1. Write a list of things you love but forget to be grateful for. Post it somewhere. Tag and challenge other people to do the same.
2. Call your mom.
3. Donate money to an ALS foundation (or really any foundation) and don’t post about doing so on Facebook.
4. When you get home from work, take your pants off and dance. (Yes, really.)
5. Make a list of things to talk about with your friends that do not involve insulting anybody else, complaining about your life or dwelling on the past.
6. Start with these: where you want to be in 10 years, how you could team up to do something good for someone else (plan a birthday party, start a garden for your town), what things you want to plan to do during the upcoming season (a road trip in the fall, camping at the end of the summer), the logistics of making those plans reality, a topic you feel strongly (and positively) about supporting.
7. Think about how far you’ve come and feel grateful — really take a minute to feel it, not just think about it (comparing who you are to who you were is the easiest way to do so.)
8. Stop talking incessantly about what other people need to change, why they’re wrong and terrible and moronic, and start thinking about things you could stand to change. (Starting with how often you feel the need to judge others.)
9. If you have a little sibling or cousin or niece or nephew, plan a date with them. (I do this with my little brother.) Wake them up and tell them you’re going to take them to a movie they wanted to see or out for lunch or to the toy store. Sometimes my brother and I will sit in the car in a parking lot near a small, local airport and watch the planes take off and land because they’re one of his favorite things. (He’s four, if you’re wondering.) The gesture usually doesn’t have to be big, but to them, it will seem like everything.
10. Send that same little kid a card with a picture that you drew for them.
11. Ask: What can I do to help?
12. Pay someone a phone call.
13. Make a little extra dinner tonight and share it with someone you normally don’t.
14. Call your grandparents.
15. Visit their grave if they’ve already passed. Bring flowers. Talk to them. Thank them. Say that you love them.
16. Buy a Starbucks gift card on your phone, take a screenshot of it and post it somewhere and let other people use it to pay for their coffee.
17. Apologize for things that happened a long time ago, even if you’re certain the other people involved have forgotten. You don’t know what people still carry with them. You don’t know how much healing comes from a simple: “I’m sorry” from someone you thought would never say it.
18. Ask a cashier, barista, waitress, cab driver, DMV employee etc. how their day is going and have a discussion with them. Treat them like people, not inanimate servants.
19. Bake/bring something to the office for everyone.
20. Make someone laugh.
21. Admit your mistakes.
22. Ask your boss if they’re doing okay (people rarely think of them as human beings with a lot on their shoulders too.)
23. The next time you think something nice about someone, say it out loud.
24. Give yourself a hug. (Really.)
25. Buy watercolors or other art supplies and spend a Saturday night making something and listening to music by yourself.
26. Share your umbrella with a stranger.
27. Talk to an old person.
29. Tell a coworker you admire why you admire them.
30. Thank the people you never got the chance to (it’s easier than ever with social media.)
31. If you see someone struggling with something heavy, help them.
32. If you see kids going crazy in public, catch yourself before you judge their parents or nanny or whoever is trying to take care of them. (You will not understand the importance of this until you have had to do it yourself.)
33. Don’t retweet things because you hate them.
34. Ask out the person you like — at least you took that risk and tried to put love in the world, and now they know somebody wants them in their life.
35. Tell someone what they mean to you. You don’t know who needs to hear they matter.
36. Stop associating with people who don’t do anything but make you feel bad about yourself. Don’t talk about that fact, or them. Just do something else.
37. Say your fears out loud until they don’t feel scary anymore. (This really works, I promise.)
38. Smile at people.
39. Choose to be kind whenever the choice arises (which it does, all the time, despite the fact that we often ignore it and remain on whatever our auto-pilot is for the day.)
40. Sit in front of the mirror naked and stare at yourself for a long, long time. It will feel uncomfortable at first, but then after a while, you’ll stop judging the pieces of you, and start seeing yourself as a whole.
41. Send your favorite song to someone else.
42. Share something that has helped you a lot, so maybe it can help someone else:
43. Buy someone a drink, even if you’re not on a date or anything.
44. Show someone radical empathy. Listen. Imagine what it would be like if you were in their exact position. Really feel it.
45. Don’t pass judgment on people for the sheer fact that you most likely do not, and will not, know or understand the entirety of the situation.
46. Post/share/tweet something that made you laugh or cry or think.
47. Make plans with an old friend. You never know who needs to have something to look forward to.
48. Take a photo of something that makes you feel something. It doesn’t matter how unimportant it would seem to other people.
