Failing, And Trying Again, at the Complaint-Free World Challenge

I have failed. My New Year’s Resolution was to make it 21 days without complaining, following the Complaint Free World Challenge. My efforts lasted a few days and then I gave up. And now in September, I am disheartened that I’m on course for making the same resolution again in 2013 and failing once more. Overall, I am a positive person, but I am very hard on myself, and sometimes I am equally critical of others. Often, I regret saying something negative in a burst of impatience. Quite simply, I don’t want to have those regrets anymore. So, here I go again.

I woke up to a dead computer monitor this morning, but I am tapping on an iPad and not complaining. I desperately want to download a very cool widget from the A Complaint Free World website, which may help me with my efforts, but I will need to wait until my computer is working.

I don’t have time to blog every day, but I will make the effort to report on my progress once or twice per week. I am trying to reassure myself that perhaps this is why I failed, so that I would be more determined to succeed with this goal and could ultimately inspire others to be more positive. So watch for my brief updates. If you have never heard of this challenge, here is some information.

The idea is simple: scientists believe it takes 21 days to form a new habit and complaining is habitual for most of us. The purple Complaint Free World bracelet is a powerful tool to remind you of how well you are creating your life with positive intention. If you catch yourself complaining, you move the bracelet to your other arm and start back to Day One. The object is to reach 21 consecutive complaint-free days.

In July 2006, Will Bowen offered a simple idea for people to monitor their success at eradicating complaining from their lives. His idea exploded around the world and nearly 6 million purple Complaint Free bracelets have been sent to people in more than 106 countries. Bowen has been featured on Oprah, NBC’s The Today Show, CBS Sunday Morning, The ABC Evening News, Fox News Channel and in hundreds of TV and radio interviews around the world.

Here are the suggested rules directly from the Complaint Free web site:
1. Begin to wear the bracelet, on either wrist
2. When you catch yourself complaining, gossiping or criticizing (it’s ok, everyone does) move the bracelet to the other arm and begin again.
3. If you hear someone else who is wearing a bracelet complain, you may point out their need to switch the bracelet to the other arm; BUT if you’re going to do this, you must move your bracelet first!
4. Stay with it. It may take many months but when you reach 21 days you will find that your entire life is happier, more loving and more enjoyable.

You can use one of the official bracelets, or use your own. I prefer my own. Although the idea seems simple, following through is a challenge as the average person complains about 15 – 30 times each day.

You can read more about the challenge here. If you’d like to join me, please follow me on Twitter or Facebook and keep me posted on how you’re doing. Please wish me luck.

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  1. Stacy, that first paragraph could be me, except the resolution part. Especially recently. Good timing!
    The CFWC is a great idea; kudos to those who participate. I think I will try the concept with my own bracelet, without officially joining the Challenge. This will be hard within my community of rampant complainers. Your post will help me remember to keep positive, which is the #1 rule for golfers. How could I forget that?
    Thanks and good luck.
    (And, I don’t believe you are a complainer.)

  2. Thanks for coming by, Mike, glad it resonated with you! I’m also glad I am not alone in regretting things that were said in a flash of impatience. I would like to be a better example for my family. I just got my computer working and was able to download the widget, so that might be helpful to you as a reminder when you turn on the computer. I’ll blog about what it looks like in a few days. You could also use your wristwatch and switch to the other arm.

  3. Too funny! Okay, I had a lot of complaining about work when I was working, so now I write full time and I have only to blame myself if I’m not doing well. Not complaining, mind you. 🙂

  4. LOL, Terry. I have a real tough boss and her name is Stacy, wants everything done yesterday, not that I’m complaining, mind you!

  5. Stacy do not feel bad and remeber 2013 is not an election year so will be surrounded by less complaining and/or criticizing.
    Gossiping may be hardder…ther you may need to see who you surround yourself with.
    intention is key and the mere fact that you are conscious and want to work on this is SOMETHING!
    21 days is also what is used for reiki! 🙂

  6. Thanks for the encouragement, Catalina! I was a little (okay, a lot) down as I had to start back to Day 1 again today. But the books I’m reading are making me feel optimistic that I will be able to do it, it just might make take awhile.

Stacy Juba