The Ice cube challenge

Image "When you make people set specific goals, they become more likely to change behavior"

says social psychologist Sander van der Linden quoted by Ian McGugan in today's New York Times article on charity and the ice bucket challenge.

Reading this I got the idea for the ice cube challenge:

Take an ice cube, put it in a glass and let it melt. Use the time it takes for this one ice cube to melt as timer for your writing, drawing, reading, cleaning out your closet or any of these tasks that normally brings forth your best/worst procrastination tactics.  Just be clear what you choose and stick with it.

The time it takes for one single ice cube to melt inside a glass in your warm comfortable home or office - how long can that be- it's a simple physical process, quick and pain-free - no big deal.

My ice cube is still looking very icy sitting in its glass next to me. The stopwatch on my phone is reading 12minutes 06 seconds now and I am already feeling pretty productive and centered as I am writing this little blog entry.

I will continue to time the melting of this ice cube.  During the summer in my gin tonic the ice always melts way too fast, even on a cool Vermont late summer evening. Now, when I am counting on it's fleeting existence it's hanging on, staring at me as if this little icy cube wants to say:

"See how much you can accomplish when you stop worrying about the measure of time!"

The gradual melting has a soothing effect. It's softer and more gradual than the ticking of a clock or the silence of the timer on the phone that is suddenly interrupted by the ring or chime proclaiming its sudden end. There is a fluid quality in this defined timespan of a piece of ice melting.  Only nature itself knows when "time is up."

Join me in the ice cube challenge:

1) Choose a task. Some examples: writing, reading a book, exercise (jumping jacks, sit ups and lunges), meditating with eyes open, doodling, singing, practicing head stands, learning to speak Icelandic

2) Place one ice cube in a glass.

3) Place it next to you in your work area.

4) Begin your chosen task or process. No distractions! If you get distracted you need to start with a new ice cube.

5) Once the ice cube is melted you are done and ready to enjoy sips of cool water.

6) Repeat tomorrow.

At the end of this week, take stock of all you have accomplished during the time of seven individual ice cubes melting, one each day.

Let me know what you got.

"Melting is a physical process that results in the phase transition of a substance from solid to liquid. The internal energy of a substance is increased,..." (Wikipedia)

As the ice melts and liquifies to water, your thoughts and intentions solidify to actions.