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My attempt at the Complaint Free Challenge – week 1 update

My attempt at the Complaint Free Challenge – week 1 update

It’s been 1 week of trying the Complaint Free Challenge…how did I do?  Read all about it in this week 1 update…

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Well hey there!  How are you doing?

I’m doing well over here…

To recap, I started the Complaint Free Challenge by Will Bowen one week ago.

The goal is to go 21 days in a row without complaining…whew!  As a little physical reminder, you wear a bracelet on one wrist and you switch it each time you catch yourself complaining.  Once you switch the bracelet, your 21 days resets.  That means you are on day 1 again.  Will Bowen says that most people take close to a year to get through the 21 consecutive days.

If you missed the first post on this where I explain more about it, you can read that here.

Complaint-Free Challenge Month 1

Complaint-Free Challenge Month 2

Complaint-Free Challenge Month 3

I’ve been keeping notes of my progress this first week.  It helps me to keep a journal about it because if it’s more in my awareness, I’ll be able to catch more of my complaints…and hopefully over time decrease them!  That’s the goal of this experiment.

Why try this Complaint Free Challenge?

For myself personally, I like the idea of this challenge to contribute less negativity to the world, to try to be more positive, and possibly be happier.

Everybody has unique challenges in their personality, life, relationships, health, financial situation, work.  Nobody is immune to struggles and there are reasons in every person’s life why it could make sense to complain.  Some people have way more reasons to complain than others.

I live in a country that is overall very privileged.  I have less reasons to complain than so many other people around the world.  Complaining about minor things is something we all do, and the more we do something the more ingrained it becomes.  I want to try to break this complaining habit.

So how did week 1 go of trying to stop complaining?

Well, I’ll let you decide, ha!

It’s been 7 days of the challenge and I am currently on day….

1 of not complaining!!!!

Yup, I have complained every day of the challenge so far.

I have switched the bracelet and switched the bracelet and then switched again.

The complaints varied from bigger issues to the tiniest most mundane things that I complained about.

One day I got so close to the end of the day without complaining, and then I blew it.  Then I complained about that.  lol

A teeny little complaint is so easy to let slip out during the course of your day.

I even had one day where I purposely talked less so I would have less of a chance to complain.  It still didn’t work.

The idea of a challenge is that it is a challenge.  Meaning it’s not the easiest thing in the world.  Going a day without complaining sounds like a challenge to me already.  I think I’m going to take it one day at a time and try to get through that day, instead of focusing on the whole 21 days.  It feels more manageable that way.

My week 1 diary of the Complaint Free Challenge

I want to give you a peek into my diary of the first week of trying to not complain.

Day 1:

The very first day!  Fresh resolve!  Excitement about this challenge!  I lasted until 10:30am.  Whomp, whomp.  Switched the bracelet.

11:01am – Muttered a complaint under my breath.  I technically said it out loud even though it was quiet so I think it counts.  Switched the bracelet.

Two more times around noon.  Twice more around 1pm.

Switch switch.  Switch switch.

1:30pm.  Switch.

5pm.  I bought sushi, yum!  Opening the soy sauce packet that came with it, it didn’t open properly and I spilled a little.  I complained out loud to myself about this.  Grr!!  Switch the bracelet.


Day 2:

Today I had to drive for work after a big dump of snow last night (over 5 inches of snow).  Being frugal, I drive a small car.  I love my little car.  It’s great on fuel, we are a family of three and this is really all we need.  This is great most of the time but my car doesn’t always do as well in a ton of snow.  The main streets are mainly cleared today but all the side streets and parking lots are a mess.  There miiiight have been a bit of out loud complaining when I my little car almost got stuck several times.  Switch.  Switch, switch.

Day 3:

I started off a text to a friend with “ugh!”.  I think that immediately implies a complaint, it doesn’t even matter what comes after “ugh”.  Dang.  Switch the damn bracelet.

Day 4:

I didn’t like the feeling of the bracelet on my wrist.  I am not a jewelry person (exactly why I did this) and I almost never wear any kind of jewelry.  “This bracelet is annoying”.


Day 5:

My toddler had an off day with some epic tantrums as a toddler does.  Did I keep cool and collected today?  No I did not.  Switch the bracelet.  Switch.  Switch.

Related reading: What to do when you feel like a bad mom

Day 6:

I am selling some of my restaurant equipment from when I owned a bakery.  I set up a time for someone who was interested to come by to buy some of the equipment.  It was in the middle of a work day and I came home just for that and then had to go back to work after.  They never showed up and didn’t call or text to let me know they weren’t coming.  I complained.  There are so many opportunities to complain!

I tried to turn it around.  I was happy to be home in the middle of the day to see my daughter.  That felt like a treat to get to have lunch with her while I was waiting.

Day 7:

I made it all the way until 8pm!!!! Arg!!! I was so close!! Then before putting my toddler to bed she followed me into the bathroom to watch me pee (this is more fascinating to her than watching Peppa Pig). I muttered a very quiet complaint about wishing I was able to pee all by myself again. She didn’t hear but I heard myself and it was definitely a complaint. Soooo close!!!!

My thoughts on week 1 of the Complaint Free Challenge

Even though there was a good amount of complaining this week, I am already feeling benefits of doing this challenge.  First of all I’m becoming more aware of what comes out of my mouth.  Second, when I catch myself complaining, I have been reframing my thoughts about whatever I was grumbling about.  Spilling the soy sauce with my sushi?  I am so lucky I got to have sushi for lunch, that feels privileged.  Grouching about my car almost getting stuck in the snow?  I am so so fortunate that I have a car that I own.  I don’t have to wait for a bus out in the cold and snow.  I am very lucky.

Here’s to week 2!  Wish me luck at getting through one day of not complaining.  🙂

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It's been 1 week of trying the Complaint Free did I do?  Read all about it in this week 1 update... #happiness #personaldevelopment #selfcare #selflove #personalgrowth

For those of you trying this with me, how are you doing…did you make it more than a day without complaining?  Let me know in the comments (or send me an email!)

P.S. If you want a free trial of Amazon’s Audible, you get to download two free audio books so you can download A Complaint Free World and listen to it yourself.

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Monday 18th of February 2019

This posts reminds me of a ted talk I saw on being positive compared to emotional truth: . Would you say that the challenge you're fall on the "being positive side" or "emotional truth" side or somewhere in the middle? I guess maybe I'm wondering if the challenge allows you to acknowledge negative emotions?


Wednesday 20th of February 2019

Thanks for sharing that TED talk Sara. I think maybe people could do this challenge in different ways. For me I definitely still talk about negative emotions or difficult things that are happening during the day. What I have been doing differently (or trying to) is to stop with the venting, or the excessive verbal dumping of the negative thing/emotion or whatever. So it's still there, I still share it, but I'm trying to be more mindful in how I share it.

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