The 15-Day Sensibly Selfish Random Acts of Kindness Challenge

The 15-Day Sensibly Selfish Random Acts of Kindness Challenge

Come and Join In!


23 min read

In a world that seems to be full of hate and meanness, it is time to focus on goodwill and tenderness. Random Acts of Kindness (RAKs) are spontaneous, intentional gestures of kindness directed towards others, often to brighten someone's day or make a positive impact. These simple acts, whether big or small, embody the power of compassion and contribute to creating a more empathetic and connected community.

The Sensibly Selfish Random Acts of Kindness Challenge below is designed to weave the threads of self-care and community engagement into a beautiful tapestry of positivity. By exploring the profound impact of kindness on our well-being and the well-being of those around us, this challenge invites you to contribute to a culture of compassion.

The Challenge Overview

The Sensibly Selfish RAK challenge is not just about performing random acts of kindness; it's a holistic approach to self-care through benevolence. As women over 45 deal with life's diversity, this challenge provides an opportunity to rediscover the joy of giving and connecting with others. By embracing kindness, participants will embark on a journey that transcends the mundane, fostering a sense of community and shared humanity.

How to Participate

Participating in the Sensibly Selfish RAK Challenge offers a multitude of benefits. As you engage in acts of kindness, you're not just spreading positivity – you're cultivating a profound sense of well-being within yourself. Boosting your mood and emotional health, strengthening your connection to the community, and enhancing overall life satisfaction are just a few of the rewards awaiting you on this journey.

By reducing stress, improving mental health, and finding fulfillment through making a positive impact on others, you're creating a tapestry of well-being that extends beyond yourself. Engaging in this challenge becomes an empowering act of self-care, contributing to increased self-esteem and a profound sense of purpose.

Below you will find 15 actions to follow. Simply decide what date/day you will begin. There are no signup costs, no bombardment of your inbox, nor pressure to boast about your performance (or not). This challenge is for you and you alone. Mark your calendar NOW!

Each day, challenge yourself to think differently about the RAK in question. Some ideas you may already do unconsciously daily, others may make you feel uncomfortable and that is perfectly normal. Use the challenge to take action, grow, move your comfort zone, reach into your feelings, and simply move beyond your emotions to serve others.

Have a journal handy throughout the challenge. Begin with a note to yourself, before the start of Day One about how you feel about this challenge, and what you hope to achieve and learn. Use the following blank pages to jot down thoughts and feelings along the journey and any unexpected events that follow from your challenge. Finally, at the end recap your learnings, what went well, what can be improved, and all the unexpected stories along the way.

Day 1 - Smile and Greet

Begin the day with a warm smile, look in the mirror, and greet the most important person on the planet, concerning your own life - you! We often forget to begin with ourselves, yet when we start the day in the right frame of mind, everyone else around us is affected with the same positive energy.

As you go about your day greet all those you meet, even strangers with kindness. One simple smile is a gesture that can create a ripple effect of positivity with the power to change the whole world. Never underestimate this simple act.

As Spike Milligan so aptly tells us in his poem:

Smiling is infectious,

You catch it like the flu,

When someone smiled at me today,

I started smiling too.

I passed around the corner,

And someone saw me grin,

When he smiled I realised,

I’d passed it on to him.

I thought about that smile,

Then realised it’s worth,

A single smile just like mine,

Could travel round the earth.

So if you feel a smile begin,

Don’t leave it undetected,

Let’s start an epidemic quick,

And get the world infected.

Day 2 - Compliment Day

Set aside time to express genuine compliments to friends, family, and even acquaintances. Acknowledging the positive qualities in others contributes to a culture of appreciation.

If you are new at giving compliments you may find yourself tongue-tied and feeling uncomfortable. Think of easy things to say at first, such as ‘I like your jumper, new haircut, shoes, etc’. Then progress from external compliments to internal concepts. Below you will find a few ideas that you can adapt to your style of dialogue.

  • Your kindness is truly inspiring.

  • I appreciate your positive energy—it brightens up any room.

  • Your resilience in facing challenges is admirable.

  • You have a unique ability to make people feel valued and heard.

  • Your creativity brings a special touch to everything you do.

  • I admire the way you handle difficult situations with grace.

  • Your generosity of spirit is a gift to those around you.

