Sometimes life becomes so routine that we do not have to think about a thing we are doing throughout the day. We are programmed to run on automatic. It is important to shake things up every once in a while to get the creative juices flowing, to give us an added boost of energy, or to give us something to concentrate on for a change.

When routine sets in, particularly in relationships, we cannot always see the impact it has until we throw a new ingredient into the mix. This week, I ventured outside of my regular routine and performed a very unexpected act of kindness. The results—terrific!

Northern Ontario, winter 2004: It is Friday morning, snow is falling, there is a nip in the air, and neither my husband nor I want to get out of our toasty, warm bed to get ready for work.

We go through the same exercise every morning. We both wait for the other one to get up first to turn up the furnace, then he heads to his washroom to get ready, and I go into my office to meditate for half an hour.

This morning, however, neither of us would budge. He did not want to get up, shower, make breakfast, and prepare lunch, and I did not want to meditate, go through my agenda for the day, and start prioritizing my long list of outstanding tasks. We were stuck.

I must have been desperate or temporarily insane because I suddenly blurted out, “Hey! You get up and get ready, and I’ll make you breakfast today!” He was stunned at first and did not say a word, then he started laughing. “Yeah, right. What about your meditation?” For anyone who knows me, there are two things I do not do: cook (unless I am in a real bind) and deviate from my routine.

I insisted I was going to cook for him . . . anything he wanted. Eggs, bacon, you name it! There would be no meditating that day. He hesitantly agreed and headed for his washroom, wondering if his dear partner had been possessed during the night and taken complete leave of her senses. The last time I made him breakfast was, hmmm, let us see . . . when was the last time the Oilers won the cup?

I whipped up a hearty breakfast, and while he ate, he repeatedly commented on how he could not believe I had done so. He thanked me several times.

Once I finished up in the kitchen, it was time for me to start getting ready for my day. I could hear him singing and talking to himself in the kitchen. I called out to him, “You’re happy, aren’t you?” He answered, “My baby made me breakfast!”

It was amazing how performing a small task for the benefit of someone else made such a big impact! My husband was excited and happy, and I felt fantastic for making him feel appreciated and loved.

For the remainder of the day I was a fireball. I joked with everyone I spoke with and had them laughing and feeling great. The day flew by. I accomplished loads of work and had tons of energy left over.

When my husband got home from work, he told me about his great day, how he was zinging off one-liners at the guys and making them laugh, and how good he felt, mentally and physically.

Changing our routine and experiencing an act of kindness elevated both of us mentally, physically, and emotionally. It is no secret that change and giving to others boost our energy levels, but we get so caught up in daily living that we easily forget. We fall into the comfort zone of habit.

Today is a new day. What can you do differently? Take a different route to work? Part your hair on the left instead of in the center? Take the stairs instead of the elevator? Whatever it is and no matter how small, change makes a positive impact.

What can you do for someone else today, something completely unsolicited and without expectation? If you are going through the drive-thru at the coffee shop, pay for the coffee for the driver behind you. If you see someone struggling with her bags at the grocery store, lend a hand. The simplest act of kindness will reap big rewards for the giver, receiver, and everyone they touch throughout the day.

** This article is one of 101 great articles that were published in 101 Great Ways to Improve Your Life. To get complete details on “101 Great Ways to Improve Your Life”, visit

Author's Bio: 

Laurie Hayes is the founder of The HBB Source™, an online resource for home-based business owners, a certified business/executive coach, and author of numerous articles on life balance and business start-ups. Laurie is also the creator of “The Complete 12-Step Guide to Starting a Home-Based Business: How to Transition from Employee to Entrepreneur without Losing Your Mind or Your Shirt,” a home study program for aspiring entrepreneurs. For free tips and strategies on starting a home-based business while improving quality of life, go to