Have you ever thought about how to stop complaining?  I try the Complaint Free challenge and attempt to go 21 consecutive days without complaining. #happiness #personaldevelopment #selfcare #selflove #personalgrowth

How to stop complaining: my attempt at the Complaint Free challenge

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Have you ever thought about how to stop complaining?  Follow along as I try the Complaint Free® challenge (or join me!) and attempt to go 21 consecutive days without complaining.

This post may contain affiliate links.  Please read my disclosure for more info. 

I came across the idea of the Complaint Free® challenge a couple months ago.  I signed up to try Audible for free and one of the audio books that came up as recommended to me (dang, how did they know??) was Will Bowen’s book A Complaint Free World.  The title intrigued me so I looked into it and then downloaded it.

How to stop complaining

The idea is simple but not easy.

Wear a little bracelet on one wrist.  When you catch yourself complaining about something, anything, switch the bracelet over to the other wrist.  Keep going.  The goal is 21 consecutive days without complaining.

I’m going to be brutally open with my feelings and progress (or lack thereof) with this challenge.  It might not be very flattering to me but it will be honest.

My first thought when I decided to commit to trying the Complaint Free® challenge:


Followed closely by:

“This is going to suck.”

The irony is not lost on me.

My first thoughts were not:

“This is going to be fun!”

“I love a good challenge!”


“This is going to suck. I can’t imagine not complaining for a whole day, let alone 21 consecutive days. Impossible.”

I realize how much I need this challenge.

What is the Complaint Free® challenge?

Will Bowen’s method on how to stop complaining involves becoming aware of when you are complaining.  The reason that the challenge is 21 days is that it is long enough for a new habit to stick.  A week sounds more manageable but isn’t usually long enough to ingrain a habit – whether it’s starting a new positive habit like eating more vegetables or dropping a negative habit like smoking.

The main tool you will need to do this Complaint Free® challenge other than the book is a purple bracelet.

The premise of the challenge and the bracelet is that very time you catch yourself complaining you move the bracelet to your other wrist. The author said when he started the challenge, he would move the bracelet from wrist to wrist twenty times a day.

The reason a bracelet is used is it is something tangible that will help you be aware of your complaining. The first step to changing any habit is becoming aware of that habit and the bracelet helps with that.  If you want to order a bracelet you can do so here.  I am using one of my own bracelets because I wanted to start the challenge right away and not wait to get the bracelet in the mail.  Also I like my own bracelet  🙂

Follow along or wanna join me?

I will be keeping track of my progress and will post updates on the blog.  I’m not sure if I will keep track weekly or monthly but I will be checking in and posting about how I’m doing.  I would love if you wanted to join in with me!  It’s so much easier to do challenges as part of a community.  If you’re interested, you can sign up to try Audible for free here and download your audio book.  If you’re more of a physical book person (usually me!) you can get the book here.

Want to see how the first week went?

Read my week 1 update of the Complaint-Free Challenge here

Complaint-Free Challenge Month 1

Complaint-Free Challenge Month 2

Complaint-Free Challenge Month 3

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Have you ever thought about how to stop complaining?  I try the Complaint Free challenge and attempt to go 21 consecutive days without complaining. #happiness #personaldevelopment #selfcare #selflove #personalgrowth #wellness #healthyliving #health

Want to join me in trying to stop complaining and be more positive?  Let me know in the comments (or send me an email)!

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  1. I love this post! I have been reminding myself to stay positive this winter because of the latest issues in my house with 3 kids…..ahem…lice and unnecessary visits to patient first! AHHH. but I think a good start would be a ‘stop complaining challenge’. It’s all how we perceive things right? It’s really a great idea and to give a tool like the bracelet sounds like it might actually be doable. Thanks for your post. I saw it at the grandmas house we go party! First time I have been to your site and I love it.

    1. Thanks so much! That sounds totally challenging, I can see how that would get to you for sure. A part of this challenge is that you can still have complainy type thoughts. We’re human and we all have those thoughts – like every day! But the main thing I’m working on is not sharing those complainy thoughts as much out loud. I love the bracelet component – it really helps me remember that I’m doing a challenge and not just forget about it for the whole day! 🙂

  2. I tried this a few months ago and realised that the thing I complained about the most was a work colleague. I have since left my job. Good luck!

    1. Wow! Did the challenge help you figure out wanting to leave your job? I’m only just over a week in but I’m starting to see a patterns emerge. I really wasn’t aware of my complaining before, it’s such an interesting exercise!

