#90 Plan a Surprise Getaway

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.


Plan a Surprise Getaway

I’ve written about Surprising someone but this suggestion is just a bit more specific and has a tendency to crank up the appreciation scale significantly.


Your partner may be the most obvious choice for this suggestion as they are the often the most deserving of your unannounced benevolence. It’s a great way to spice things up; to let them know how important they are; how much you appreciate their contribution to your life together, etc… It doesn’t matter if it’s only an overnight at a local Holiday Inn or a week away in Sedona – the fact that you thought of and planned for his or her absence (leaving no detail unchecked) will garner points for months – if not years – to come.


Next to your spouse, for many of you it’s your parents that have devoted themselves to your success. If You’re going to plan a surprise getaway for someone, why not a spa weekend for mom or a golf outing for dad? Maybe they’d enjoy a weekend at the beach or a chalet overlooking a ski slope. It could even be a camping cabin with a fire ring all set to light. Surprises don’t have to be fancy to be meaningful. If money is tight – try AirBnB or call in a favor from a friend who has a place that mom and/or dad may like.


One of the best gifts I ever received from a friend was when she surprised me by taking my kids for a weekend. She came and got them, left me a big pot of soup and left me in my own home – alone – for the whole weekend. It was a great reprieve at a difficult time in my life to have a ‘staycation’ without any responsibility. It was – in it’s own right – a surprise getaway even though I only ‘got away’ from responsibility. I’ve never forgotten how good that felt.


The key element here is that a big part of the surprise is not having to plan – a thing! I’ve heard some stories about how a even a suitcase was packed and in the trunk of the car – almost like a love kidnapping. The babysitter was arranged, the meals were planned, responsibilities covered, etc…. It’s a true escape for the recipient.

If you can’t think of anything to get your loved one this year for the holidays – consider a way you might…

Plan a surprise getaway.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

#151 Send Postcards

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.


Send Postcards

Remember when people would go on vacation and send us a postcard with the sentiment “wish you were here?” You’d get a little envious or jealous or just happy that someone you care about was in a place that looked amazing.

Today, with social media, the need for postcards is practically obsolete yet, they still adorn racks near the cashier of retail establishments in those places that are considered tourist attractions and exist mostly for the benefit of collections.

I’ve written about sending snail mail before and the cheer that it brings to most of us when we actually receive something significant in the mailbox. A postcard from a place you’ve been, a place that is meaningful to you, or a place that you may want to share with someone would be a great treat as well.

Postcards can be used as thinking of you cards’, ‘get well cards’, or even to send birthday wishes. In this age of image bombardment – the picture focus of Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest, the photo element of a postcard seems apropos.

No matter where you are, there’s likely to be a place that offers at least a small collection of postcards to choose from. Even in non-descript places off a major interstate may offer some depicting the best features of the state you’re travelling through.

You can save a little money too! Sending a postcard only costs $.35 today compared the the $.50 of a regular stamped card/envelope. The savings of $.15 adds up over time and those little cost savings is how the rich get richer!

The next time you’re at the shore, the lake, in the mountains, or on vacation… maybe even the next time you stop in a Cracker Barrel restaurant… pick up a few postcards and surprise your friends and family with a little mailbox treat! I’ve written extensively in this series about the benefits of doing nice things, surprising someone, and the effect of receiving good will. In each case, there is a shot of dopamine for both you and the receiver… increasing your happiness level just a tad with the quick and easy effort of…

Sending a postcard.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below

#227 Give Something you Cherish to Someone you Cherish

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.


Give something you cherish to someone you cherish

More Sharing

I’ve recently made the suggestion to share a book you love with someone so that they can experience the pleasure you had when you read the book. The following suggestion is an even more intimate offering of your heart… to share something you covet or adore with a special someone in your life. In this case, it would be a material thing… something meaningful.

Before you Die

Many of us think about this suggestion only in respect to ‘after we’re gone’. We may put codicils in our will bequeathing important treasures to people we love so that they ‘have something of us’ after we die. What fun is there in that?? We don’t get to see their reaction and experience the joy of giving first hand if we wait until the end of our life.  There are probably dozens of items in your home that you care deeply about but that would also be meaningful to someone you love.

Sentimental Items

Try thinking of ONE thing to pass along to a special person in your life that would have meaning for both of you. Grandma’s pearls? A platter you’ve used for every holiday? A framed photograph of someone dear who has passed away? A ring you no longer wear? It can be anything that has sentimental value that you wish to share with a loved one.


The presentation of this item is part of the recommendation. Don’t make it a special occasion gift, i.e., birthday, graduation, etc… make it a ‘just because’ gift. It would be great if it was a private exchange… meant for and shared by just the two of you. The goal is to really ‘experience’ the pleasure of giving with the person you are giving to – not to make it a group or public demonstration. Take some time to consider the gift, the sentiment, and the recipient and then…

Give something you cherish to someone you cherish.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

#276 of 365 Ways to live Easier, Happier, & More Productive

Sharing a daily life lesson, tip, or hack; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.


Surprise someone

Do you like surprises? Do you know someone who does? Sometimes, a surprise is a really nice thing! When you surprise your mom or dad…  your grandmom or favorite uncle… When you put away the dishes without asking or when you bring someone home their favorite ice cream, you are acting in an unexpected manner and pleasantly surprising another.

These kind of surprises promote happiness for a number of reasons.

  • Surprise activates the pleasure center of our brain. The experience of being surprised produces a burst of dopamine in our brain, allowing us to feel good then and there. Each time we recall the intensity of the surprise, a little more dopamine is pushed into our system until it fades away. The more meaningful the surprise – the longer the effect lasts.
  • Surprise pulls us into the moment. When we feel surprised, our attention is on the here and now versus some other point. Staying focused on the present eliminates frustration from the past or anxiety of the future – at least temporarily.
  • Surprise breaks up monotony. We sometimes fall too easily into routines that become boring. Whether it’s our daily schedule or the way we engage in our relationships, too much certainty becomes boring. When the pattern is broken or at least, interrupted by little surprises, it allows us to reset and relax; producing feelings of pleasure.
  • Surprise can motivate learning. When we are surprised, our brains rush to discover ‘why?’ or ‘how?’. We wonder, “how did I miss that?” or “why did that happen?”. Learning always strengthens our brain capacity and again, pulls us into the present by forcing us to pay attention. Our curiosity is activated and confidence may increase – producing more ‘happy’ chemicals in our brain.

These are the things that happen we someone GETS surprised – I am suggesting that you BE the one to offer a surprise; be a giver of good things.

When we give – we often receive. In this case, you’ll be pulled into the present moment as well. You’ll be focused on something (someone) other than yourself. You’ll be creating feelings of pleasure and happiness for another human being. You’ll more than likely be the receiver of appreciation – activating pleasure centers in your own brain. It’s a win -win situation when you pleasantly…

Surprise someone.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.