  • You have a wonderful sense of humor that brings joy to others.

  • The passion you bring to your pursuits is truly commendable.

  • Your thoughtfulness and attention to detail do not go unnoticed.

  • I'm grateful for your friendship—it adds so much richness to my life.

  • Your dedication to personal growth is both inspiring and contagious.

  • The way you support others shows what a caring person you are.

  • Your positive outlook is a beacon of light in challenging times.

  • Your wisdom and insights are valued by everyone fortunate enough to know you.

  • I appreciate the warmth and kindness you consistently share.

  • Your ability to see the good in people is a rare and beautiful quality.

  • Your commitment to making a difference is truly impactful.

  • I admire your authenticity and the genuine way you connect with others.

  • Your optimism is contagious, and I'm grateful to be around it.

Day 3 - Kind Notes

On this day, immerse yourself in the joy of spreading positivity through written words. Crafting uplifting notes and leaving them in unexpected places is a delightful way to brighten someone's day.

How to Leave Notes

  • Choose Your Medium: Pick a medium that suits your style. It could be colorful sticky notes, small cards, or even handwritten messages on decorative paper.

  • Be Strategic: Consider locations where people may stumble upon your notes organically. Places like public transportation, community bulletin boards, or tucked within library books can be perfect.

  • Timing Matters: If you're leaving notes in a specific location, think about when people are most likely to find them. Early mornings, lunch breaks, or after-work hours could be ideal.

  • Be Mindful of Diversity: Tailor your notes to be inclusive and diverse in their uplifting messages. Consider themes like encouragement, gratitude, and positivity that resonate universally.

What to Write

  • Words of Encouragement: Share motivating phrases to uplift spirits.

  • Compliments: Offer sincere compliments to brighten someone's day.

  • Gratitude Notes: Express thankfulness for the positive aspects of life.

  • Inspirational Quotes: Share quotes that inspire and spark reflection.

  • Positive Affirmations: Encourage self-love and positivity with affirmations.

Concerns About Littering

If you're worried about contributing to litter, there are mindful alternatives:

  • Use Recyclable Materials: Opt for recyclable paper or materials for your notes.

  • Choose Books or Objects: Instead of loose notes, consider leaving your messages in books or attaching them to small objects. This way, your notes become cherished discoveries rather than litter.

  • Digital Notes: In our increasingly digital world, consider leaving virtual notes or messages through QR codes that lead to positive online content.

Remember, the goal today, is to spread joy and inspiration, so be creative and thoughtful in your approach. Whether it's a small note tucked inside a library book or a positive message on a community board, your efforts will contribute to a more uplifting and connected community.

Day 4 - Pay It Forward

On this day, immerse yourself in the joy of generosity by participating in heartwarming acts of paying it forward. Take the opportunity to surprise someone by covering their expenses, creating a ripple effect of kindness that can brighten someone's day in unexpected ways.

How to Pay It Forward:

  • Choose Your Act: Decide on the act of kindness you want to pay forward. It could be as simple as covering someone's coffee or a more substantial gesture like paying for a meal or groceries.

  • Stay Attentive: Be observant of your surroundings and the people in it. Pay attention to opportunities where you can step in and make a positive impact.

  • Spread the Surprise: The beauty of paying it forward is in its unexpected nature. Choose someone anonymously or let them know it's a gesture of kindness from you, inspiring them to do the same for others.

  • Express Kindness: Whether it's at a coffee shop, a drive-thru, or even a toll booth, express your kindness with a genuine smile and a simple message like, "This one's on me!"

As you participate in the Pay It Forward challenge, remember that even the smallest acts of kindness have the power to make a significant impact. Embrace the joy of giving, knowing that your gesture has the potential to create a domino effect of positivity within the community. Whether it's a simple coffee or a more substantial contribution, your act of generosity contributes to the tapestry of kindness that makes the world a brighter and more compassionate place.

Day 5 - Helping Hand

On this day, offer a helping hand to those around you. Whether it's holding the door open, carrying groceries, or assisting with a task, these seemingly simple gestures have the power to create a positive ripple effect and foster a stronger sense of community.

How to Offer a Helping Hand

  • Be Observant: Pay attention to your surroundings and the people in your vicinity. Look for opportunities where a small act of assistance can make a meaningful difference.

