As you know I’m a big fan of 30-day challenges, even when I fail them I learn something valuable. My sister Ryan is also practicing them as small steps towards change so I asked her to guest post about what could possibly be the toughest 30 day challenge of all.
For my New Year’s resolution I decided to do a 30-day challenge each month. For some reason I decided to go big:
No complaining for 30 days.
It started off well. Anytime I had complaining thoughts, I would immediately turn them into a positive ones.
I was so proud of myself, I was turning my negativity into positivity. Then it happened… I went to a baby shower. The shower was great, the two hour drive (each way) with my best friend of 25 years was the challenge. We talked about EVERYTHING.
Needless to say, I complained.
While I thought I was hopeless, I accidently came across a book at the library, A Complaint Free World: The 21-day Challenge, that will change your life by Will Bowen. From time to time I read these types of self-help books, only to end up skimming them and thinking, tell me something I don’t know…
This book was different.
Will Bowen challenges people to quit complaining for 21 days. Our day to day complaining is often unnecessary and toxic to our lives. Often we complain that we have headache, it’s cold out or we are broke. But this constantly complaining doesn’t change anything.
Like the famous Lance Armstrong yellow bracelet, he created a purple complaint free bracelet. He suggests that you put it on your right wrist, if you complain you need to switch it to your left. He also created a nifty computer widget that that will keep track of your days. If you complain you can reset it.
I liked this book because he was very honest on how difficult this challenge really is. It took him 10 months to be complaint free for 21 days. He also discusses stories of people who admit they have been trying for years to make day 21.
I know what you’re thinking…sometimes it’s okay to complain and vent…it’s good for the soul. He acknowledges that it is okay to complain in rare circumstances BUT we do it far too often. There are people out there dealing with terminal illness, it’s not a big deal if you run out of hot water during your shower.
I challenge you.
You don’t need to order a purple bracelet like I did; you can put a hair elastic or a rubber band around your wrist. Every time you complain switch it. You might be surprised by how much you complain.
I have been working on this challenge since January 2 and I am very proud to say I am still on Day 1.