Five fun ways to surprise yourself

I am just delighted to re-introduce Kylie Bellard  to you today.  A bit of serendipity led her to our blog and she immediately asked if she might contribute this post on surprising ourselves. Well, of course. Advice this good is meant to be shared. Enjoy.


When most of us think about feeling surprised, we usually think about something outside of us causing it. We feel surprised when someone craftily throws us a party without our knowledge. We feel surprised when we receive an unexpected letter in the mail. In general, we don’t think of surprise as an experience that we can create for ourselves.

I’d like to change that. Surprise can be buckets of fun, so why should you wait for others to surprise you when you can create surprising experiences yourself? (The answer, in case you hadn’t guessed, is this: you shouldn’t!)

There are tons of fun ways that you can surprise yourself. All it takes is some creativity, a bit of advance planning, and an adventurous spirit. Here are just a few of the ways that you can fill your own life with delightful surprises.


1. Send yourself an unexpected present.

 Give a close friend or loved one twenty (or fifty!) dollars, along with instructions to buy you something (or multiple things!) that will delight you. Tell that person to purchase that special something, then send it to you in the mail at a random time (preferably after at least a month, to give you a chance to forget). Wait a few months, and then . . . voila! A surprise present will arrive in the mail, from you, for you. (You get bonus points on this one if you do the same for your friend, doubling the surprise.)


2. Plant surprise messages.

Write down encouraging, playful messages, and hide them in special spots for yourself to find throughout the year. If you need some inspiration, you could try messages like these:

  • Keep going, love.

  • You’re doing an incredible job!

  • I’m so proud of you.

  • You’ve got this.

  • You’re looking mighty lovely today!

Put them in your pockets (especially the pockets of clothing you wear during seasons other than the current one). Place them in between folded clothes in your drawers. Tuck them between the pages of your favorite books. Put them in your wallet, your purse, your suitcase. You just might find those messages exactly when you need them most.


3. Fill your calendar or journal with delight.

Whenever you get a new calendar or journal, fill it with wonderful surprises. You might drop in an inspiring quote for every week on your calendar, or every few pages in your journal. If you need ideas, here are just a few to start you off.

If you keep an electronic calendar or journal, even better! Scatter it with links to adorable animal photographs or short videos that make you laugh. You’ll thank yourself throughout the year, each time you’re surprised with an unexpected chance to smile.

4. Ask strangers unexpected questions.

Try to trade out your usual weather-related small talk for profound or delightful questions. You’ll be amazed at the surprising answers you receive. Need some ideas to get you started? Here are just a few:

  • What was your favorite thing to do when you were a kid?

  • What’s the kindest compliment you’ve ever been paid?

  • What’s the best surprise you’ve ever received?

  • If you got to spend a week as one famous person, living or dead, who would it be and why?

  • If you were granted one wish by a magic genie, what would it be?

  • What’s the bravest thing you’ve ever done?


5. Surrender yourself to an unknown destination.

Ask someone you love spending time with to take you to a surprise destination. This could be as small as taking a walk around the neighborhood to an unexpected spot, or as grand as taking a weekend (or longer!) road trip to a mystery destination. Try not to look at the map or GPS, and see if you can welcome each unexpected moment as it arrives.


Let the surprises multiply.

Once you start surprising yourself, my guess is you’ll be hooked. Use your enthusiasm to come up with new, different, and more surprising surprises. The opportunities for the unexpected are endless.


KylieKylie Bellard is an uber-compassionate empowerment coach and photographer who teaches people to like themselves and care for themselves. You can read her weekly musings on self-esteem, self-care, and doing nothing at

11 thoughts on “Five fun ways to surprise yourself

  1. I love #1 and recently was reminded of how great it really is! I was at a workshop last November and the facilitator had us write a card to ourselves, in which we could only say loving, appreciative things. It came in the mail months later on a day I really needed the boost, the most perfect timing ever.

    I loved it so much I decided to do it again, as well as doing it for others. One of the best ‘feel good’ things you can do!

    • Yes yes yes! I, too, had the pleasure of writing myself a card during a workshop. Plus, there’s the extra bonus of it extending the magic of the workshop into your everyday life. So lovely.

  2. Wow! The creativity of your suggestions is nothing but amazing. I’m printing this post out and implementing every single thing you talk about. What I love most is that everything you mention is easily doable, doesn’t cost a lot of money, and packs an incredible wallop when it comes to enriching our ordinary, everyday lives. Thank you, Kylie.

    • Oh Carol, you totally get me. That’s exactly what I was going for: small and doable. I’m really delighted you’re gonna experiment with surprising yourself!

  3. Destination Somewhere – I’m reminded of a time going on four years now. In the search for a place to move we traveled what seemed like every back road in the southern half of the province. When you can be anywhere, where do you desire to be? We discovered some amazing hidden gems along with those quite far from shiny. I do admit my fondness for a map to fill with the discoveries along the way. A recent decision to turn right instead of left though renewed my sense of excitement in heading into totally uncharted waters and reconnecting with the knowing I’ll manage whatever was met ahead.

  4. Love these ideas Kylie, and like Sandi especially #1 … in fact I love it so much I’m going to do it for others as well as myself! Thank you for making what was already a fun day one full of surprises 🙂

    • Oh yes; do share the love! I’ll bet you’re going to find that people are *beyond thrilled* to get packages in the mail for no reason at all. It’s gonna add so much goodness to your life. Enjoy!

  5. Hi Kylie,
    thank you for sharing these great ideas.
    I have not thought about ‘surprising myself’.
    I wonder if it works when you have a good memory.
    Well, it may not be a ‘surprise’ but it would still be nice to get a parcel in the mail.
    A while back I left a raincoat in someones car and even though I knew it would be sent to me in the mail it kind of was a surprise, especially because it was my son who sent it.

    Great suggestions.
    My your life be full of pleasant surprises!

    • Hmmm, well in my opinion, it’s always great to get a treat, even if you happen to remember to expect it. 🙂 Sounds like the raincoat from your son carried a little bit of love with it. So sweet!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *