Me, three weeks ago:
I’ll expect that disaster survival kits were hauled out and checked across the country this past weekend. We certainly checked out ours, and yes there are a few bits and pieces we could add to it.
But human nature being what it is, as the earthquake recedes from memory, our impetus to add those things will fade away.
Did it fade away for you? A bunch of people noted here or on Facebook their intent to get on top of the disaster survival kit sitch. More would have read it and nodded agreement. Well, time’s up. Have you followed through? Cal and I are almost there – we still need a new torch, because our current one is pretty weedy. Oh, and a transistor radio. Everything else we needed to do got done. And here’s a secret: we did it all either on the first day, or right now on the last day, of that three week period.
Because, fundamentally, we suck at following through. The go-to psyc theory for intended action is the Theory of Planned Behaviour, which says that what we intend to do comes from our attitudes, the social norms around us, and the amount of control we have; and what we actually do mostly follows what we intend to do. That mostly is the tricky bit, unsurprisingly. The gap between intent and behaviour gets pretty big.
In my own thesis work (zing!) I found two other important parts of the puzzle that fill in that intent-behaviour gap: effort, and frame of mind. Effort is the get-up-off-the-couch factor, and we tend to underestimate it. Frame-of-mind is bigger – it’s about how we’re doing when we get the opportunity to act. Good mood, bad mood, etc, but also – and crucially – just plain remembering.
So, a bunch of people stated their intent. Did effort and frame of mind get in your way, or did you follow through? Tell me, I’m curious. If the latter, this is a reminder right here. Christchurch is still getting aftershocks. Wellington is still vulnerable. Lots of places have their dangers and they could hit any time.
Get it done.
Edited to add: Jenni has taken up this idea and is pushing it forward, nudging her friends to get their own kits sorted and promising to chase them up in three weeks. Great work Jenni!