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Though any time is a good time to do a good deed, why not start a daily diary of your friendly gestures? Chronicle Books’ One Good Deed a Day: A Journal encourages you take a moment and do something nice for others, yourself, and the world. With the holidays on the horizon, use this time to get yourself into the spirit of happiness and giving with our Book of the Month!
Both inspiring and beautiful, One Good Deed a Day lays out 365 simple, positive activities for you to do. You can open the book to a random page or go through each page in order, or mark your progress with the silky buttercup-colored ribbon. The book encourages you to “donate old eyeglasses” on Monday, “look someone in the eyes and thank her sincerely” on Tuesday, “take a deep breath” on Wednesday, and so on.
In addition to committing to these small and special deeds, you can write a short reflection on the experience. If you’re more verbose, maybe you’ll end up adopting a journal solely for your good deed reporting. That said, if you don’t want to, you don’t have to write a thing! The point is that you’ll little by little infusing positivity in your life and the lives of people around you.
Would you like to win a copy of One Good Deed a Day? How about a copy for you and a friend or even an unknown stranger? We’d love to do that for you as thanks for being such an important part of our blog!
All you need to do is leave a comment below in response to our discussion question. When you do, you may be randomly selected to receive two copies of our Book of the Month!
What was something nice someone did for you recently, and how did you pay it forward?
The last nice thing done for me was that my friend gave me a cough-drop during my first hour class this morning. I re payed her with a hug 🙂
My husband picked up dinner, totally on the sly, after a rough day. When I was at the store, I noticed fresh apple cider just being put out, so I grabbed a half gallon, some mulling spices and a smokey whiskey to make him a spiked apple cider after work this evening.
Lately my family has been going through a very emotionally difficult time, and a few days ago I had a breakdown and needed to talk to someone…badly. I called up my best friend and he did the nicest thing – he let me talk freely and unabridged, listening patiently. When I was done talking he offered genuine concern and gave me very sound, loving advice. I remembered how important it is in this world to love and know you are loved, and I realized I have not been actively telling the important people in my life how much I love and appreciate them. So, I sat down last night and wrote letters to my friends and family telling them just how much I love them and how my life is richer because of their specific qualities. Today I put them in the mail, and decided to make passing on love a weekly to-do.
Beautiful way to share love with your family!
I recently had a date rape drug slipped into my beer at a local and favorite watering hole. After waking up two towns over I called the police and filled a report in hopes this horrible event may not happen to another individual. Not sure if this is the type of “good deed” you’re looking for. . .but it gave me a bit of peace during an awful experience.
ohmygosh, i’m so sorry to hear that this happened to you, sara 🙁 nobody deserves to go through something like that.
I received a really nice handwritten note from a friend and paid it forward by donating blood for the first time earlier this week (which my friend does all the time!).
I was given a registered nursing review book that helped me to pass my nursing board exam. This book is usually given at the special preparation course that costs more that 500$!! I bought my friend some good gifts from Nordstrom for that:)
Something nice someone did for me lately? Well, let me see. . .
My dear brother called me on my birthday, when I was sick with the flu. His call was just what I needed. I was feeling sorry for myself, and his call cheered me up.
What do you mean ‘and how did you pay it forward’?
I work a kind of crummy retail job, but I’ve made some great friends. One gal was going to set some macarons for her friend’s birthday and, knowing I would be having an awful time in the store, came by and gave one to me. It sounds so insignificant but it was such a joy. Anyway, after that, this little treat-giving culture emerged, and now whenever someone’s shift ends, they go and get everyone a little chocolate or similiar. It’s so lovely!
My Boyfriend knows I have been extremely broke from bills lately. So when I told him I was sad because I couldnt afford the leggings I wanted from Modcloth and at they were on sale at the time, he purchased them for me secretly..I repaid him with backrubs! 🙂
i received a surprise early christmas card and gift from a friend â€” i will find someone to do the same too. it made my day
When I first joined the prefectoral board in my school, I had a really nice senior who helped me out even though hazing the newbies was tradition. I never got to really thank him but I always treated my juniors with the respect they deserved.
