How To Change The World In 31 Days – A Challenge

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by Scott Kostolni

Welcome back! I hope you had a fantastic Thanksgiving Holiday.  I took a little time off to spend it with my friends and my family.  It was the most rewarding Thanksgiving I have celebrated in years.

My original plan for today was to write a post about celebrating a minimalist Christmas, but there are already articles out by some fantastic writers, I didn’t want to reinvent the wheel.  These posts will show you how to give what truly matters, or give you some ideas for amazing gifts you can make yourself. Matt Madeiro’s wish is that you and your friends will escape from the Christmas “spirit”.  Here is a list of some actually meaningful presents, and Everett Bogue explains how you can save $2,000 for Christmas and still make everyone love you. With all of these holiday resources already out there I decided to go in a different direction.

What Happened To Christmas?

I don’t know exactly how but somewhere along the lines Christmas lost its purpose.  We have forgotten what it is really about. Christmas is not about waking up at three in the morning to stand in line and trample over each other for toys or flat screen televisions.  It is not about seeing who can spend the most amount of money, or put out the most lights.  These are the things we seem to focus on, but we are missing the point.  Christmas isn’t about those things.  Christmas is about doing for others.  Christmas is about giving.

The 31 Days Of Kindness Challenge

This year I want everyone to put the true meaning back into Christmas by participating in The 31 Days Of Kindness Challenge.  Starting tomorrow December 1st till the end of the year I challenge each and every one of you to perform as many random acts of kindness as you can.  My personal goal is one act of kindness per day, big or small, it doesn’t matter.  These acts can be anything that helps someone or puts a smile on their face.  Bring breakfast for everyone in your office one day.  Write someone a letter telling them how important they are to you.  Spend a day volunteering at a shelter or soup kitchen. Help and old lady cross the road.  Give someone your undivided attention. Anything works!

As my good friend Barbara Hinz said to me when I first told her about this challenge, “acts of kindness are such a blessing to the giver and the receiver,” and I hope that you will find out first hand how amazing giving to others can be, but I would also like to give something back to everyone who participates. I have created specifically to collect the your stories throughout this challenge.  I want to hear about all of the amazing acts of kindness you all perform in the month of December and at the end of the challenge I am putting together a special gift for everyone!

Quick Recap: How To Participate In the Holiday 2010 Challenge

  1. Perform as many random acts of kindness as you possibly can between December 1st and December 31st.
  2. Invite all your friends to participate.
  3. Email me at with your stories.
  4. Check back after the challenge is over to see what gift I have for you.

As always, thank you for reading!  I hope you will participate in this challenge and help make the holidays more enjoyable for everyone.  I would greatly appreciate it if you could pass this on to your friends and family through twitter, Facebook, or e-mail.  The more people we can get involved in this the greater it will become.

“In the end, only kindness matters” photo provided under a Creative Commons License by SweetOnVeg.


Tanja from Minimalist Packrat December 2, 2010 at 5:33 PM


I’ve been waiting in anticipation for this post. You hinted about it to me a few weeks back and here it is! “The 31 Days Of Kindness Challenge”. I love it! Count me in! I’m going to have to mention it in my post tomorrow to let my readers know it’s going on.

Take care and thanks for coming up with this. The holiday season needs a little kindness and a lot less shopping! It’s a great way to refocus on the meaning of the holiday season.

Scott Kostolni December 3, 2010 at 5:15 PM


Thank you! I am very excited for this challenge, and I’m looking forward to seeing what everyone does. I hope to get a story or two from you as well. :-D


Tanja from Minimalist Packrat December 4, 2010 at 10:02 AM

I’ve got my thinking cap on. I want to go beyond just opening a door for a stranger at the convenience store!

Scott Kostolni December 7, 2010 at 12:09 PM


That sounds great! I’ve got some special things planned. I hope to see your story soon. :)

Joe Dixon December 4, 2010 at 4:40 PM

Scott, this is a great idea! I have been looking for an excuse to be kinder (is that a good thing to admit?) recently, and in the last couple of days, I have found two. Your challenge, and this series of posts:

I think that you (and Tanja) might love to be involved in this! Best of luck.


Scott Kostolni December 7, 2010 at 12:11 PM


It’s great that you are looking to be kinder. It’s always something to work towards. Thanks for the links to the posts I’ve been checking them out. Good reading!

Tanja from Minimalist Packrat December 9, 2010 at 10:07 AM


Very inspiring posts! I just finished the one about Brooke’s experience giving out dinners on Thanksgiving. I’m off to read the other 2 now.


Jenny Smythe December 25, 2010 at 9:40 AM

What a great idea Scott! Count me in too! Now I’m off to spread some goodness!

Scott Kostolni December 27, 2010 at 12:23 PM

That’s great! I hope your Christmas was fantastic! I took some time off from the digital world to spend with my family. I even got myself an awesome Christmas gift and video taped my grandparents telling stories about their lives. Plus we got an awesome blizzard! Couldn’t have been better!

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