49. Do something for someone without expecting anything in return.
50. Watch a movie you loved as a kid, but haven’t seen in a long time.
51. Put $20 away in your savings account with the intent that it’s for someone else who could need it one day.
52. Learn to breathe your way through the hard stuff. Three deep breaths can change more than you think.
53. Stop yourself when you begin to assign value to a complete stranger based on what they look like.
54. Offer your seat up to someone who needs it when you’re on public transportation.
55. Say yes to that project at work, if you can.
56. Go shopping for somebody else, and surprise them when you show up with a bag of their favorite things from their favorite store.
57. Don’t just wish somebody a happy birthday on Facebook — Text them. Call them. Send a card.
58. Ask your roommate what their favorite flavor of cake is. Bake it. Share it. Eat it for breakfast together.
59. If you see your coworker is having a tough moment, suggest you both go grab a coffee outside so they can vent.
60. Write someone a letter, and work on it for a few days before you send it. Don’t make it seem hurried and as though you just signed your name on a Hallmark card. Write something to someone you genuinely want to show your love for.
61. Kiss the person you love twice before you leave. Not once, twice.
62. Take a walk outside.
63. While outside, meditate on this idea: “My need to solve the problem is the problem.”
64. When your roommate/partner/mom/dad/whoever leaves for work, tell them: “Have the best day ever.” (When my sister came home from school when she was young, my parents would ask how her day was, and she would say: “It was the best day ever.” So that’s what we tell each other now.)
65. Appreciate the things that didn’t “go right.” They are far more important than the things that did.
66. Let yourself cry.
67. Look for what’s good when you just want to focus on what’s not.
68. When you feel like you miss someone, let them know.
69. Give good hugs. Really good hugs. Like, squeeze your arms around people and let them know you care about them good hugs.
70. Put something colorful in your life. Buy some flowers, wear a bright shirt.
71. Leave a note for someone on a coffee shop table.
72. Leave your favorite book there too.
73. Play with a dog.
74. Share something that has inspired you more than anything else. (I watch this all the time, and it always makes me cry.)
75. “Hurt people hurt people.” Work on loving yourself.
76. Think loving thoughts about the people you resent. There’s a tremendous healing power in extending your kindest notions to the people you feel least deserve it.
77. Do the best you can. Not just what you can get away with. Not just passing, just making it, just the bare minimum. Do the absolute best you can. You will go home at the end of the day feeling accomplished, and you’ll get (maybe your first) taste of intrinsic motivation.
78. Take a little nap. God the world would be so much better if we all took more naps.
79. Sing in the shower.
80. Put jumper cables in your car.
81. (Ladies) put extra feminine products and little, travel-sized Tylenol packets in your purse. You never know when your fellow woman will need help.
82. Buy yourself a nice bottle of wine, and have a glass tonight.
83. Buy someone else a nice bottle of wine, just because.
84. Foot the bill for someone unexpectedly.
85. Tell someone why you love them — not only that you do.
86. Show this to anybody you know who is maybe struggling with how they look. (Especially if that someone is you.)
87. Pick one thing you think is greater than your appearance, and then pick another, and another. Start to live your life based on the notion that you are an amazing human being for what you can give and feel and experience and offer (NONE of which has anything to do with how you look.)
88. Stop consuming things that you know are only going to make you mad.
89. Say thank you to someone who has helped you, even if it’s a writer or celebrity or someone whom you imagine will never actually see your message. It doesn’t matter. Send it anyway.
90. Write a letter to your future self.
91. And another letter to your past self.
92. Get a big black trash bag and fill it with nice clothes you have but don’t wear (or need.) Donate it.
93. The next time you feel the urge to spend any amount of money re-filling your wardrobe with more unnecessary things, take however much you were willing to give up, and write a check to a local organization that could use that money far more than you need another shirt.
94. Donate books you don’t read anymore. It may seem difficult to part with them, but you never know whether or not something you had laying around could change someone’s whole life.
95. Buy local.
96. When someone upsets you, stop thinking about how they’re making you feel and start thinking about how they must be feeling right now.
97. Remind yourself that it’s not all about you.
98. But that your life is important enough that you deserve to be happy too.
99. Remember that you always have a choice on what you’re going to focus on.
100. Acknowledge that there’s a lot of shit in this world. There are a lot of people who will say mean things about you and to you. There will be people who you want to punch and things that will make you want to scream. You will bear witness to unimaginable cruelty and severe injustice and it will make you want to turn your insides out and give up on humanity entirely.
101. Choose love anyway.