I was an extra in a movie for two days back to back. Because I only had a few hours notice on the first day and only two hours of sleep before the second day, I was exhausted. I had a three hour drive home and a random extra was so worried about my safety that he gave me his caffeinated soda and food so I would not fall asleep while driving! This happened a day ago, but I will find a way to pay it forward soon:)
I work for the community service program at my university. My position is to plan and eventually lead an Alternative Spring Break trip to Portland, OR in March. I’m very excited, but have lately been feeling overwhelmed about the little details of the trip and fearful that I will miss out on giving my group the best possible experience. One of my good friends, who runs the hunger and homelessness program in our office, saw me worrying about losing focus and, as hunger and homelessness is the theme of my trip, tried to help me out. This past week, National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness week, she asked me to lead reflections on various service days. Doing this was incredibly inspiring and got me back in the right mindset and ready for my trip in March. Through her kind of act of asking me to lead, I was able to serve dinner at a homeless shelter as well as make blankets for the homeless and later distribute them on a cold rainy night, and get to reflect on these experiences with different groups of participants.
A good friend of mine supported me while I was going through a rough time. I needed someone to count on and she helped me a lot to relax and let go of stress. I can always trust and count on her, as she proved it again. 🙂 I always give her hugs and let her know that she’s my best friend to pay her. Sometimes I give her a box of chocolate!
i want to be less selfish. my new fav quote is “you can never have too little love to share!”. I wish i could have more time n strength to help other that need. sadly i feel like i dont have too many. I wish i could be more. n to find more ways to help other people.
So I just moved and I’m going to a new school where I didn’t know anyone. Some of the people in my class came and sat and talked with me at lunch. It totally made my day. To pay it forward, I helped my mom do somethings since she’s sick.
Friends brought us food when there was a death in our family. Then we brought food to a neighbor who had a new baby.
Last Wednesday a colleague (at my new job) gave me a ride home because buses were on strike.
The next day I made muffins and brought her a couple.
A long time ago someone sat me down and showed me where to look for the classes needed to graduate college. I was lost until that moment! To thank them, I now try to set young people who are in that same spot on the right path. I try very hard to give them a path even when they can’t see it.
Recently my boyfriend found out his family won’t be in for Thanksgiving because they will be visiting his sister. He’s been so kind to me lately, buying me dinner and things and not slacking off as a kind person even though he’s upset… I invited him to my Thanksgiving and to stay with us then baked him a batch of cupcakes to last until thanksgiving. Just a small thing.
After Hurricane Sandy I donated to my school to help my fellow students have tuition for next semester since so many students lost so much it’s now hard for them to stay enrolled. I took it out of my ever so minimal college student bank account but ’twas well worth every penny.
Recently I have been short on money while vlounteering I was hungry and did nto have any food or money to buy any food so my friend bought me a piece of pizza. I payed it foward by giving my friend a ride to work when she didn’t have a way to get there.
One of my friends gave up 8 Saturdays (in a row) to film for free for me. I love helping others/volunteering my time. One of the things I do is volunteer my time to helping a small yoga studio with their social media. You could count it as a way of paying forward all the good deeds others have done for me. 🙂
The last couple days I have been really sick. My 6 year old daughter made me breakfast and brought it to me. Melted me in so many ways. I love volunteering whenever I get a chance, this past week I volunteered at my daughter’s school.
I’ve been struggling quite badly in school with maths, and I sort of had a bit of a breakdown and took a week off school. One day, this girl from my class who I only sort of knew came round with all the maths work I’d missed and more. She helped me so much and I got a B+ in the test. I payed her back by tutoring her in German, which is one of my best subjects. We get on really well now and are quite close.
My sister had interviewed for a job and gotten a job offer. She realized the job was too many hours, so she called the employer and recommended me for the job instead. I ended up getting it! To pay it forward, I covered my coworker’s shifts when she was sick.
As a teacher, I work super hard to help my students understand the importance of written language — and so many of my students are shocked when they see my enthusiasm! Recently, I checked my email before heading off to bed and a student was asking a question. I quickly responded and the next day the students was so happy that I had responded — I saw her working even harder after that!
