Step 1: Say something kind and unexpected.
End of list.
Last night, one of my classmates absolutely made my day. She literally stayed late after class to tell me that she noticed I had lost weight. She asked me if I was on a diet, and I told her no, that I was running and eating more cleanly. We didn't have a lengthy conversation, just a few words and she was on her way.
It literally made my entire day that not only did she pay me such a nice compliment, she stayed late, after almost everyone had left, to tell me in quieter quarters that she thought I looked good. I was beaming.
I'll be honest, folks. It doesn't take much to make my day. I don't need to be bought a $200 dinner (but feel free!) or showered with pricey gifts. Over time, I've learned to appreciate the little things in life. To me, those are the most meaningful.
I'm a sucker for one of my favorite movies unexpectedly being on TV. Sheets and towels fresh out of the dryer. A guy holding the door open for me. Four-leaf clovers. A wildly inappropriate joke. A phone call from family or friends. Snail mail. A bowl of ice cream with all the fixin's. Earning an "A" on even the smallest assignment. You get the picture. It's neither expensive nor difficult to make my day. Others are likely the same way.
So go ahead. Make someone's day today :) There's nothing more beautiful than genuine altruism.