6-Week Habit Contest Winners

Realistic Goals Make for Super Success – Anita

  • Get up no later than 6:00 Every Single morning! I can say I was Awake by 6, but I didn’t always pop out of bed. But I did meditate on the day ahead… so does that count…maybe…
  • Use my extra early morning hours to Exercise at least 30 minutes. This worked for a couple weeks, but I found myself dreading it sometimes. So I cut it back to 15 minutes. Most days I kept going past the 15 and often past the 30. But by committing to a measly 15, I at least got started, and that was half the battle. I wasn’t dreading the exercise… just the starting.
  • Write EVERY day for at least an hour! Fail. I did start out fine… for a week or so. But the hour time-set was causing some dread also. So I cut it back to 15 minutes also. And again, I ended up writing more than 15 minutes, sometimes hitting my hour. So, again – making smaller commitments kept me at least doing Something. With the full hour, I found that I was doing a lot of rambling just to hit the hour. I still feel that my writings are mostly rambling. I think it’s because I haven’t figured out what I’m passionate about writing about. My mind goes off in too many directions.
  • I will limit my internet use to 30 minutes, no earlier than 11:00 a.m., and another 30 minutes again, no earlier than 6:00 p.m. Didn’t always meet the times of day part… but I did limit my non-business use to under an hour total each day. And I feel so much better about not wasting the time.
  • List at least One auction on Ebay every day with the proceeds going monthly to my two newest charities. Success! Can’t say as Ebay has been terribly kind to me these past 6 weeks, but I’ve stuck with it. Keeping 50 listings active most days! And I raised about $60 for Ronald McDonald House!
  • Get back to my Toss 20, which means I must toss 20 items out of my house Every Single Day. Another case of over-committing. That’s a LOT of tossing – EVERY day. So I cut it back to a Fling 5. Again, I usually surpassed the 5 goal, but by being more realistic I at least stuck with it.

So, I didn’t fully succeed on each goal, but I did learn some things. Don’t over commit. Don’t expect too much from myself all at once. One thing at a time, and start small and build. And by writing smaller snippets, I have sort of figured out that I do better if I write ‘to’ someone. One person. One friend that I know won’t think I’m rambly or boring. I don’t send it out. But pretending to write helpful things to a friend gets me writing. So it’s a start.

Great idea you had Craig, and I’m glad I joined! Can’t wait for the next big challenge you’ll be introducing soon.


Read an Hour a Day – Jake

Six weeks ago, I set out to read one hour every day from a book. The time is up and I’m happy to report–I crushed it.

First, I wasn’t to acknowledge how valuable this habit is. I wouldn’t have thought that it would have such a positive impact on my life:

Reading from a book every day for one hour minimized the time I spend aimlessly browsing the web reading random articles that are often badly written and full of speculations instead of proven facts.

Choosing books to read allowed me to carefully select the topics in which I want to educate myself, instead of following some intriguing headlines of articles whose topics are not relevant to my path at the moment. Books provide a planned education.

Absorbing information from a book makes me take studying more seriously and I make an effort to implement what I read.

I usually did my reading before going to bed. This practice improved my sleep as quitting my computer time before sleeping helped me wind-down and get adequately tired by the dim light of my night-stand light.


I read seven books! 6 non-fiction books and 1 fiction book.

My reading speed increased.

Picking up the book every day made me look forward to the reading and improved my comprehension. I attribute this to the fact that with daily reading you are still connected to the author’s voice and the information presented is still present in your mind by the time you return to the book.

If you go a few days without reading from a book you disconnect from it and what you’ve learned tends to slip into the background of your mind. Two points that make your reading less effective and the book less impactful.


I missed three days.

The first miss: I simply forgot. It was towards the beginning of the six weeks and I had just finished a long work day. Instead of doing my reading, I went straight to bed. The next morning I realized, I forgot to read last night. It was a good reminder to make room for the reading and I scheduled it firmly on my to-do list from then on.

The two other failures were intentional. On both days, I knew I still had to do my reading but I chose not to do it. The reason, I spend those days with a friend I hadn’t seen in a long time and we had a full program all day long. I realize now that I could have gotten up an hour earlier and do my reading then.

As a consequence for missing the days, I read 2 hours on the following days. I set the rule that compensation for missing a day doesn’t count so I still paid penalties on sticK.com.

Those two punishments made me take the habit seriously. It taught me: missing a day will not go without consequences. The reading of two hours was a stronger consequence than paying a penalty. I know now: better do your reading today or you have to do 2 hours tomorrow.


I’m thankful for the ETR challenge. It motivated me to sit down and make concrete plans to implement this habit. Sometimes we need reminders that we can become conscious of our daily routines and habits and actively decide to change something.

In the beginning I was motivated by the prize but I soon realized how valuable this habit is and I forgot about the cash and just did it for myself. I am continuing.


Cutting out the Drink – Bill

Woo Hoo! I can’t believe it has been six weeks already since this challenge began. I was feeling the urge to “go on the wagon” for a while before this challenge started but couldn’t seem to find the right time frame….

There was always some reason to have a social drink, concert, holidays, special occasions so even though this time frame went over the Thanksgiving holiday, which would have been an excuse, I jumped on the wagon and haven’t slipped off, not once….

Great timing for me and I showed myself that no matter the occasion, I did not “need” alcohol to enhance my enjoyment. I also committed to getting on my Nordic-track 4 days a week for 30 minutes each session and I actually made that commitment 100% as well with a few “bonus” sessions added because it felt so good!

Final result of this challenge, I feel great about myself, I have been a better role model to my children, I went from 188 lbs to 182lbs and have more energy and my excitement and mental state is off the page.

As a family we put a “cuss” jar on our kitchen counter and that has been a great tool for myself and my children. It is not just cuss words but a compilation of words that my kids and I decided we would not say anymore.

So all in all, this has been a great challenge, great timing, and as I had the kids read your article, a great tool for my family to get them thinking about and working on changing bad habits! I will have a glass of wine as I fix dinner on Sat. night but the Nordic-track habit is here to stay!

Thanks Craig, this has been fun! Keep up the great work, I’m a fb friend and have shared several of your posts…. Keep ‘em coming!


These wonderful stories are just the tip of the iceberg. Just wait until you see what you can accomplish in 90 days when commit to transforming your life.

Stay tuned for more details on the 90-Day $100,000 ETR Transformation Contest.

You are going to have your best year ever.

[Ed. Note. Craig Ballantyne is the editor of Early to Rise and author of Financial Independence Monthly and Turbulence Training. He is also the co-creator of the Early to Rise $100,000 Transformation Contest that will launch in early 2013. This 90-day contest is FREE for you to enter, and you’ll have a chance to win up to $25,000 in prizes in four categories: Healthy, Wealthy, Wise, and Overall. To get an idea of the changes you can make in a 90-Day Transformation Contest, please read Craig’s article about Curing Your Bad Habits here.]