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21 Day Challenge

March 7th, 2012

by: Kelly Barnes

It can take anywhere from 21-66 days to train the firing patterns of the neurons in your brain thus forming a new habit. The following is a challenge I give to students and adults and ask them to follow for 21 days. I saw this challenge in a TED Talk given by Shawn Achor, CEO of Good Think Inc. I have changed it a little and added challenges that I have found help people get from where they are to where they want to be. Try it and let me know how it goes.

In a 2 minute span of time for 21 days in a row

1) Write down 3 new things you are grateful for.

Make sure you write 3 NEW things each day. You may find that after a while you really have to search for things you are grateful for and that is why this is helpful. Eventually your brain will start to retain a pattern of scanning your world looking for positives instead of negatives and when it comes to people and situations you always find what you are looking for.

2) Journal

Journal for 2 minutes on one positive experience you had in the past 24 hours. Taking time to write about the experience causes your brain to re-live it.

3) Exercise

This has two positive effects. 1) Exercise will increase your energy levels, health and self-esteem causing you to feel better, look better and want to do it more. 2) Exercise teaches your brain that your behavior matters.

4) Random acts of kindness

Each day send one note of thanks, encouragement, praise… A text or Facebook message is ok, an e-mail is better but a hand written letter is ideal.

5) …And then some

Find one area of work, school or personal development each day and do a little bit more than is expected. Run an extra tenth of a mile, study for an extra 10 minutes, make one more sales call or learn something new about a specific area of interest.

Make it a habit.

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