A random person came up to me and gave me a handmade card. On the front it said “smile!” and on the inside it had a few inspirational quotes and a handwritten message telling the receiver of the letter to smile. I loved this idea so much that to pass it forward I made my own smile cards and gave them to random people who seemed like they needed a good day.
The guy living next door helped me change the tires om my car (I live in an area with lots of snow and in the winter we use special tires).
I payed it forwared giving my old clothes to charity.
Simple things like telling me I’ve dropped something, or someone going out of their way to open a door for me because I’m carrying something heavy always pull at my heart. Those little things always uplift me and turn me into a more thoughtful person. (Although, I try to be one every day anyway!)
I was having a really bad day a couple of days ago. My friends little sister (shes 4 and loves me ) justing seeing me made her run up to me and give me a hug and said a simple, ” Hi Cheyenne! I love you!” It made my most difficult day the best one.
I had just done a job for someone I know, and they unexpectedly paid me. I wasn’t doing it for pay, but it was still nice to be paid. As I was checking out at the store, the lady in line behind me knocked all of the gift cards off of the end cap. I helped her pick them up, and diffused her embarrassment by paying her a compliment on her lovely shoes.
It feels good to pay a good deed forward!
When my mom was in the hospital, my former boss and friend, who works for the hospital system, called the nurse director to make sure my mom received extra attention and care. To pay it forward, while my mom went to a rehabilitation facility for physical therapy, we made it a point to visit with other patients and invite those we saw eating alone to come and join us.
A good friend made some delicious soup for me when i was sick, so I’m definitely gonna pay it forward when I get the chance!
As a teacher, I work super hard with my first year writing college students. I want them to be enthusiastic about learning and writing. One night, just before going to bed, I noticed an email from a student and quickly responded. This student later told me that she was so happy that I responded to her — and I noticed she started working even harder in class! Now I always return all student emails (ASAP)!
At my yoga studio I stood reflecting my ratty tatty yoga mat: the one I bought at half price two years ago; the one that had borne me through trials and victories, tears and laughter throughout my practice. The one my cats had been using as a scratching post…. The lady decked out in lululemon gear beside me in the changeroom was apparently reflecting on the same thing. She offered me a brand new lululemon mat, said she worked for them and they were supposed to get real people feedback. All I needed to do was use it for the upcoming class, and let her know what I thought after and it was mine. I know it was something that she was going to do for someone: it could have been anyone. But it was me, and I was so grateful. My faithful mat was able to retire as a substitute mat.
I don’t have the means to pay forward at the same level, but I have been making lots of smaller contributions to the universe, such as paying for the coffee of the people behind me in the drive thru, giving my own food to a hungry patient of mine in the middle of the night when toast just won’t cut it, and lending to women across the world trying to make their lives better through the microfinancing world of kiva.org
Wow Kristen! What a sweet, eloquent comment!
You definitely deserve to win.
Kudos for being such a kind person!
My grandma has been at the hospital for over a month now and she’s having one operation after another. My family and I are really worried about her and I’ve been very upset because I want her to get better. My friend at school asked me what was wrong after seeing me so upset lately and I told her everything. It was really nice of her to just listen and be there for her, but the next morning she surprised me with some homemade banana cupcakes and gave me a big hug. 🙂 I repaid her kindness by inviting her over next weekend to have a sleepover with me and some of our other friends.
About a month ago I was very broke (as is the case most end of the months) and my fiancee tried to give me money for food. I wouldn’t take it (I had enough to push through the next week). When I got home my fridge was full of fresh fruit, veggies, milk, bread and a chocolate bar. It was so thoughtful and meant so much to me to not have to worry about my dinner. After I got paid the next time I did some grocery shopping and drove to my moms house and cooked her dinner for when she got home from work so that she wouldn’t have to worry about dinner either. She works two jobs and was so thankful for the help-plus we got to have dinner together, which I miss since I’ve moved out.
