Pretty twinkling lights, giddy kids, a million not-so-healthy eats and treats, cooler temps, and lots of family time—this time of year is hands-down my favorite! I’ll be the first to admit it: Sometimes Chris and I get so wrapped up in our work that we don’t have time to stop and smell the roses, but something about the holiday season stops us in our tracks and forces us to slow down and enjoy the things that matter most! I love staying up late watching a Christmas movie with my kiddos (a real rarity around here!) or watching as sweet Cash carefully puts together his lists of wants from Santa. Everything about this season screams magic. Well, almost everything.

While the holiday season is a favorite for so many, I know firsthand how incredibly painful it can be at times. For years after losing my dad, milestones and holidays—especially Christmas—served more as a reminder of what was lost than what I had. It can be so difficult to watch friends and family celebrating with the ones they love most when the one we love most is no longer with us.

I know, unfortunately, I am not alone in these feelings. As wonderful and bright as the holidays are, it’s easy to allow the light of the season to be dimmed when you’re going through any kind of trial in your life. Whether it be illness, financial setbacks, family problems, work problems, discouragement, loneliness, anxiety or depression—or so many other things that can make it hard to put on that happy holiday face—these trials make us want to hibernate until Santa’s sleigh makes it back to the North Pole and we can get on with our routine lives. Know this though…YOU ARE NOT ALONE, and YOU CAN GET OUT OF THIS MINDSET!!!

Before I tell you HOW to shift your perspective and make these holidays cheery and bright again, know this: From the bottom of my breaking heart, I really do wish I could wrap my arms around each and every one of you who are struggling, tell you it’s all going to be okay, and let you know how beautiful YOU are…and of course feed you healthy chocolate and tell you how nice your booty is. 😉 #kiddingnotkidding

So here’s the deal…I am about to talk transformation for a second, but it all ties together at the end, so just bear with me. I know that over the years I have talked your ear off about the many physical aspects of transformation, and at times (especially on social media), I’ve even touched on parts of transformation you can’t see with the human eye—the REAL meat and potatoes of it all. It has nothing to do with the number on the scale, the size of your pants, or how much weight you can lift. TRUE transformation comes from within and has everything to do with LOVING YOURSELF.

If you’ve heard that once, you’ve heard it a million and a half times from me. But the fact of the matter is that if you don’t learn to love yourself, your ability to love anyONE or anyTHING else (including the holiday season) is strongly handicapped. You’ll find yourself aimlessly wandering through life, wondering why or how everyone around you is happily living the perfect life while YOU are left to clean up the pieces of what seems like a disaster. All while asking questions like, “Why me? Why this trial? Why do holidays—and life—have to hurt so much?”

So HOW do we dig ourselves out of this dark hole of despair? How do we learn to love ourselves, and consequently, learn to love the holidays—even when times might be excruciatingly tough? 

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
– Mahatma Ghandi

By turning our focus AWAY from ourselves and onto others in need, not only will we naturally experience a higher level of appreciation for the things we do have, but we will also be better able to notice others’ needs, be more empathetic, and feel more compassion for others and what they are going through. Because the truth is that we are NOT ALONE (although often we like to think we are the ONLY ones that hurt). If we are feeling any kind of pain this holiday season, it is highly likely that those around us are feeling it in one way or another as well.

In the age of social media, where “highlight reels” are all we see, it seems that everyone is leading perfect, happy lives, but that is certainly not the case. Every single person on planet Earth is battling some sort of personal trial right now—small or large—despite what appearances may say. By serving others, we will not only lift our pain and hurt (because…it’s NOT all about “me”), but we will help lift their pain and hurt as well. 

And let’s not forget—serving others is what the holidays are really about, right? In an effort to help keep our focus on the spirit of serving others this season, as well as aid in continuing your own transformation journey, I’d like to challenge every single one of you to participate in a “12 Days of Kindness” challenge. Each day, I want you to do simple Random Acts of Kindness (RAOKs) for the people in your life. It can be anything…for anyone…even the homeless man needing food on the corner. Over the 12 days of focusing on giving instead of getting, I can promise you a hole will be filled in your heart, and you will have effectively made a positive impact in the lives of those you’ve touched.

 
Here are some RAOK ideas to get you started—and many don’t cost you a single cent…

  • Let someone cut in front of you in traffic without getting irritated.
  • Be kind to someone who is grumpy. Those you feel least deserve it usually need it the most.
  • Smile at someone. This small gesture goes a long way.
  • Clean out your closets and toys before Christmas and give to those in need. Better yet, donate presents you get to them for the holiday.
  • Allow the impatient woman and child at the store to go in front of you in line. You never know what they are dealing with back at home.
  • Send a thoughtful text or email…to anyone, but especially someone who you tend to hold back with. Your approval and love will mean so much, I guarantee.
  • Open the door for someone. 
  • Buy coffee for the person behind you in the Starbuck’s drive-thru.
  • Give your spare change to the homeless person you see on the side of the road. As tough as it can be sometimes to give money when you don’t know where it is going, the fact of the matter is that it’s not about YOU…it’s about them. Your act of service and kindness WILL matter, regardless.
  • Say the 3 powerful words, “I love you,” more often. You really never know when this just might be your last opportunity.

While RAOKs are amazing to do alone, they are even better to do with the kiddos and family in tow. Not only will they have so much fun GIVING, but you’ll be setting an example of kindness that will transform their lives too!

