Ever since I listened to this episode of The Tim Ferriss Show in December, I’ve been thinking about trying to see if I can manage to go 21 days without complaining to help improve my mindfulness.
The plan is a fairly simple one:
- Put on one of those silicone (or rubber) bracelets.
- Come up with a list of things you consider to be a “complaint”.
- Besides outright complaints, I’ve included using curse words as intensifiers (ex: the fucking WiFi) and sighing as a response.
- Yeah. I still sigh about stuff. Like a teenager. 😞
- Whenever you catch yourself complaining, move your wristband to your other wrist and reset your “days without a complaint” counter.
To prepare, I bought some unbranded, black rubber bracelets off of Amazon and set up a “No Complaints” goal in Streaks. As soon as the bracelets arrived, I started.
So. How has it gone?
Well, since Monday, I haven’t gone a single day without complaining. Which is kind of a disheartening way to start things out. But I’m not treating this as defeat just yet. Why?
This morning, while I was kicking myself for not making it past a single day, Sarah pointed out that at least I was noticing the times that I had complained. That means that something I’d been doing as an almost reflexive reaction to everything — and paying no mind to — has become something that I can’t stop seeing.
Becoming aware of just how often I complain was the first step. That’s a “no duh” moment now — what with the sharpness of hindsight and all that — but the realization was still a pretty powerful one.
I’ll be 38 next week. Sadly, I’ve been complaining about things for about as long as I’ve been able to speak. Breaking that habit is going to take a while to undo, but I feel like I’m up to the challenge.