March 2020

I’m letting you in on a family gem. The Garcias have a vacation playlist. We started it about 5 years ago and it is, in my humble opinion, a work of art.

Why? Well, it's collaborative, creative, and soul shifting in nature. Everyone can contribute song recommendations but they need to be voted in unanimously(ish). It holds past vacation memories and gets us all in a vacation state of mind even if we play it on a dreary day in March in New Hampshire. That’s the power of evoking positive emotions through a sensory experience.

You’ll hear anything from Bob Marley to Matisyahu, Los Lonely Boys to Dirty Heads, Ray LaMontaigne to Jack Johnson. How you’ll feel when listening is, well...pretty darn good.

Occasionally, when I need to do something “not so fun” like clean the garage, this playlist is what gets me through. It has the power to get me moving…joyfully! Sometimes, I need to fold an endless heap of laundry. I call a friend to connect while I fold. By changing my environment, I successfully and happily accomplish a task I don't usually enjoy. Every once in a while a toilet needs scrubbing, you know? I plug in a fun podcast and gleefully scrub away.

In Dr. B.J Fogg’s new book Tiny Habits, he talks about the importance of strong positive emotion when establishing new habits. Why? Easy. We do what feels good. (Cue the playlist.)

Dr. Fogg, Stanford University’s department head of Behavioral Science, dismisses the myth of establishing habits based on repetition. It does not take 21 days OR 66 days of doing something you hate repeatedly to have it become a part of the regular rotation. Do you know what helps lock in a new habit? Things that are associated with