Do you floss?
If you want to floss and don’t regularly, try this:
The next time you brush your teeth, break out the floss.
Floss one tooth.
Then celebrate! Jump in the air. Fist pump. Hell, break out the pre-sex scandal Tiger Woods fist pump!
It sounds goofy. It might be. I learned the technique from BJ Fogg’s Tiny Habits (you should sign up for one of his free weekly sessions, by the way).
The idea is to latch a new behavior onto an existing habit, one inch at a time. And you celebrate each inch as you go, which makes it easier to make a habit out of that action. You’re tricking your brain, in a way.
I used the technique to pick up flossing. I used the same technique to make a habit of gratitude journaling, and am trying something similar with this blog.
I need to brag about a small breakthrough.
Last Saturday I had the privilege of attending the wedding of Aaron Colby and Joey Begovich. It was easily one of the most beautiful, entertaining, and emotionally honest weddings I’ve attended. Just an absolute blast, and as much fun as I’ve had in a long time. (If either of you see this – thanks so much for inviting us. You always have a place to stay when you’re ready to go skiing.)
I mentioned yesterday that I felt like I failed some personal tests there. I was too shy to strike up conversations with strangers on my own. I talked far too much about myself. I partook in way too much of the incredible food and open bar.
But, I do have a tiny celebration to gloat about.
For years, I’ve been the one who makes the call to go home. I’m the watch-watcher. The one who mentions the waiting babysitter, or the early start time the following day.
In some cases it’s good, but in most I’m just a wet blanket.
Lori, however, is adept at being in the moment. She’s more interested in what’s happening right now than what time the kids wake up or how tired the babysitters might be. She’s the one who wakes up early and goes to bed early, yet she doesn’t flinch at a variation of the routine.
I told myself before the wedding, in fact for several days leading up to it, that I wasn’t going to be the one to sound the “let’s go home” bell.
Even if I was falling asleep standing up.
Even if my phone was too dead to summon the Uber to pick us up.
Even if it was 3am and we found ourselves mud wrestling a Hasidic biker gang for fake bead necklaces.
And I did it. We danced and partied until the reception was over, then we chatted in the casino with friends. Somewhere around midnight, she made the call.
Yes! Pre-Sex Scandal Tiger Pump!
Look, making the call to leave doesn’t make someone a bad person. It’s good to keep yourself on track and not out at all hours of the night. Especially if you have kids.
But it’s more important to not worry about it unless you have to. To just be in the moment, sometimes. With no regard to the time, or your watch, or whatever the hell your phone may be buzzing about. Unless it’s the babysitter.
This may or may not be the beginning of an ongoing battle between Lori and I. I hope not. We’re well attuned to each other and when it’s time to bolt.
It’s just me trying to be more present and engrossed in the amazing people and environment I’ve been fortunate enough to recognize myself in for the first time in a long time. For one night, I pulled it off.