So to get us started, here are MY Random Acts of Kindness…

Over the next 12 days, I will be giving away some of my favorite things. You can enter to win for YOU—or you can enter to win to do a ROAK for SOMEONE ELSE—whomever you feel is most in need. My 12 Days of Kindness Giveaway will run TODAY through December 23rd, and each day I’ll be giving away a new gift! **Entry info below gift info**

Here are the 12 Days of Kindness items up for grabs…

Tuesday, 12/12: On the 1st Day of Kindness, I am giving to you my favorite ever Words of Affirmation Tribe Bracelet set. Truly, there is no better (or more stylish) reminder to speak kind words to yourself and to others. Congrats, @krissareann! You’re our first winner! 💕

BONUS: Cents of Style so kindly is doing a MAJOR SALE for you guys on this entire line. Bracelets are only $9.95….a whopping 61% OFF! Use code HEIDITRIBE at checkout to apply the discount and order by 12/18 to get them in time for Christmas. 

Wednesday, 12/13: On the 2nd Day of Kindness, I am giving to you…Slingshot Hip Circles & a 1 month supply of G2G bars. Two things (or more if you have lots of each!) I cannot live without. Combine them (food + bands) for the ultimate booty builder. BONUS:  G2G is kindly giving you all a 20% DISCOUNT if you use the code: HEIDI at checkout!  Congratulations to our Day 2 winner—Kylee Maedje!

Thursday, 12/14: On the 3rd Day of Kindness, I am giving to you…2 Dietbet entries (one for you and one for your workout buddy!) for our upcoming game beginning January 2, 2018. New Year, New You!!! Let’s Get Lean in 2018!! Liz Chajon, congratulations!!!

BONUS: All Dietbet entries for this game (click here) will get 30 days on The TRANSFORM App for just $1 to help you lose weight!!! Info will be emailed to Dietbet player close to the start of the game.

 Friday, 12/15: On the 4th Day of Kindness, I am giving to you…only the world’s CUTEST workout outfit—tank, leggings, shoes, sports bra, and hoodie—compliments of Reebok. I can’t spill ALL of the deets on this full get up quite yet, but I’ll be posting pics on Friday. But..You. Will. Love. Michelle Grietzer is our winner! Congratulations!!!

Saturday, 12/16: On the 5th Day of Kindness, I am giving to you…a Cents of Style “Cozy Package,” complete with a cozy cardigan, slippers, blanket scarf, beanie, and tote bag—everything someone needs to chill after the craziness of the holidays are over. Congratulations, Sherry Coontz!

Sunday, 12/17: On the 6th Day of Kindness, I am giving to you…a 3-month supply of our beloved Quest products. Just in time for those New Year’s Resolutions! Danielle Condie, enjoy your Quest goodies! Congratulations!

Monday, 12/18: On the 7th Day of Kindness, I am giving to you…Weight Belts for Workout Buddies!! Two (2) Schiek Weight Belts, sized to the individual to help you get your lift on. Congratulations, Marnae Carter! You’re going to love these weight belts!

Tuesday, 12/19: On the 8th Day of Kindness, I am giving to you…my “Mom’s BFF package” of all my Cents of Style faves: Corduroy hat, BELIEVE hoodie, and their new adorbs Floral jogger sweats. Connie Williams is our winner! Congratulations!!!

Wednesday, 12/20: On the 9th Day of Kindness, I am giving to you…a FULL YEAR subscription to the TRANSFORM app!!! This will change someone’s life! Tyson Davis will be transforming this year with the app! Congratulations!!!

Thursday, 12/21: On the 10th Day of Kindness, I am giving to you…our “Swolemates package” of Reebok His/Hers shoes + 2 gym bags. #GetYoSweatOn Congratulations, Kristin Elser! I hope you and your swolemate love your shoes and gym bags! 🙂 

Friday, 12/22: On the 11th Day of Kindness, I am giving to you… a (4) week supply of Fresh by TRANSFORM meals. Yes, you read that right…I am going to feed you for a month. Guys…this one is VALUED at a whopping $400!! Alex Perry, congratulations! I hope you love your Fresh by Transform meals!

Saturday, 12/23: This is the giveaway that tops ALL giveaways! On the 12th Day of Kindness, I am giving you an amazing one-night stay at the BEAUTIFUL Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North, nestled next to Pinnacle Peak. The Four Seasons is our home away from home and our absolute favorite place to escape to for ultimate relaxation! It is luxury living at its finest. You will also win dinner for two people at Proof, an amazing restaurant at the resort. We love to escape to the Four Seasons Scottsdale, and we know if you win, you will absolutely LOVE it, too!

And…this giveaway also includes the most comfortable, cozy, and clean products! Who wouldn’t absolutely LOVE to get a better night’s sleep on 700-thread-count sheets?! This amazing package from Sleep Like A King is valued at over $350!!! Gift includes 1 Swiss Dot Jacquard Sheet Set (fitted sheet, flat sheet, and 2 pillowcases), along with 2 Beverly Hills Bath Sets (bath towels, hand towels, and washcloths) and an assortment of five refreshing, luxurious soaps. And…all of you can get 25% off sitewide at www.sleeplikeaking.com 12/23/17 – 1/31/18. Use the promo code HEIDI25 at check out. 🙂

TO ENTER EACH DAY: Comment below on this blog with the following:

#1: Tell me below about the RAOK(s) you did today (or the day you are entering).
#2: Include your name and state/province and country below so we can make sure kindness is spreading all over the world!
#3: FIND THE POST OF THE DAY (Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter) and TAG someone who has shown YOU kindness in your life! Be sure you are following me!

**Enter by Midnight MST each day to be eligible to win. Winners will be randomly chosen and announced BELOW the following morning.**

On that note…let’s get started on our RAOKs!!!!

Xoxo,

Heidi

Related reading:

Ask the Powells: How Do We Handle the Holidays?
Gift Giving Guide from the Fashionistas to Fitness Lovers
Kids Say the Darndest Things: A Powell Pack Christmas
Green Grinch Shake
Santa vs. Heidi Part 2 || Geography Skills, Flexibility, and College Boozing Pay Off (Kind Of)