Committing to do things that make you happy.

I mentioned on Monday that I’ve started presenting a weekly radio show on Stanford University’s radio station, KZSU—Wednesday mornings 6 AM to 9 AM PST, or 2 PM to 5 PM in the UK, online at

Depending on when you’re reading this, that’s today.

Anyway, one of the features I’m experimenting with is a spot called Goodwill Gold where I play three tracks from a CD I’ve uncovered in one of the Bay Area’s thrift stores.


It feels like a fun thing for people to hear, and it also gives me an opportunity to give local thrift stores some free publicity.

The icing on the cake for me, though, is that I now have an excuse to go music-browsing once a week, which I absolutely love.

So it made me wonder if it might be possible for you to set yourself a mission to do something you know you’ll enjoy, on a similarly regular basis?

What’s handy about Goodwill Gold is that I’ve made myself accountable.

I’ve said I’ll do the spot every week, so now I have to find a CD.

What could you do, in a similar way?

Here are five ideas to get the ball rolling, and you thinking:

1. If you love gardening, how about offering to cut a neighbour’s front lawn once a week? It probably wouldn’t take long, but you’d have to do it, and it could be really rewarding.

2. Is baking more your thing? Well, how about making a cake or a plate of cookies for someone once a week? Possibly not the same person every time, of course, unless they’re exceedingly fond of cakes.

3. Perhaps you’re a pet lover with no animal of your own at the moment? What if you offered to walk a friend’s dog every Sunday morning? They’d probably be delighted to have the help, and you’d very likely enjoy the walk, as would the dog.

4. Maybe you could help a child? Parents don’t always have proper time to sit with their kids while they’re learning to read. Great if you could help, even better if you could set it up as a regular appointment.

5. How about a monthly litter-picking walk with a friend? Arranging to do this with someone else makes it harder for either of you to back out, and two of you picking up trash means you’ll feel less conspicuous than you might if you were on your own.

Now these are just quick thoughts designed to help you come up with an idea that’s right for you.

But it’s certainly worth a try, don’t you think?

And, oh yes, Goodwill Gold is three tracks from Eric Clapton’s “Clapton Chronicles” today.

3 thoughts on “Committing to do things that make you happy.

  1. Hey Jon,
    Thanks for the great ideas! I have read that people are happier when they are part of a commitment and know that others are expecting them and are looking forward to their time together. I believe this to be true!
    Thanks again for the nudge.

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