#21days done! Now what?

Shall we keep this going?

For those who took part in the #21days challenge – well done!!!!! I hope moving forward you are now in a good enough habit to permanently make the changes you identified. At risk of sounding like a parrot, the true test is only just beginning – will you keep it going or will you pack it all in?

For those who didn’t take part – a group of us identified a change that we wanted to make to our lives and for the next 21 days we carried out activities we thought may help us achieve these changes.

Doing an activity for 21 days solid is supposed to be long enough for a permanent habit to form – we effectively took part in a group experiment to see if it worked! The original post about desire and routine is here, and the post with details of the last challenge is here.

If you took part and would like to share your #21days experience with the rest of us, feel free to leave a comment below. I have heard some people may be writing blog posts too, so make sure you leave a link so we can find it easily.

Again, a big thank you to everyone who took part. It’s been great hearing about everyone’s challenges.

What next?

I had an idea about how we could try and keep some of the momentum going and wanted to see if anyone else was up for my proposition?

From the 1st to the 21st of each month, the challenge can run for whoever wants to take part. Of course people can start before or after, but having a set timeline makes it easier for people to share their journey with others. You can make your changes together and help each other along the way, just like before.

My thinking was that there probably needs to be a gap between challenges to give people time to think about their changes and to find more people to join in, but too much of a gap and momentum may be lost. #21days has made a genuine difference to some people’s lives, so why not keep it going?

What do you think of the 1st – 21st approach?

Would you be up for taking part?

If you took part last time, how did you find your experience?

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Do you fancy taking part in the #21days challenge?

What’s stopping you?

Update – we are running another challenge from 1st November 2011. Why not take part?!

After the great response to my last blog post about how we can all find it difficult to make the changes we desire, many of us were in agreement that building small actions into our daily routine may be a way of helping us achieve these changes.

So, why don’t we all actually give it a go over the next few weeks and help each other achieve change?

What am I proposing?

If there is something you want to change in your life, however big or small, however private or personal, try and recognise the activity you need to carry out each day and do this activity for 21 days solid.

According to Don’t Tell The Bumble Bee, it takes 21 days to change a habit, so let’s all see if this method actually helps.

How can we help each other?

If you want to take part in the challenge and if you want to make your challenge public, leave a comment below with details of what you are going to do. Everyone else taking part can then connect with you and help you along the way.

When talking about the challenge on Twitter, use the hastag #21days so that others can join the conversation too.

When do we begin?

The first day will be Monday 28th June. Sunday 18th July will be the 21st day.

The mission

To stop talking the talk and start walking the walk!

Do you really want to change something? If so, then why not take part in the #21days challenge…

Those who have expressed an interest in taking part are:

@banksy6, @tristanrothwell, @sarknight, @kristensousa, @Bluegrass_IT, @jedlangdon, @OstrichIT, @martinrothwell, @acjon, @BeckySocial, @boyday, @martynhake, @robertpickstone, @ShannonBoudjema, @jon_gerrard, @DaleGMoore, @iancreek, @nibby01, @robglover_UK, @treypennington, @boxelboy, @stylishresults, @leeslivinlife, @annholman, @karinalchemy, @racheeroo, @OneLife, @albrooking, @EquanimityJT, @GetalifeUk, @crp1984 , @Xlilmissdeppx , @JrMessy , @RokkInternet , @ShaktiMatUK , @samajose @katycreates , @chrispenberthy @hevpuggles @annabelscaberet , @jasonfalls, @jenuinejen , @manningfinance , @NicolaKateAsh , @cindyosburn , @lizmoss , @rosiereflect , @TraumaCleaning , @BrockPatterson , @alcartwright , @arengrimshaw , @fionah, @megancrump2309, @celinawest , @DangerousMKting , @jonathanalder , @victoriawhitney , @AlisonHernandez , @inplymouth , @joidesign , @planetplanitbiz , @emmalannigan , @CoachPotential , @karinleadership , @anthonymull , @plymouthblog , @HillTribeMedia , @lexjt , @susanweiner , @6consulting, @acjon (72 peeps)

Lee White has also created a #21days Twitter List for us all.

Here’s a short video of me waffling a couple of days before #21days starts

Another update: Here is a list of challenges being taken.

I have taken them from comments to this blog post and tweets spotted online. It has been quite hard to keep track! I have also tried to keep them short so they’re easy to look through. Please let me know if you think I may have got yours wrong. Please leave a comment or tweet me if you want to be added to the list.

@6consulting
“Starting 2 new blogs and posting at least 4 times a week on either, and the all too common; ”Go to the Gym!” ;)”

@acjon
“I’m going to only use outlook for a maximum of 15 minutes in every hour, going to get an hour timer to make it happen!”