Our neighbors aren’t doing well financially, but that didn’t stop them from sharing some of their delicious homemade soup with me and my family. To thank them we had a local grocery store deliver them some groceries with an anonymous thank you letter. I absolutely love the holiday season, my family and I always make extra food and deliver it to the homeless in downtown Chicago. I am so blessed, and I love the idea of this book. I think its the perfect gift for a game of Yankee Swap!
Today my parents took me out to lunch, which was very nice! In return i thanked them and tried to be pleasant company 🙂
I can’t think of something someone has done for me recently, but on Saturday I helped an elderly couple pull down the priority seat on the bus that they were having trouble with.
Someone noticed that I needed to talk, and that I just needed a little support at that moment. I was then able to do the same for someone one the next day! Sometimes, just supporting someone by listening is a wonderful thing.
Just yesterday some very nice people helped me carry my boxes of craft stuff into the building where I was participating in a craft show. They were so nice to navigate through a slippery, snowy parking lot and help me and my stuff up the stairs. I paid it forward by then helping to shovel all that snow in the very same parking lot after I had finished my set up.
My sister gave me all my niece’s Hallowe’en candy haul (My niece is 2.) This was a huge deal for me. I trick or treated until I was 23 because buying my own candy at the store could never top the variety you get from Trick or Treating! In turn, I paid it forward by giving my Modcloth Stylish Surprise that didn’t quite work out for me to a friend. She was ecstatic and even insisted on paying me for it. I knew it was just going to take up space in my closet, and it looked super adorable on her. So even though it didn’t work out for me, $15 for a Stylish Surprise that made an awesome pressie for my friend was great!
Once I was almost late for my college registration and I had to pay a fee or all my classes would have been dropped.I had no money on me and no way to pay it. My best friend was so kind that she told me she would pay the fee for me so I wouldn’t get dropped. She saved me from not getting any classes. I paid if forward by being there for her when she was going through a tough time. I cheered her up and we had a girls night of watching movies and making cupcakes.
I am part of the AIChE chapter at my university and they have a really great mentor program. I got a mentor my first year. She was a third year and I absolutely loved her. She helped me so much with advice and text books and just being a friend who could understand help get me though the tough times in my chemical engineering undergrad degree. Now that I am a third year I signed up to be a mentor and I actually have 2 mentees! I really liked having a mentor and she was so helpful and I want to do the same for these first years. Also my mentor handed down to me a lot of cheme textbooks and now I’m doing the same and handing down my textbooks. Cheme textbooks can runat $200 per book and we have 4-5 classes per quarter,3 times a year. So I really hope that I am making a change in my mentees’ lives just like my mentor did.
A friend of mine bought me a drink after a hard day, and listened to me vent about things that mattered to me (but didn’t to her, really). She was attentive and generous with her time.
I was touched by the intimacy of our conversation and went home and wrote a long letter to a friend I had lost touch with.
I dont have a car currently and my boyfriend, who lives an hour away, visited to take me to the grocery store because the closest one is 1/2 hr away. I didn’t ask him to and it was the sweetest thing he could do!
My husband spent all day today taking care of me (I got food poisoning) so tomorrow I am doing everything for him!
My daughter saw that I was tired after a hard day at work so she cleaned the kitchen so I could rest (and told me a joke she knows always makes me laugh!). Today to repay this and all of her kindhearted deeds I took her out for a special day alone with me for shopping and lunch. Both of my daughters are always doing good deeds for other. I try to learn from them.
My car hasn’t been starting lately – sometimes it runs fine, and sometimes it just refuses to turn on. I thought I had gotten it fixed when my Dad tinkered around with it, but this past weekend as I hopped into the car to go see my fiance and his family for the weekend, it wouldn’t budge… not even an engine turn-over. I ran inside in a panic and without a moment of hesitation, my little brother, a high school football player, got out of bed, went outside into the freezing cold and helped me charge up my car. He has repeated this act of kindness numerous times within the past week. So this weekend I took him out on a brother-sister date; we have a big family, and don’t spend much time together so it was really fun and a special memory for both of us.