  • Anticipate Needs: Consider the needs of others and be proactive in offering help. Whether it's helping someone stack a wood pile or simply holding the door for someone with their hands full, your thoughtfulness will be appreciated.

  • Ask if Assistance is Needed: Sometimes, a simple inquiry can go a long way. Politely ask if someone needs help, ensuring that your assistance is welcomed. If you are not needed, still be kind and thank the person for their time.

  • Carry Small Tokens: Keep small items like reusable shopping bags or spare change that you can offer to someone in need. It may be a clean handkerchief or first aid band or your help with directions, the list is endless. These thoughtful gestures can make a significant impact on someone's day.

As you extend your helping hand to those around you, remember that even the smallest gestures can make a lasting impression. Embrace the joy of contributing to a community where kindness is woven into the fabric of daily interactions, creating a more harmonious and compassionate world.

Day 6 - Social Media Positivity

On this day, harness the influential power of your online presence to spread positivity and counteract negativity. By sharing uplifting and inspiring content on social media, you have the potential to become a beacon of encouragement, fostering a digital space that uplifts and inspires others.

Ideas for Social Media Content

  • Inspirational Quotes: Share quotes that resonate with positivity, motivation, and resilience. Pair them with personal reflections or experiences to make them more relatable.

  • Highlight Achievements: Celebrate accomplishments. Whether it's a personal milestone, a friend's success, or a noteworthy achievement in your community, sharing positive news contributes to a culture of celebration.

  • Acts of Kindness: Document your own Random Acts of Kindness or share stories of kindness happening around the world. These narratives inspire others to engage in compassionate actions.

  • Gratitude Posts: Express gratitude for the positive aspects of your life. It could be for relationships, experiences, or even simple joys. Encourage others to reflect on their sources of gratitude.

  • Encouraging Words: Post words of encouragement and support. Whether it's a message of reassurance during challenging times or a reminder to focus on self-care, your words can provide comfort.

  • Share Positive News: Amplify positive local news stories and achievements from around the world. Balance the narrative by showcasing the good happening in various communities.

  • Showcasing Creativity: Share your creative endeavors or highlight the creativity of others. Art, music, and other forms of expression can be powerful sources of inspiration.

  • Wellness Tips: Share tips for physical and mental well-being. Whether it's a healthy recipe, a mindfulness exercise, or a suggestion for self-care, contribute to the collective wellness of your online community.

As you participate in Social Media Positivity Day, your digital presence has the potential to shape the online experience for others. By curating content that uplifts, inspires, and celebrates positivity, you contribute to a virtual space that reflects the best of humanity. You may also find that your own Social Media feed changes and becomes holistically positive, this may be something to record in your journal.

Day 7 - Donate to Charity

On this day, channel your generosity by contributing to a cause that resonates with your values. The act of donating to charity goes beyond financial support; it is a meaningful way to make a positive impact on issues that matter to you, bringing a profound sense of fulfillment.

How to Donate to Charity

  • Choose Your Cause: Select a cause or organization that aligns with your passions and values. Whether it's education, healthcare, environmental conservation, or social justice, numerous charities are addressing a wide range of issues. Take a look at Kiva, for example, one of my personal favorites.

  • Research Organizations: Take the time to research and verify the legitimacy of the charity you choose. Utilize online platforms that provide transparency and ratings for charitable organizations to ensure your donation has a meaningful impact.

  • Decide on the Type of Contribution: Consider different ways to contribute, beyond monetary donations. You can donate goods, volunteer your time, or even fundraise on behalf of the charity.

  • Set a Budget: Determine a budget for your donation that aligns with your financial capacity. Even small contributions can make a significant difference when combined with the support of others.

Ideas for Charitable Giving

  • Giving Longer: Consider setting up a monthly donation to provide sustained support for the charity over time.

  • Matching Donations: Check if your employer or other organizations offer donation matching programs, doubling the impact of your contribution.

  • Gifts in Kind: Donate items or services that the charity may need, such as clothing, school supplies, or professional skills.

  • Crowdfunding: Create a crowdfunding campaign to involve friends and family in supporting a cause collectively.

  • Sponsorship Programs: Explore opportunities to sponsor a child's education, a family's well-being, or a specific project within the charity.

