Thursday, July 28, 2011

Back Up, Back Up, Back Up

Guess I should back up and mention what the site is all about before continuing (why didn't I think of THAT for the first post??).

What is loopchange?

The world specializes in tearing people down; in discouraging change; in telling you what you can't be and what you can't do. We are tired of accepting that lie. We think it’s time to start taking back our lives and working to become the person that we really want to be deep inside.

Loopchange was built around the concept that by clearly stating our goals in a public way (even if it is technically anonymous) and by giving daily updates on our progress, failures, fears, struggles and successes; a person really can change their patterns and habits. Deep down, many of us are frustrated by the things we do. Many of us wish we could be different – even in small ways – and we’re here to tell you that you CAN be.

Look at how much time you spend at your job; doing laundry; working around the house; watching television and any of the other dozens of daily activities that combine to make up your life. Isn’t it time we carved out just a few minutes a day to begin improving ourselves? Loopchange can help you do that. Spend a few minutes a day here starting a mission; updating your daily progress – and hopefully encouraging others who are going through the very same struggles you are – and we believe you can change your life….one small step at a time.

You can make changes. You can become the person that you want to be. I know it. Deep down you know it. Now, let's get started.

So there you have it.  That is what we're about.

Feel free to pop over for a visit:

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Changing a Habit: Quitting Television

We're going to occasionally ask loopchange users who've completed a mission if they'd be willing to come and 'guest blog' about their experience.  So, without further ado, here is Habanero - one of our users who recently completed a mission to give up television for 21 days.

Hello.  My name is Habanero and I'm a TV junkie.  (Hi Habanero!)  It's been 21 days since I watched my last television show and I feel great! 

It's sad to say, but for the last several years my life has very literally revolved around the television.  What's even worse is that many of the shows I watched, I didn't really even like!  When I was sitting at my desk (at work) letting my mind drift toward post-work events, my first stop was always "what's on tonight?"  I could pretty much recite the line up of programs I watched every day of the week.  It almost seems crazy now looking back at it and it hasn't even been that long!

This site gives some statistics of American television use that is amazing.  They say that the average American watched 4 hours of TV per day.  This equates to 2 months of non-stop television watching PER YEAR!  In a 65 year life, they say that person will have watched television for 9 solid years! 

After I'd stumbled upon the loopchange website, I'd been trying to think of a mission I could try.  My reliance on television quickly came to mind.  At the same time though, I was honestly scared of trying it!  I am married and have two young children.  How would I fill all of that time that the TV had been filling for me?  Would my Wife and I have anything to talk about??  Would I be bored out of my mind?? 

It was an adjustment at first.  At times, I didn't know what to do with myself.  I had moments where I literally sat and did nothing.  But those feelings quickly passed.  I read a lot of books.  My Wife and I had some great conversations.  I got a LOT more sleep!  In retrospect, the overwhelming feeling that I had was freedom.  I was free of the feeling that I was committed to watch a number of television shows each night that I honestly didn't care about anyway!

It felt wonderful.  It continues to feel wonderful!  It has been a little over 40 days since I began my mission.  Between the end of the official mission (21 days in) and now; I have watched a little television.  I actually even began watching an old TV series that I'd been wanting to see (The Wire).  But my life has definitely been changed.  My 4-5 hour a night habit is currently something like 2-3 hours per week.  I like my life a LOT better now. 

So, if you're reading this and you've considered trying to cut down on the amount of time you spend in front of the television; my advice is DO IT!  Right away.  Don't wait.  You won't regret it.

If you're interesting in reading Habanero's full journey - you can read it here: quitting television.

Monday, July 18, 2011

How have you changed lately?

Can you name one way that you've changed in the last month?  The last year?  I don't think "I get my gas at Exxon instead of Valero now" qualifies.  I don't think "I bought fat free yogurt last time I was at the store" qualifies.  I don't think "I switched my cell phone provider from Verizon to Sprint" qualifies.

This is your LIFE we're talking about!  You only get one shot at it.  Stop settling for an existence that allows days on end to pass without you really even making a ripple in your existence; without you committing to get the most out of this life that you possibly can.

Take 2 minutes.  Make a list of 10 things you'd like to change about yourself - make sure they are 10 things that you actually have some amount of control over.  Some examples might be:

- Cut down the amount of time you watch television each day
- Keep a journal for your spouse and kids
- Modify your diet
- Make time for exercise
- Re-adjust your priorities to make sure you get the sleep you need to be all you can be for your family
- Get a habit like email of facebook under control
- Make time to do something you've always wanted to do

There are endless possibilities.  Pick something, ONE thing and go with it.  You'll be amazed at the amount of momentum you can build as you get through the first thing on your list.

Here is your action plan:
- Make your list
- Pick one thing (make it one that seems easier)
- Tell a friend about your plan
- Go to
- Make an account
- Start a mission
- Come back once per day to update your progress
- Browse the other mission and encourage others in their missions (you'll be amazed at how much strength this step will give you)
- Rinse and Repeat once you've got the first change handled

Now, that voice in your head telling you "I can't", "maybe later", "it's not a good time", "I'm not strong enough to do that kind of thing" - that voice is going to ALWAYS be there.  It will not leave your head until you force it out, so stop listening to it.  You CAN.  Now is perfect.  Today is a GREAT time.  You ARE strong enough and deep down you know it.