52 Ways to Have a Good Day – #6: Do Something Nice

52 Ways to Have a Good Day 6 Do Something Nice My one New Year’s Resolution for 2014 is pretty simple: have more good days.

I don’t have bad days on a regular basis, but I don’t necessarily have good days either. The days where I go to bed feeling accomplished, proud, and balanced are few and far between. I want to celebrate this year by enjoying as many days as I can – even when it feels like mission impossible.

So each week, I’ll be sharing one of 52 Ways to Have a Good Day- or maybe even a great one. Read the rest of the series here.

#6: Do Something Nice For Someone Else


Something I wish I was more conscious of is doing something nice for someone else. I have certain things down, like holding doors open when someone is behind me or picking up a dropped item and handing it back to someone, but these are things that I think are engrained in me. These are not things I consciously think about doing for someone else just to do a good deed.

But when I do consciously think about doing something nice for someone else, some kind of magic happens. I say it’s magic because the moment leading up to the deed is exciting and then the moment after it’s done? Pure bliss. Magical, unattainable-except-for-that-moment bliss. Simply knowing that I did something to make someone’s day a little better for no other reason than “just because” fills me with instant gratification.

I’ve left larger tips on holidays and walked away knowing their time spent waiting tables wasn’t going to be as miserable just because of that simply act. I’ve let struggling mothers ahead of me in line because it was obvious that they needed some kind of break – ANY kind of break – that day and the gratitude she had for that simple, almost insignificant-to-me act was overwhelming. There’s more, but every time I did these things – the story was the same:

It took me minutes to do and yet the happiness high lasted for hours, if not days. 

So I’m challenging you and myself to do something nice for someone else. Your good deed does not have to be expensive. It doesn’t even have to be extravagant. The point of doing something nice isn’t to measure it against what else you could be doing for them or what they’ll do in return.

The point is just to do something. Anything. They’ll be grateful for it later and you’ll walk away knowing that you did something to make the world a little bit brighter today. Knowing that you make your week better by making someone else’s day.

Not sure what to do? Here’s some ideas:

  • Hold a door open for someone that has their hands full with groceries or even children.
  • Compliment someone – a complete stranger even – on your way to work or while running errands.
  • Leave an even bigger tip than you normally would when your waiter or waitress does a great job.
  • Pay for someone’s order  at a restaurant or leave change at a vending machine for someone to buy something.
  • Let someone go ahead of your in line at the grocery store or in the drive-thru line.

There’s a good chance that your simple act will encourage someone else to pay it forward. And some day? You’ll be on the receiving end of another simple, yet extraordinary good deed.

what’s something nice you’ve done for someone else recently?