Get your motor runnin', Day 17: The Trigger Trick


The good news is I practiced today.

The bad news is, I almost didn't practice today.

Not because practicing the guitar for 10 minutes is so awful, or because a horrible misfortune befell me, or because I willfully threw up my hands (instead of wrapping them around the guitar) and said, "I quit!"

I almost broke my 16-day streak (and out-loud promise) of practicing guitar every day for 10 minutes because I blew off my trigger.

For those of you not joining in on Leo Babauta's 30-day New Year's Challenge, the trigger, according to Leo, is the thing you name as the thing you'll do right before you do the thing you're promising to do. Depending upon your particular challenge, the thing could be anything from waking up to parking your ass in your chair at work to shutting down your computer for the day.

Since I chose "practice guitar for 10 minutes daily" and since I work from home 99% of the time, I figured "after breakfast" would be a good trigger. There have been one or two days when I've breakfasted elsewhere, but I've practiced as soon as I walked in the door, before doing anything else, so I figure that counts.

Today, however, I had to work on a presentation that was due fast. Didn't exactly have a hard out, as we say in the trade, but I was up against it enough that figured I'd just push the guitar off until after I emailed the preso off. You know, pick a new trigger...for the day.

So I did my work. Emailed it off. And three hours later, I was merrily barrelling through a raft of non-essential bullshit when I realized, yup, you got it, I'd totally blown off the guitar. And I actually kind of like playing the guitar. Not as much as farting around with non-essential bullshit, obviously; I'm a lot better at farting around than I am guitar at this point, so farting around is more seductive. I just forgot, because I blew off my trigger.

And then I spent an extra five minutes on scales just to remind myself not to do it again.

Triggers, people. Triggers...


Image by ctd_2005 via Flickr, used under a Creative Commons license.