Do Little Things That Count

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On a recent family trip, we had an experience that changed my perspective. Travel can do that for you; provide you a break from your hectic life to pause, reflect, and think. My children and I were flying down to Florida to meet my husband who was already there. I was flying solo with three kids which isn’t always the easiest task. From the moment we boarded the plane, my children and I felt special. We didn’t get bumped up to first class or given free flights, but rather we learned that it’s the little things that count.

Upon boarding the plane my children were welcomed to the flight deck where the pilot got out of his chair and offered all three kids to sit there. He trusted them and then took time to explain it all while I snapped photos. After I ensured that my children “touch nothing,” we went back to our seats. We were all really excited about the opportunity that we just experienced. Then, halfway through our flight, the flight attendant delivered us warm chocolate chips cookies which were quickly devoured.

As we were landing and the pilot was giving his final descent speech, he announced the names of my three children and thanked them for visiting him before the flight. My children were beaming with joy and all of these moments made our flight together special. They were so excited to tell Daddy and others about all the flight.

As I reflected on the experience, I thought about how good customer service is important in business and how it doesn’t have to take a lot of money to accomplish. Just taking time to connect with someone leaves a lasting impression. It’s the little things that count. I believe that this is what each of us wants and even needs in our day: a moment to be recognized, to be appreciated, or to connect with others.

I also realized that with my hectic schedule balancing work, family, home, and life, that I had an opportunity to do better, to be better. When was the last time I let my clients know I valued them? How was I showing my kids that I loved them? Did my husband know that I truly appreciated him? What about all my friends and family, have I connected with them lately?

We spend much of our time focused on birthdays and anniversaries, but sometimes we forget about the Tuesdays. Those random days that become mundane and ordinary are when we can make it really count. It’s the regular days of the year that require our attention too.

Since it’s still January and I haven’t yet committed to a New Year’s Resolution, I decided that this would be it. To be more present. To be more purposeful. To show appreciation to others. To take time to connect. To do little things that count.

So here are some things that I have come up with to do.

  • Write a note or joke to put in my kids’ lunches

  • Give gift cards to my friends after they help with picking up my kids from school

  • Writing cards to co-workers or clients with a simple note of appreciation

  • Picking up the phone to call (not text) my parents

  • Complimenting my husband and telling him that I recognize the endless tasks he helps with to keep the house in order.

  • Baking and sharing cookies with my children’s teachers

These actions may look small, but they could have a notable impact on making someone’s day. Make someone’s random Monday the best day of their week. The hardest part is carving a few minutes out of your day to plan and implement these moments. What other ideas do you have to do little things that count?