Go To It!: Small Ways to Go the Extra Inch This Holiday Season

The holiday season is officially upon us, and with that comes insane holiday shopping, stressful family gatherings, and end of year mania. But amidst all of the craziness this time of year, we often feel like we don’t have time to respond to every thank you note, bake every cake, or donate to every cause. We tend to lose sight of the little things.

In their book, The Power of Small, Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval offer some great advice for making changes and getting what you want that you can apply to different areas of your life. But they also have some fantastic and easy tips for those small things you can do to make you successful and happy that don’t require huge time commitments, life changes, and more stress. One way is by “going the extra inch” this holiday season (And note, we said “inch”, not “foot!”).  As Linda and Robin write, “Going the extra inch is that little thing you do that is special and shows what makes you different, what sets you apart from everybody else.” And the little things are what counts, especially at this time of year! Here are some small and easily doable tips for going the extra inch:

“DO THE WRITE STUFF. When was the last time you got a letter in the mail? In the not-too-distant past, handwritten notes from friends were a high point of everyday life. E-mail has become so routine, though, that convenience has trumped convention. Nowadays, ?nding anything more personal than a Pottery Barn catalog in the mail is rare. But that spells an opportunity for you: You can be that rare gem among the daily slag of bills and credit-card o?ers. People are all the more surprised and delighted when a handwritten note does appear in the mailbox. If you want to make a positive impression, take the few extra minutes to pick up a pen and write a note. You’re more likely to become memorable instead of merely deleted.

SIGN UP. O?er to do something “extra” regularly. It can be as modest as giving your spouse a break by volunteering to take the dog for a walk on a rainy night, or helping your co-worker get a rush project down to FedEx. Such gestures may take only a few minutes, but their e?ects can last a career or a lifetime.

ADD A MINUTE. When you’ve completed a task, a memo, a quarterly budget—anything that you’re just glad to be done with—stop and tell yourself you still have one minute left. Spend just those sixty seconds rereading a troublesome paragraph, or adding up the numbers again. You may be glad you did.”

So Go To It and go the extra inch! Even if it’s just saying thank you, or donating those old clothes you were going to throw out anyway, make sure to spread the holiday cheer. Do you have any tips of your own for going the extra inch? Share yours in the comments below!

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Read more from Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval:
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