    1. Yes totally! It’s so not about repressing things or not talking about things that might be difficult. It’s making it more constructive. I’m watching myself become more aware as I go through this challenge and that’s even a huge step!!

  3. Great idea. I’m going to try this. Thanks for sharing at the To Grandma’s House We Go DIY, Crafts, Recipes and More Link Party. I pinned this to Pinterest! Hope you can join us again next week.

    1. Thanks Sheri! I would love to hear how it goes for you. Keep in touch if you want! I’ve had friends think it sounded pretty easy and then caught themselves the first day too (like me-lol)

  4. I love this idea! I’m going to get my bracelet on. Contemplating whether to tell hubby about it – not sure I want to be reminded by someone else, lol!

    1. Haha, totally get that! I felt pretty exposed at first putting it out there that I’m doing this challenge. Some of my friends read my blog and my husband does too. But ultimately even if it takes me forever, I’m already loving the positive effects I’m seeing in terms of being more aware of my words. Keep in touch with how it goes for you!

  5. What a great idea, the benefits of changed attitude ie not complaining would go deep, like relationships and health etc. It certainly would be interesting to notice complaining trends as you mentioned. Thanks for sharing. Found you on Grandma’s House . . .
    PS I would love you to share this post on the Blogger’s Pit Stop that goes live tomorrow, I love positive and uplifting posts.

    1. Hey Kathleen! Yes, I’m excited to see how this challenge changes me/possibly things around me. I really am finding it challenging, but I think the effort is so worth it! Would love to share this post, I will visit tomorrow.

  6. I did the 30 day No Complaining Challenge a year ago when my work situation was dragging me down and making me miserable. It changed my whole focus from one of being reactive to one of being proactive. I stopped whinging and looked at what changes I could make – and it got me thinking about a new approach that has made a huge difference and allowed me to stay in a job I love (but reduce the ongoing drama that I hated). Good luck with your Challenge – you might find some great benefits from it too x

    1. So excited to hear from someone who did the challenge! It sounds like it was very impactful for you. I’m finding it so interesting just catching myself in an almost-complaint! 🙂 I really never paid much attention before. I wonder what changes I will see over time. Thanks for sharing about the benefits you found from doing the no complaining challenge.

  7. This is such an inspiration! 2018 was a tough year and I have gotten into the habit of complaining & resenting everything/ everybody that’s not going my way. I’m going to look into doing the 30 day challenge.

    1. Thanks Priya! I’m sorry to hear you had a tough year last year. I hope 2019 is so much better for you. <3 It's understandable when we get into the habit of complaining, especially after a rough time. I'm pretty sure it's entrenched in most of us. Keep in touch with the challenge if you decide to try it.

  8. I would love to do this. Not because it’s easy (or that I would enjoy it!), but I want my family to be more positive. Firmly believe that you can’t make someone else change, but you can change yourself. Coming over from Saturday Sharefest. Good luck and I can’t wait to hear how it goes.

    1. Thanks Deanna! Yeah, you put it so right. It’s not the most easy or enjoyable thing to start (who wants to pay attention to how much they complain??) but in some ways I’m already feeling more positive because of it even though it hasn’t been very long. I am definitely glad I started it. Let me know if you decide to try it!

  9. Thanks for sharing this motivating post. I am sure that most of us do not realise how many times we complain. It creates a negative atmosphere that is not conducive to happy or contented. We will feature this post in the next Blogger’s Pit Stop so that others may see it and benefit from it.
    Looking forward to hearing the outcome of your not complaining trial. Even a changed habit needs to be regularly exercised so let’s hope we can carry it forward with us.
    Blogger’s Pit Stop

    1. Thanks so much Kathleen. I think it might be a long process to get through 21 consecutive days! lol And I already think it’s changing me. I’m really glad I came across this book and challenge. <3

  10. Hello,

    Thank you for this post! When I first started reading and you mentioned the bracelet, my initial thought went to the rubber band technique of remembering to be positive. Any negative thoughts would trigger the snapping of the rubber band. Well, I’m glad the bracelet technique for a complaint free life is different from the rubber band technique. I’ve never been comfortable with the use of pain to remember positivity.

    I would love to read the book A Complaint Free World. Thank you for recommending!


    1. Omigosh yes!! I much prefer just switching the bracelet from wrist to wrist, that’s enough of a reminder. I’ve read of that rubber band technique and it’s just not for me. It’s a great book and gets you in the mindset of noticing what you talk about – so helpful!!

  11. I love it! I need to take the Complaint Free Challenge. Thanks for sharing!

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