great!
Yes they are
The Happy Homeowner says
This is fantastic!! There definitely should be more people out there who are willing to do these types of things…
What about you? Interested in joining?
I really enjoyed reading all of the things you did. It shows that the little things really do make a big difference, both in the lives of others and in your own. I have tried to do something similar in the past, but to be successful at it I would need to make it a goal. I tend to forget stuff that isn’t right in front of my every day — as in literally on my calendar. I think I’ll go add this now!
No matter how hard I try, I just cant keep up with goals. I feel pressured and then feel like not doing it altogether. But do what works for you, if youcan do better only after making it a goal, then be it!
I love Day 3. I love doing something anonymously. I dont feel I should be recognized for everything I do.
Thats great to know Chris, go ahead do something good!
Money Infant says
I love that list and will be bookmarking this and printing it out. Think of what a world we would live on if everyone tried doing one of these things every day. Thanks for sharing this SB!
I am glad it tucked so well with you. I will encourage you to start following good practices.
Good list – I like the idea of little efforts adding up over time.
Yes JB, you go it correct!
This is a great list! I’m totally going to try it!
Cool, all the best!
Paul @ The Frugal Toad says
Going to print this out and put it on my refrigerator SB! And will do these with my daughter!
That’s good to know Paul, all the best. Great to have inspired someone.
Marissa @ Thirtys Six Months says
I love this list. Saying no for me is really hard, but it takes a bit of practice. I have found that I respect someone more when they tell me that they don’t know something instead of making up an answer.
I found this particularly annoying when my subordinates try ti hide things or try to make thing up. You are absolutely right.
Kylie Ofiu says
What an amazing list. Doing things like this can really change your life, make you feel better about yourself and help those around you. It doesn’t take much effort when you spread it out over a few weeks or set yourself a challenge like this. Thanks for sharing.
Great to hear that it did influence you!
its really nice and informative blog i read it and impressed from it so i would like to appreciate you on this and keep it up
Ken [email protected] says
Googled “how to be a better person” to see what is being said about a topic near and dear to my heart and found your site. I really love what you did with what I originally wrote. I also like the way you broke it down to a day-by-day goalless approach. I even liked the genuineness of ending the exercise on the 16th. That’s about what life is all about. We try, fall down, get up and keep at it, stumble, get stuck, fall over, then clean up and keep at it.
I’m honored to have been a part of this awesome post!
when I’m having a bad day and not in the mood to be nice, I always remind myself to be nice to other people.
I always try to smile warmheartedly to the security who has boring job, just sitting around and has no body to talk to, they’re not even allowed to read newspaper
smile warmheartedly produce good aura
Brick By Brick Investing | Marvin says
Great method and doesn’t require much effort. I personally like setting goals but it might come from my military background.
Hi. Thanks for this list, I really appreciate you taking the time to write and post it.
It’s a sad fact, but there are grown men who don’t know how to tie a tie.