I voluteered at a local YMCA festival and planning to feed the homeless Thanksgiving Day
I started a photography business about a year ago and am still in shock that I am able to do something I love *SO* much and get paid for it! I have been struggling recently with charging what my services are actually worth, and have been trying to work on that. I had a wedding this past weekend and I called upon my friend who sometimes helps me as a 2nd shooter. She does it for the experience and it really helps me alot! At the end of the wedding, the father of the bride gave me the check and thanked the both of us for doing a great job. When I got to the car I opened the check and saw that he had given me a HUGE tip. I instantly started crying because I was overwhelmed with how surreal this all feels! My friend consoled me and said, “You deserve this! You are amazing at what you do and people can see your passion.”
I plan on giving her the tip today as payment for her services and for the kind words 🙂
I have a lot to be thankful for, and a lot of people are helping me out on a daily basis. But I recently just started photo volunteering for the SPCA, and it was the most rewarding Volunteering Experience I have ever had. The animals were just so lively and happy to see me. And I was so happy to know that I was helping them to get closer to their new families.
The other day I was totally packed with books and bags while leaving the bank. When an elderly man saw this, he gently raced to the door to open it for me with a real old-fashioned gesture! It was really charming to see 😉 I few days later a girl lost her keys when tripping over the curb but she didn’t noticed it! I saw the keys, picked them up and 2 blocks later finally managed to catch up with her. She thanked me a zillion times and helping someone indeed felt really good 🙂 Looking forward to use this book to pay it forward a little more!
I am a big Katie Daisy fan. I love her designs. I have “Teach Love” framed in my classroom and “Let the Beauty we Love Be What We Do” in my living room. The end of the school year is coming up, and I’ve just produced my third play with my class, am in the middle of writing reports and have been really stressed lately. Winning a free present from my favourite designer via my beloved Modcloth would be just the nourishing soul-food I need right now! 🙂
I had serious trouble during my last year of college, due to a terrible personal experience and my friend Karen really stood by me and helped me overcome all the psychological issues that came with that. This month her favorite band (Kiss) was in town and she wanted so hard to go to the Meet & Greet but, unfortunately, her family is experiencing financial problems and she couldn’t afford the tickets! I bought it for her as a way to say thanks, but I’m pretty sure what she did for me can be payed in a lifetime!
I was having a rough day and my friend surprised me with McDonald’s fries (my guilty pleasure/comfort food) and A&W Root Beer. I paid it forward by buying her her favorite candy for her exam week 🙂
Things like this are so beautiful! There should be way more of this in the world. Our crazy world.
I was having a rough time in school, and it was costing me a lot of money. My grandmothers boss heard me crying on the phone that i was broke and hopeless. She sent me a card in the mail with a $100 dollar check and instructions to wait until i saw someone in need someday and pay it forward. About a year later, a friend of mine’s grandmother she had been caring for died of pancreatic cancer. They were expecting a little boy in just a few months and were already strapped for cash and it looked like the would be unable to attend the funeral out of town. so i took up a collection at work and got her enough money to pay for a hotel room for her family, gas, food, and clothes for the kids… all starting with a hundred dollar check i paid forward.
Recently after taking on a new job and flat out of town, everything fell through and I had to move again and start over in another town because I couldn’t afford to move back to where I originally was. The entire time, a very close friend of mine kept in touch, called me all the time to check in and visited as much as she could to make sure I was holding up ok. Recently, feeling a little more settled and having a bit more money, I went to visit her and surprised her with big hugs during a fireworks celebration. You can’t put a price on good friends and all around good people, they will always be there for you.
When I moved to my new city I had trouble settling in and meeting people. One day I went to a parade and got talking to the girl next to me. As the parade ended she said “I know how hard it is to start over in a new city, I’ll be your friend”. She invited me to a party, where I met more people and thanks to her I was able to build a community around me. It takes one person to make a world of difference.
This book would be great for paying it forward and making small differences that have a big impact.
Our adorable dog, Keely, came from a shelter in TN and then to a rescue group in our area. She is the best dog ever! So when the shelter needed money for supplies, I couldn’t help but donate, and when the rescue group needed money for another dog’s surgery I just had to pitch in. I am so gratefully for groups like saving dogs lives and finding them good homes every day!
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