We decided to embark on this experiment all at once + on a day that neither of us was working. We each stated the time we wanted to stay under + timed each other's showers. With a lot of hustling on my part + less "standing around" on his, we were each able to stay under our chosen times. (I have hair + he doesn't, so we have different goals.) :)
Once I tasted that success, I was motivated to shift the way I take showers toward using even less water + was eventually able to drop my time down to a 1 1/2 minutes below my original goal. That was pretty exciting! He was able to knock 30 more seconds off of his time. Now every day, we're chasing that new "possible".
That is one of the most significant take-aways from this experiment in shifting our habits toward shorter showers: Change creates momentum + desire toward even greater change!
We've been focused on taking shorter showers for about a month now + are still timing our showers almost every day. We haven't exceeded our goal times all month!
A few thoughts + observations I've had along the way with this experiment:
- do it together :: My partner asks most mornings if I want him to time me. It's early, so I often need this reminder to hustle. We're holding each other accountable + encouraging each other too.
- keep it playful :: This challenge has been a lot of fun for us. We rev each other up + share the excitement, when we hit new low times. A little element of friendly competition never hurts either. :)
- interrupt the norm :: Autopilot was my greatest enemy. I would get in the shower with the intention of being quick. Somehow autopilot would take over repeatedly + I'd have to "wake up" to remembering that I was trying to hurry several times during my shower. Moving the soap dish or switching the side the shower curtain opens on helps create an interruption to autopilot.
- begin :: We'll never shift our habits, if we never begin to try. We can't just think about doing better...or intend to start tomorrow. When the thought came, we didn't plan to start...we got up + started.
Part way through this challenge I heard a news story about a town in California experiencing water restrictions due to drought. I felt a sort of solidarity (in some tiny way) with the people livng there that I may not have otherwise. Water is such a precious resource, and we are not guaranteed a never-ending supply. We have so much more work to do, but this experiment has created the momentum + desire to work toward using less + less water every day.