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21 Day Challenge

Monday, January 28, 2013

One of the biggest names in Positive Psychology is a gentleman named Shawn Achor. He has written several books about The Happiness Advantage. in Psychology Today magazine blog, he shared a 21 day challenge. If people have told you that you are negative; if you are posting about what is going wrong in your life and what hurts more than what you have accomplished or what is going well; or if you feel unhappy in your life, give this 21 day challenge a try.

Try an experiment right now called the 21 Day Challenge. Pick one of the five researched habits and try it out for 21 days in a row to create a positive habit, then comment on this blog or msg me with your results. (You can do more than 1 or all 5 if you wish, but at least do 1)

1. Write down three new things you are grateful for each day into a blank word document or into the free app I Journal. Research shows this will significantly improve your optimism even 6 months later, and raises your success rates significantly.

2. Write for 2 minutes a day describing one positive experience you had over the past 24 hours. This is a strategy to help transform you from a task-based thinker, to a meaning based thinker who scans the world for meaning instead of endless to-dos. This dramatically increases work happiness.

3. Exercise for 10 minutes a day. This trains your brain to believe your behavior matters, which causes a cascade of success throughout the rest of the day.

4. Meditate for 2 minutes, focusing on your breath going in and out. This will help you undo the negative effects of multitasking. Research shows you get multiple tasks done faster if you do them one at a time. It also decreases stress and raises happiness.

5. Write one, quick email first thing in the morning thanking or praising a member on your team. This significantly increases your feeling of social support, which in Shawn Achor's study at Harvard was the largest predictor of happiness for his students.

I am thinking of starting this February 1st, but I am going to do all five. I am already a pretty positive and optimistic person anyway ... but this experiment surely can't hurt.

Information from my friend and professional therapist: Cyndi Tucci
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • LARRI2010
    I tend to be relatively positive, at least outwardly. My anxiety means I am giving in to negative thinking, though I'm keeping it inside. So I'm writing down 3 (or more) positive thoughts each day (starting today, February 2).

    One thing I like to do when I can't sleep (usually due to worries) is go through the alphabet, naming things or people I am thankful for (or listing people to pray for). I'm often asleep again around H. I sometimes go through the alphabet backwards to think of people, places, or things that get missed the other way around.
    1816 days ago
    Thank you for sharing. I will definitely give this a try starting February 1st. Not sure if I will do all five, but at least one or two. :-)
    1820 days ago
  • BILLB000
    I appreciate this blog. I like the ideas you shared. I plan to paste this to another file so I can refer to the 5 steps.

    Thank you,
    Bill emoticon
    1821 days ago
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