Paying it forward – and feeling good about yourself

Paying it forward – and feeling good about yourself

I was chatting to a friend a while ago about how I believe in paying it forward but they didn’t know what I meant.  They thought I was talking about putting a deposit down on something I wanted!  And then they asked if I meant the 2000 film Pay It Forward with Haley Joel Osment, Kevin Spacey, and Helen Hunt.  So I explained that, for me, it’s carrying out an act of kindness, with no expectation of thanks, reward or payback.  Without wanting to sound too preachy, it’s also my way of feeling good about myself when I do this.

My favourite acts of kindness

Thinking back about some of my pay it forwards has been a lovely trip down memory lane.  Remembering the happiness on someone’s face, or knowing that I’ve been able to make a difference, even if it’s only a small one, has given me so much pleasure in return.  Anyway, here are a few of my favourite things to do for others:

  1. Smile at everyone (and ignore startled looks from strangers).
  2. Always say please and thank you.
  3. Hold the door open for someone.
  4. Give someone your unexpired parking ticket.
  5. Send a bunch of flowers to a friend or loved one.
  6. Cook a meal for a friend or loved one.
  7. Write a letter instead of sending an email or a text.
  8. Listen to what someone is saying, without looking at your phone, or interrupting (this one is quite hard!).
  9. Send a friend or loved one a book you think they’d like.
  10. Donate old clothes / books / toys to charity.
  11. Share a positive quote to cheer someone up.
  12. Comment on another blogger’s post or social media feed.
  13. Compliment a loved one, or a stranger, with no ulterior motive.
  14. Buy a homeless person a cup of tea and a sandwich instead of just throwing a few coins at them.
  15. Take time to talk to a homeless person, because human interaction is important.
  16. Become a mentor.
  17. Donate your skills.
  18. Adopt a rescue pet instead of buying one.
  19. Volunteer somewhere.
  20. Give up your seat to an elderly person or pregnant lady.
  21. Offer to babysit (for free) so new parents can go out for a break.
  22. Make a pamper box for a stressed friend or loved one.
  23. Hug your friends and loved ones – physical human contact means a lot.
  24. Apologise to the customer service rep after a rant, it’s not their fault (I have to do this far too often).
  25. Laugh at terrible jokes (I do this quite a lot too).
  26. Mind your own business and don’t gossip.

International Pay It Forward Day 2018

On 28 April 2018, the UK is invited to join more than 80 other countries in performing random acts of kindness to three or more people, and asking those people to do the same.  You can pick up more tips and get involved here: Hopefully, these random acts of kindness won’t be limited to just one day, people will adopt the ethos on an ongoing basis.

In the meantime, you should read Lydia’s 30 Ways to Spread Kindness post at for some more great ideas on this topic.

Or why not treat yourself to a Skratkz 51 Random Acts of Kindness poster like the one I reviewed here?

I believe you should never underestimate the value of paying it forward and the effect it has on others.  Are there any other things that you do, or have seen, that should be included on this list?

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LaylaBethany JaneJordanne | ThelifeofaglasgowgirlSusanneJenny in Neverland Recent comment authors
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I am loving your suggestions! The letters one I’m on board with-and I enjoy doing it so much-so will be incorporating more of these in to my daily life ?


I always like to say thank you to everyone as it just feels nice, and I’m sure they appreciate it!

Carla x

Vicky Lawrence

This is a really sweet post!

It’s a good reminder that simple little things can make a big difference, to other people and ourselves.

Ms Via

This is amazing. I relate to so many here. I liked “ignore the startled looks from strangers” haha! I get that so many times. But really you shared some very important points and the world would be so much better. I believe in helping others or doing good for people without expecting any thank you instead they go and help three others. 🙂 loved reading this post Lisa.


These are fantastic ideas Lisa! Sometimes it’s just the little things like a smile or compliment that can really change someone’s day. A pamper box is such a sweet and thoughtful gesture. I especially agree that avoiding gossip and negativity is always the best thing to do. Brilliant post as always lovely xx

Bexa |


This is a really good idea – I have always wanted to pay for someone else’s groceries, but I barely have enough money to buy my own! I am a big fan of the free ones though – I try and go out of my way to do at least one nice thing for someone else each day.


This post is lovely! I love act of kindness #1: just a smile can change the world


What a fantastic list of suggestions Lisa ? I had no idea there was a dedicated day to pay it forward let alone the fact that it’s this weekend! I do try to pay it forward as much as I can anyway but will be making a real effort this weekend. Great post ?

Melanie |


I haven’t heard about this before but I’m absolutely loving it! I think nowadays people are too busy so they forget the simple acts of kindness. Thank you for raising the awareness 🙂


I absolutely love this post! Such simple yet brilliant tips on how to generally just be a nicer person! I have a My Waitrose card which entitles me to a free tea or coffee per day so whenever I’m in a city I always try and claim it and give to a homeless person, its kind but only costs me a few minutes of my time!- – x

Cally Lai

I love your list of little acts of kindness! I’m really trying harder to become a kinder person! These are such lovely ideas ❤️
Love, Cally xx


This post put such a big smile on my face, Lisa! You really are a kind and generous person, that shines through so much on your blog and social media in general, but especially so in this post! I love how you’ve shown that paying it forward doesn’t necessarily mean in a financial sense, it can be something as simple as smiling at a stranger, giving a hug, and not engaging in gossip. Focusing on random acts of kindness on one dedicated day is fantastic, but I totally agree with what you’ve said about making it part of your daily… Read more »


I loved reading through your ideas, I think creating a little pamper box when a friend is struggling or a little low and it’s amazing how a little act of kindness can help isn’t it?!

Kate |


Ahahaha, I love and laughed at the first one! I enjoy smiling at strangers (as creepy as that sounds) because a smile can definitely go a long, long way! I enjoyed reading this, Lisa!

cabin twenty-four

Jenny in Neverland

I didn’t realise that was a day. I’m glad I found out, as it’s tomorrow and I’m definitely going to try and do some little things to pay it forward. I actually did a small acts of kindness post a good while ago now so I’ll probably refer back to my own post to see what I came up with back then x


I love the idea of this. I try and do some of those on a day to day basis but sometimes it just helps to have a reminder of all the things one can do.

Jordanne | Thelifeofaglasgowgirl

Loved this post hun! It’s always nice to pay it forward and show kindness when ever you can, the way the world seems to be going we need more of it now. I’m going to try do more of these, more often because it costs nothing to be nice.

Bethany Jane

This post honestly makes me so happy! It’s so easy to do something small that could really change someone else’s day, such a shame that we don’t often make enough time for it. I’m going to try and tick off lots of your ideas this month (and no, this is not just me finding an excuse to adopt a dog behind my husband’s back, honest…)
Beth x


Ah this is such a lovely post and it’s always nice to give back in some way and help others! 🙂

Layla x