Persistence of Alarms

A few months ago I began to rethink the power of my alarm clock to help me consistently do a bunch of small things throughout my day. Most of us dread the morning alarm clock and we often sleepily reach over to hit snooze, knocking items off our night stand in the process. This scene plays out billions of time a day across the globe as we each live our lives measured by a clock. Some of us have real anxiety about time. I'm no exception but I've had a real change of heart when it comes to the alarm. About a month ago I had a heated conversation with my wife who is singularly driven to declutter our home one McDonald's happy meal toy at a time. We argued about alarm clocks. Like many other families, we get off track and out of rhythm and distracted from things we have wanted to do like daily exercise, scriptures, prayer, journaling, and consistent reading and bed time. My solution to the spotty history of success was to buy one alarm clock for each of those things. It would sound off at the appointed hour and the last person to the alarm clock would turn it off. Now that process of having the last person turn off the alarm is still pretty interesting, but the idea of five alarm clocks all sitting on an end table in our living room just looked like clutter to my wife and getting rid of junk is one of her areas of focus. Needless to say, I lost that argument and instead I implemented my wife's solution which was to set reoccurring alarms on my iPhone. I have six different sounds that remind me from 4:30 am to 10:30 pm to do different things. The result has been quite amazing. Yes the alarms can get annoying but they have created a consistent structure in our home that has driven a change in behavior. To a large degree, the alarm is driving our behavior change and our family has done much better at meeting our goals. Now, every morning at 7 am, I let the alarm on my phone ring and the pattern repeats every 5 seconds. I walk through the house and wake people up by letting the sound of the alarm ring in their cute little ears. Once the last person is up and awake, I silence the alarm and we move on with our day. It has been quite magical to see our good ideas last as real changes in our day thanks to the persistence of alarms. What works for you to consistently achieve the things that matter in your day?

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