Hopes and Habits

Things start out as hopes and end up as habits.
— Lillian Hellman

I have this aversion to talking on my cell phone without my earbuds. It hasn't blossomed into a full-on phobia, but it's close. Very close. After many eXa$per@t!ng, tangled missed calls and self-winding cords that nearly gave me whiplash, I found a solution. I started winding my earbuds in this manner, and the end result is shown above.

At first, I only did this when I was going out and needed to put the earbuds in my purse, but I was still left to untangle them while at home. Finally, I started winding them up as soon as I was done with a call. Now, it's a habit.

It underscores what I learned about a year and half ago from B.J. Fogg, who's the director of the Persuasive Tech Lab at Stanford University: start with a tiny habit (wind up the ear buds); do it after something you already do (complete a phone call); then celebrate it. At this point, I give myself a "yes!" every time I pull open the cord with no tangles.

If you're interested in forming some good habits, watch Fogg's TedX talk (17:24).  In any case, here's a cute tangled-earbud cartoon! :D


Image: iPhone5s, the one that's usually connected to the earbuds.