As you participate in the Donate to Charity challenge, remember that your contribution, regardless of size, plays a vital role in supporting organizations dedicated to making the world a better place. Whether it's through financial donations, in-kind contributions, or volunteer work, your involvement reflects a commitment to creating positive change.

Day 8 - Volunteer

On this day, step into the world of active altruism by volunteering your time to a local community organization. Your skills and experiences can be instrumental in making a positive impact. While the act of volunteering is incredibly rewarding, it's important to be aware of potential pitfalls and considerations for a more informed and meaningful volunteer experience.

Where to Volunteer

  • Local Nonprofits: Explore local nonprofit organizations that align with your interests. They often have a range of opportunities, from community outreach to administrative support.

  • Schools and Educational Programs: Volunteer at schools or educational programs, offering assistance with tutoring, mentoring, or extracurricular activities.

  • Hospitals or Healthcare Centers: Many healthcare facilities welcome volunteers to assist with tasks such as patient support, administrative work, or organizing events.

  • Environmental Organizations: Contribute to environmental causes by volunteering with organizations focused on conservation, clean-up initiatives, or sustainable practices.

  • Animal Shelters: Offer your time at an animal shelter, helping with pet care, adoption events, or administrative tasks.

  • Senior Centers: Volunteer to spend time with seniors, engage in activities, or assist with daily tasks at local senior centers.


  • Commitment Level: Be mindful of your time constraints and choose volunteer opportunities that align with your availability. Overcommitting can lead to burnout.

  • Skills Assessment: Understand your skills and strengths before volunteering. This ensures that you contribute effectively to the organization's goals.

  • Research the Organization: Before committing, research the organization to ensure its values align with yours. Check their reputation, impact, and transparency.

  • Communication: Communicate your availability, skills, and expectations with the organization. This helps in finding the right role for you.

  • Impact Evaluation: Regularly assess the impact of your volunteer work and communicate with the organization about your experience. Constructive feedback can contribute to program improvement.

  • Emotional Preparedness: Depending on the nature of the work, volunteering may expose you to challenging situations. Ensure you are emotionally prepared for the potential difficulties you may encounter.

Volunteering is a powerful way to contribute to positive change, and being mindful of your well-being and the dynamics of the organization enhances the overall impact of your efforts.

Day 9 - Send Thank You Notes

On this day, celebrate the power of gratitude by expressing appreciation to those who have positively influenced your life. A handwritten thank-you note holds a timeless charm and can genuinely brighten someone's day.

How to Write a Thoughtful Thank-You Note…

  • Start with a Greeting: Begin your note with a warm greeting, addressing the recipient by name.

  • Express Gratitude Specifically: Clearly state what you're thankful for and how the person's actions or presence made a positive impact.

  • Share Personal Details: Include a personal touch, sharing a specific moment or memory that highlights the significance of their contribution.

  • Use Warm Language: Choose words that convey sincerity and warmth. Be genuine and avoid clichés for a more authentic expression of gratitude.

  • Conclude Positively: End your note on a positive note, expressing gratitude once again and perhaps mentioning your anticipation of future interactions.

A well-crafted thank-you note not only acknowledges the kindness of others but also strengthens the bonds that connect us, creating a ripple of positivity that extends beyond the written words.

Day 10 - Listen Actively

On this day, recognize that active listening is a profound and often overlooked form of Random Act of Kindness (RAK). Actively listening with empathy in conversations goes beyond politeness; it creates a foundation of genuine understanding and connection. Here's why active listening is a powerful RAK:

In a world filled with noise, actively listening is a precious gift of kindness. It shows that you value their thoughts and feelings, creating a space where they feel heard and understood. Active listening fosters empathy, promoting a deeper connection that transcends words. By being present in conversations, you contribute to a culture of respect and compassion, making a positive impact on the well-being of those around you.

In the realm of Random Acts of Kindness, the simple act of attentive listening can be transformative, leaving a lasting impression on the hearts of those you engage with. If you would like to learn more, check out these two Sensibly Selfish Posts:

Effective Communication


Day 11 - Environmental Acts

Today, embrace the role you can play in preserving the beauty of our planet through meaningful environmental acts. Whether it's picking up litter, participating in a community cleanup, or adopting sustainable practices, your contribution can make a significant impact on the well-being of our environment and future generations.

