90 days down, 275 to go!
Dear those who WANT to take the Orange Rhino Challenge, but are unsure…
When I started this little challenge of mine, a friend said he didn’t think he could go 10 days. I laughed and said yeah, I don’t think I could go 10 days either. I didn’t believe in myself. I was sure I would fail since I was a huge yeller at that point and I was MASSIVELY intimidated by the whole 365 day thing. That was January 24th ish. Fast forward to February 8th ish. I started writing this to my friend:
“Holy sh*t! You were right, I couldn’t make it 10 days without yelling. I made it only 8 and then it took me 9 more friggin’ days to go one solid day again. But I don’t care, I finally made it through an entire day without yelling. And let me tell you, today was a sh*t show. It is a miracle I didn’t yell and that I made it from 5:30 am until 9:30 pm. 5 seconds before walking out the door the baby pooped. Everywhere. Once that diaper was clean and a new outfit put on him and me, #3 pooped. Everywhere. So it literally was a sh*t show. Even though we were late, I didn’t lose it. I’m so pumped. I’m back in the game and I’m feeling good. That 10 day bet? Kiss it good-bye. You’ll be bringing me beer. I am so gonna kick some Orange Rhino ass this time. Thanks in advance for the vote of confidence and the 6-pack you’ll be giving me. But seriously, should we be putting money on this instead of beer?”
The difference between January and February? Confidence. In January, I didn’t think I could go more than 10 days because I had no basis for comparison. I hoped I could, but I didn’t truly believe that I could. Come February, even though I struggled to get one new day under my belt, I KNEW that I could do it so I kept trying. I knew I was capable of not yelling because I had done it. I had gone 8 days. So now I believed in myself. It took 8 days of success for me to believe in myself that I could change. That I could become a non yeller. It took 8 days, not 365 days, to feel enough success, enough benefits, to keep going.
So if you are intimidated by my crazy 365 day goal with resetting to 0 if I yelled then adjust the rules for you. Adjust the rules so you can get some success under your belt and can begin to believe in yourself.
This Community is about inspiring each other to yell at our kids less and HELPING each other to yell less. It does not have to be all or nothing. Any improvement is progress. Any improvement is better for our kids. Any improvement will be appreciated by our kids. Any improvement is awesome and will keep you reaching for more.
I’ve come up with some easy ways to start The Orange Rhino Challenge so that you too can hopefully find success and believe in yourself, so that you can believe that you can learn not to yell.
Instead of starting trying to go 365 days straight…
1) Pick one problem time a day and conquer it (ie. bath time, meal time, homework time). When you conquer that, add another one, and then another one. Before you know it you’ll have 50% of the day not yelling and I am sure you’ll feel great. Mine was getting out the door for school. So I started singing and telling myself “in just 5 minutes, if you don’t yell, you’ll survive the day”. Break it down. It becomes less daunting.
2) Give yourself a short goal l did 365 days because I need all or nothing goals to be motivated (yes, I know, personal area of improvement!). Adjust it for yourself – maybe 3 days without yelling or 1 week or 10 days. I suggest at least 3 because you need a groove and after 3 days you’ll feel the difference and want to keep practicing. (Or so I hope!)
3) Track the # of Times a day you yell and try for a week to yell less and watch the number go down.
4) Commit to 365 (or any other motivational number) but lose the re-set If you yell, stay on the day you are at. Restart when you go a day again. Or, commit to 365 moments. Instead of not yelling for 365 days, keep track of when you don’t yell and try to get to 365. That would probably be a month for me. Or a day!
5) Make it Fun with Games Create an age appropriate game with your children. If you don’t yell in a particular moment, you get a point. If they listen when asked (ie. at a normal moment when you are going to yell), they get a point. At the end of the day whoever has the most points gets a reward, maybe an ice cream cone? Or maybe there is some silly trophy. Or maybe Orange Rhino Bingo. Create a card with 25 spaces. Randomly fill it with Mommy Didn’t Yell and Kids Listened. Whoever gets Bingo first, wins. I don’t know. The point here is to be creative, to make it FUN, and to involve your kids! Mine are my “yelling sensors” and since they are everywhere I am…they are reliable! They are my built in alarm system – always going off when I am starting to get cranky. Trust me, IT HELPS.
6) Have your kids “Grade You” Stealing this one from Tracy! Lose the numbers all together! At the end of the day (or at each meal so you have more opportunities!) ask your kids to give you a thumbs up or thumbs down, or a smiley face or not.
The bottom line is:
It’s not the numbers that counts. It’s the yelling less that counts. However you get there, you get there. Any moment when you chose not to yell is success.
The Orange Rhino