MAKE a Habit Challenge for Yourself


August 13, 2018


After receiving life-changing news, Derek, CEO & Creative Director at MAKE films, made significant changes to his lifestyle. Last August, Derek was diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer. One of the hardest things he’s encountered throughout his journey was adopting a healthy lifestyle he knew he needed to maintain to ensure he’d be around for his wife and kids for years to come.

Derek Dienner MAKE films MAKE a Habit Challenge

Derek’s public announcement of his diagnosis on his personal Instagram account, @dereklavon.

After doing research on the best way to form this new habit, Derek decided he wanted to share his findings with his team at MAKE films. According to his research, it takes 21 days to form a habit. Knowing his team at MAKE had individual goals they wanted to work on just like him, and knowing he wants to foster an environment that helps his employees grow not only professionally but personally, Derek proposed a little friendly competition. And so the #MAKEaHabitChallenge was born.

MAKE films - MAKE a habit challenge

We updated the studio letterboard to encourage MAKErs to KEEP. IT. UP!


First, the MAKErs who wanted to participate in the challenge had to pick a habit they wanted to form (or break). It was fascinating how quickly MAKErs knew what habit they wanted to pick. For some, it was hard to pick just one!

The responses came rolling in:

“I want to practice yoga once a day!”

“I want to stretch everyday after I workout!”

“I want to quit biting my nails!”

“I want to practice meditation daily!”

Picking a habit was easy. What followed was the hard part. For 21 days, MAKErs worked to complete their habit everyday with the goal of completing it 21 days straight. The MAKEr who completed their habit the longest would win a $100 gift card to Prince Street Cafe, and in the case of a tie, they’d split the pot.


Week 1 came and went, and all the MAKErs successfully marked off the calendar that hung on the studio fridge with their assigned dry erase marker. Week 2 faired similar to week 1. By week 3, some MAKErs were on vacation and struggled to complete their habit, while others found their busy schedules made it difficult to complete their habit. By day 21, and with the continuous encouragement of their peers, 4 MAKErs successfully completed their habit every single day.

MAKE films - MAKE a habit challenge winner Prince street cafe

The 4 MAKErs who won the challenge split the $100 Prince Street Cafe gift card!


Even though only some of the MAKErs made it the entire 21 days, everyone left feeling proud of their accomplishments throughout the challenge. Derek’s intention with the #MAKEaHabitChallenge was not to pin MAKEr vs MAKEr, but instead to use the common goal of living a healthier lifestyle to encourage and support one another. And it did just that.

MAKE films - MAKE a habit challenge

Lisbet completed her habit with her dog, Brewski. He’s not sure how he feels about this habit yet.

After the challenge wrapped, Catlin, Producer at MAKE films, said, “Accountability is key. It was SO helpful to have the support of the MAKE team’s encouragement and checking in with each other. That truly made all the difference. Also the visualization and action of checking off each day’s accomplishment was very helpful. Personally, a daily practice of yoga gave me some “self-care” time to get more in-tune with my body and mind and its needs. I now find myself noticing my posture, how I’m sitting/standing, releasing any tension, and adjusting to find balance and length. Although I found it challenging to keep up during my crazy-packed vacation, I plan on keeping up a practice at least a couple times per week, if not more!”

MAKE films - MAKE a habit challenge calendar

MAKErs came in every morning and checked off the calendar if they completed their habit the day before.

MAKE films - MAKE a habit challenge

Catlin found support to complete her habit in not only her fellow MAKErs, but in her cat too!

MAKE films - MAKE a habit challenge

Grace and Lisbet checked off a day together by taking a yoga class at Evolution Power Yoga!

For Lisbet, Studio & Marketing Manager at MAKE films, the challenge helped her connect with her fellow MAKErs and form a new habit that has dramatically improved her everyday life. “It was so much fun coming in everyday and checking in with the team on the #MAKEaHabitChallenge Slack channel. We shared photos and videos completing our habit, and encouraging quotes to keep one another motivated. Since wrapping the 21 day challenge, I’ve continued my daily habit of stretching after I workout, and can honestly say its improved my mental and physical wellbeing.”

MAKE films - MAKE a habit challenge

MAKErs sent supportive quotes on the #MAKEaHabitChallenge Slack channel to keep one another motivated.

MAKE films - MAKE a habit challenge

Lisbet continued her habit during her trip out west! Here she’s stretching at the Colorado National Monument.

MAKE films - MAKE a habit challenge

Derek checked off his habit of working out daily and sent a photo in Slack to encourage other MAKErs to do the same!

Whether you want to form a new habit or break a bad one, consider finding a group of people who share that goal and form a #MAKEaHabitChallenge of your own. Accountability, encouragement, and a little friendly competition can go a long way!