@annabelscabaret
“To do something new everyday”

@annholman
“I’m going to comment on other people’s blogs more”

@alisonhernandez
“To spend as little money as possible, find the cheapest product/alternative, make packed lunches and find free attractions for my little one”

@banksy6
“To make sure I’m in earlier in the morning and leaving no later than 6:30pm. I intend to change the first part of my day (the first hour before anyone else gets into work) into ‘marketing time’ – I will concentrate purely on the marketing of my business”

@brockpatterson
“I am going to run each 3 to 6 miles each day for 21 days on my quest to continued weight loss”

@chrispenberthy
“Before anything else gets done, at least 30 minutes of domestic duties. I’m also going to write something every day. You might find the results online (if so I’ll post the link) but you might not as some of it might just be for me. But to help the online stuff I will set up a blog”

@coachpotential
“I made a pact – 1 hour reading everyday”

@dangerousmkting
“My aim will be to make myself get out and walk more so I will literally be walking the walk! Any Exmouth-based #21Days-ers welcome to join me”

@equanimityJT
To exercise each day

@greeneyesclaire
“To finally get another qualification related to my business. Google Analytics (GAIQ) is covered by several members of my team but I want to finally complete it, been meaning to for so long now! On a personal level I want to go to the gym for at least an hour a week plus an hour of walking outdoors on an evening or weekend”

@hevpuggles
“I am reducing to 1 glass per night for #21days and also going to watch what I eat as well…cut down on the comfort foods lol. Also, something that will make a big difference to me is to get back behind the wheel of a car. My challenge is to get my confidence back and be able to drive on my own by the end of #21days”

@joidesign
“21 days to change my work patterns which will allow me time off on Fridays to concentrate on my artwork, something I’ve been meaning to do for years”

@manningfinance
“(1) Finish a rebranding effort for my current website/blog/etc. Intent is to consolidate multiple sites into one making it easier to build a strong viewer base. (2) Spend at least one hour a day on various writing projects I have right now and try and get one blog entry at least every other day. (3) Recommit to physical fitness once more. I need to get in a habit of making it back to the gym. Gym at least every other day – if not more during the #21days”

@iancreek
To exercise each day

@inspirationguy and @inplymouth
“For my #21days challenge I am going to make sure that I take some time each day to work on my own creative projects. This might be a blog post, generating creative ideas, or something I haven’t even thought of yet”

@jedlangdon
“I am going to start getting the train everyday (something I have tried on and off but have never been able to do consistently), so I have an extra two hours to read and write. Another side of my challenge is to stay away from Twitter on weekday evenings. I have spent far too much time being the unsociable person at home attached to my iPhone whilst everyone else is ralaxing, talking and watching TV”

@jonathanalder
“For me it’s going to be keeping my desk clear. Remove the clutter and the day to day debris I accumulate!”

@LeesLivinLife
“I’m going to be focusing on my daily schedule for one…..getting earlier nights, to enable earlier mornings & build in 30/60 mins of daily exercise while I’m at it….as opposed to my hit & miss schedule at the mo.
Additionally, I’m looking to really drive a potentially life changing opportunity that I’m involved with”

@lexjt
“Here we go: drop 1/2 stone and make my new career plan happen. There it is. Cards on the table”

@megancrump2309
“I am trying to improve my fitness and lose weight. So I guess my goal will be to lose weight but I will do this by exercising for at least half an hour everyday and not eating any bad foods”

@plymouthblog
“I want to do 15 minutes yoga every day”

@Robglover_UK
To exercise each day

@RacheeRoo
To eat fresh fruit for Breakfast every morning

@robertpickstone
“I’m going to exercise for between 30 mins and 60 mins each day”

@sarknight
“Im going to finish my work ‘to do list’ every day”

@susanweiner
No eating deserts other than fruit

@XlilmissdeppX
To run each day

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Do you want change badly enough?

Some people…

…start diets, then give in.
…embark on exercise regimes, then give in.
…stop smoking, then give in.
…start reading a book, then give in.

Professionally…

…start writing a blog, then give in.
…vow to make a difference at work, then give in.
…vow to run with their business idea, then give in.
…vow to change their career direction, then give in.

We have all done it.

We see or hear something that triggers the reaction of “right, I’m going to change this” but within a few days we become swamped in our usual daily activities and nothing changes at all.

Why is this? For me there are two reasons.

1 – we don’t want change badly enough.
2 – we just can’t get out of out of our daily routine.

(Some may argue that point two can’t be used as an excuse and in fact point one is the truth)

If you have struggled to change something, Jack Russell (author of Don’t Tell The Bumble Bee) suggests that it takes 21 days to change a positive or negative habit, so you need carry out the required activity for 21 days solid to really give yourself a real chance of change in the long term.

I see it all the time and I bet you do too. Some people change the whole direction of their lives whilst others can’t even give up the strawberry cheesecake yogurts they crave each lunchtime.

With that in mind, I ask you:

Have you ever tried the 21 days technique?
Have you ever vowed to change something but given in?
Have you got an opinion on why people give in on change so easily?

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