Like the famous Blink-182 song (released in 2000) indicated, the little things matter and can add up to making a BIG difference. There are little things we can do every single day to make a material impact in our lives (and, maybe even more importantly, in the lives of others). It doesn’t take much, but it does take a conscious effort. Below is a list of “Small Things” I try to do each day to make life a little better.
- ü Take the stairs – my office is on the 4thfloor and I haven’t taken the elevator in over six months. I figure that if I burn just an extra 5 calories by taking the stairs, then I burn 20 extra calories a day (up in the morning, down for lunch, up after lunch, down in evening). Multiply that out by 45 weeks of work at the office each year and I’ve burned an extra 4,500 calories for doing the simplest thing. Plus, it seems like so often people in elevators just want to complain to you about the things going wrong with their day!
- ü Wake them up gently – I have learned that slowing down in the morning when I wake up my kids goes a long way. I try to gently wake them up with soft kisses, hugs, and words of encouragement. I used to throw open the door, flip on the lights, and start barking like a drill sergeant….not a good strategy. This new and improved “small thing” has made a big difference. It is not fool proof, but 9 out of 10 days those sweet kiddos wake up in a good mood and ready to face the day.
- ü Smile – this one may sound over-simplistic, but do not discount the power of a smile. The smallest of gestures can change the course of another’s day. Go out with intention, smile when you walk, and maybe get crazy and say “hello” when you pass a stranger!
- ü Give a hug – do a quick Google search and you will find the “experts” telling you to get somewhere between 4 and 15 hugs a day for health and maintenance. Start with your family in the morning and then continue your hugs throughout the day…..you just might notice an improvement in your daily outlook.
- ü Three little words – don’t let a day go by without telling those who are most important in your life that you love them. Sometimes we think “it goes without saying.” But it shouldn’t. Say it every day so there is never a doubt. Life is sometimes much shorter than anticipated, so take each day to make sure they know.
Will doing this require a Herculean effort? Nope. These are just simple little things you can (should) do every single day. Will doing this change your life? Try it and see!