In the complex tapestry of environmental conservation, your actions on Day 11 become threads that weave together a narrative of responsibility and stewardship. By actively participating in litter cleanup or community initiatives, you transcend the role of a spectator and become an integral part of the solution. Picking up litter is not just about beautifying the surroundings; it's a tangible step towards reducing pollution and creating a safer, healthier environment for all living beings.

Engaging in or initiating community cleanups transforms environmental care into a shared endeavor. It fosters a sense of collective responsibility, amplifying the impact and creating a ripple effect of positive change. Your participation not only contributes to cleaner surroundings but also inspires others to join the movement, forming a community dedicated to environmental well-being.

Adopting sustainable practices goes beyond a one-day commitment; it is a pledge to integrate eco-friendly habits into your daily life. From reducing single-use plastics to supporting sustainable businesses, these practices contribute to the broader goal of fostering a harmonious relationship between human activities and the environment.

In the grand symphony of environmental acts, your role as a conscientious participant is crucial. Each sustainable choice and every piece of litter responsibly disposed of adds to the harmonious melody of a planet cared for by its inhabitants. As you embark on Day 11, envision your actions as notes in this symphony, creating a positive composition that resonates with the well-being of our Earth.

Day 12 - Forgiveness

Embark on a journey of healing and self-liberation by dedicating Day 12 to the powerful act of forgiveness. Letting go of grudges and practicing forgiveness is not only a gift to others but a profound act of self-care that contributes to improved mental well-being. Here's how to navigate this impactful day:

How to Practice Forgiveness

Using your journal:

  • Reflection: Take time to reflect on any lingering grudges or resentments you may be holding. Understand the emotions tied to these experiences.

  • Empathy: Put yourself in the shoes of the person you're forgiving. Consider their perspective and the possibility of growth and change.

  • Release Negativity: Acknowledge the weight that grudges carry and consciously choose to release the negativity. Understand that forgiveness is a gift to yourself.

  • Communication (Optional): If appropriate and comfortable, consider expressing your feelings to the person involved. This step is optional and depends on the situation.

What to Expect

  • Emotional Liberation: Forgiveness is a powerful form of emotional liberation. Letting go of resentment frees up mental and emotional space for more positive experiences.

  • Improved Well-Being: The act of forgiveness is linked to improved mental well-being, reducing stress, and anxiety, and enhancing overall emotional resilience.

  • Empowerment: Forgiving is a courageous act that empowers you to take control of your emotions and responses, leading to a greater sense of inner strength.

  • Enhanced Relationships: If forgiveness involves someone close to you, it can lead to the rebuilding of trust and the possibility of stronger, healthier relationships.

  • Personal Growth: Choosing forgiveness is a path to personal growth. It allows you to transcend negative experiences, fostering resilience and a positive mindset.

Navigating Tough Moments

  • Self-Compassion: Understand that forgiveness is a process, and it's okay if it doesn't happen overnight. Be compassionate with yourself throughout the journey.

  • Seek Support: If the forgiveness process feels overwhelming, consider seeking support from friends, family, or a mental health professional who can provide guidance and understanding.

As you embrace Day 12 and practice forgiveness, recognize the transformative power it holds. It's not about condoning past actions but about liberating yourself from the burden of resentment. Embrace the freedom that forgiveness brings, allowing yourself to move forward with a lighter heart and a renewed sense of well-being.

Day 13 - Support Local Businesses

Day 13 invites you to become a catalyst for community prosperity by supporting local businesses. Your patronage is not just a transaction; it's an investment in the identity and character of your neighborhood. By choosing local shops, you contribute to the heartbeat of your community, fostering economic resilience and job opportunities. Dining at local restaurants provides not only a culinary experience but also sustains the flavors that make your community unique.

Leaving positive reviews and engaging on social media further amplifies the impact of your support. Your recommendations become beacons for others, drawing attention to the gems within your community. As you engage in Day 13, relish the knowledge that your choices and actions contribute to a thriving local lifestyle, creating a more vibrant and connected community for everyone.

Day 14 - Offer Encouragement

As you begin Day 14, consider your words as a beacon of light for those navigating stormy seas. Be specific and intentional in your encouragement, recognizing the unique challenges individuals face. Express empathy sincerely, conveying not just sympathy but a shared understanding of their journey. Sharing personal experiences, when relevant, adds a layer of authenticity, letting them know they're not alone in facing obstacles.

When in a restaurant, if possible, stop at the kitchen and thank the chef and his team for their efforts. Stop the local policeman or postman in the street and thank them for everything they do. Stop taking others for granted.

Your supportive words have the potential to create a positive ripple effect, impacting not only the individual receiving encouragement but also those who witness the exchange. Offering assistance, if feasible, transforms your encouragement into tangible support, reinforcing the strength of community bonds. Embrace the knowledge that your words can be a source of strength for others, guiding them towards resilience and optimism on their path.

Day 15 - Create A Kindness Chain

Day 15 invites you to be a virtuoso orchestrator of positivity by creating a Kindness Chain. Capture the spirit of benevolence in your community and bring it to the forefront. Document and share acts of kindness—both witnessed and participated in—through the powerful medium of social media. Use stories, images, or videos to convey the warmth and impact of these actions, creating a tapestry of goodness.

Your initiative goes beyond showcasing acts; it actively involves the community. Encourage others to contribute to the Kindness Chain, creating a collaborative effort that celebrates the diversity of benevolence.

Through this shared endeavor, expect to see an inspired community, increased awareness of the positive actions around, and the gradual building of connections rooted in compassion. Witness the positive ripple effect as the Kindness Chain grows, turning your community into a beacon of kindness where benevolent actions become a natural and celebrated part of daily life.

Day 16 and Beyond

Take a look at your accompanying journal and note the areas where you excelled, felt at ease, or just uncomfortable. Build your RAK muscles even further by continuing the challenge every day of the year. It is time to start over this time you get to choose which RAK, when, and where.

On days when you are busy focus on the RAKs you find simple to do. On days when you need a challenge turn to the RAKs that you found harder. Compound intention is the key here. Imagine where you will be in 365 days if you keep your newfound RAK habit alive, but more importantly, imagine where the world will be.

The Joy of Keeping it Secret

As part of your Sensibly Selfish RAK Challenge, or in your RAK efforts throughout the year, consider the profound joy of keeping your acts of kindness a secret. While the intention is not to diminish the significance of sharing positivity and inspiring others, there's a unique satisfaction in performing acts of kindness without seeking recognition. By choosing to keep your RAK secret, you cultivate a sense of humility and authenticity in your actions.

Choosing humility in your acts of kindness fosters a genuine connection with the essence of giving. It shifts the focus from external validation to an internal sense of fulfillment. The joy derived from knowing you've made a positive impact without the need for acknowledgment is a powerful aspect of this challenge.

When acts of kindness are done quietly, without the expectation of praise, they become authentic expressions of your values. This authenticity has a ripple effect on your mindset, fostering a sense of integrity and purpose in your daily interactions. Keeping your RAK secret contributes to a mindset transformation. It becomes less about performing acts for external approval and more about embodying kindness as a natural part of who you are. This shift can lead to a greater sense of inner peace and contentment.

Quiet Satisfaction

While sharing your acts of kindness can inspire others, there's a unique beauty in quietly encouraging others to follow suit. By leading through example without boasting, you contribute to a culture of kindness without the need for external validation.

There's a quiet satisfaction that comes from knowing you've positively impacted someone's day without seeking praise. This internal joy becomes a reward in itself, creating a positive feedback loop that reinforces the intrinsic value of kindness.

Share Your Story

This challenge encourages a shift from the conventional understanding of self-care, reminding participants that acts of kindness towards others can be equally, if not more, fulfilling. By fostering a culture of compassion, the challenge invites women to weave threads of positivity, connection, and joy into the fabric of their lives.

We invite you, to share your experiences and acts of kindness throughout the Sensibly Selfish RAK Challenge in the comments below. Or join us in the secret Facebook group to cultivate a culture of benevolence and positivity. Share your stories, reflections, and the impact of your kindness using our dedicated hashtag #KindnessChallenge. Let's create a ripple of positivity that extends beyond the challenge, shaping a community that celebrates the beauty of self-care through kindness. Together, let's make the world a brighter, more compassionate place.