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New Year’s Revolution #1 Leave the Phone Alone!

Yes, I did say New Year’s Revolution.  It’s a term my daughter coined and it stuck. It stuck because it’s appropriate.

How often do we set realistic, easy-to-achieve goals for ourselves?  To the contrary, we set goals to break or to form habits and they are not always so easily achieved.

That said, I’ve been making some resolutions of my own that I hope will result in a revolution of sorts.  Today’s post is about one of them, and I hope you’ll join me in my “revolution”!

I was contacted recently by Transport Canada to ask if I would help to spread the word about a new campaign where they are asking citizens to stand up and take a pledge to “Leave the Phone Alone”.

Without a doubt, this is an important cause, deserving of attention.  I have to be honest, though, I asked myself if I had the right to do it.  Why?  You may ask… I was having a hard time envisioning letting calls go through to voicemail and ignoring messages and beeps along the way.  All this knowing that this is exactly what I should be doing.

The fact that I am cell-phone-active, albeit via speakerphone, while I drive, is a behaviour that is at odds with who I am: a responsible adult who cares deeply about safety and believes in modelling appropriate behaviour for my children.

That said, I am also the multi-tasking mompreneur who is trying to maximize the efficiency of every second of my day in an attempt to successfully balance running a business with family life.  Sound familiar?

So here’s the thing: the multi-tasking thing is bit outdated.  We are learning more and more about the benefits of being present and in the moment.  We are learning the benefits of taking a moment to breathe, to focus.  We flock to our yoga classes in order to find that breath, that focus and that peace. AND might I add that none of us would dream of having our cell phones disturb us in yoga class? Somehow we get past the “What if there’s an emergency and I’m needed?” syndrome for that precious hour.

That said, there seems to be no problem with accepting a call to discuss details affecting our financial well-being while hurling a 2-ton minivan down the T-Can at 100 km/h. There’s something wrong with this picture…and we haven’t even begun to discuss texting.

So here are the reasons I came up with to inspire myself to Leave The Phone Alone:

  1. I want to model the appropriate behaviour for my kids so that when they start driving they understand that talking & texting while driving is not acceptable.
  2. I need to be present and focused when I drive, for safety reasons.
  3. I need to be present and focused for my business conversations, because that’s good business practice.
  4. I want to be present and focused for my conversations with loved ones as I don’t get to speak to them nearly often enough.
  5. When I’m not talking while I drive, I can enjoy listening to some good music which is something that has been missing in my life since I started using drive time as talk time.
  6. When I’m not talking while I drive, I can breathe.  This will make me healthier and happier and better able to accomplish all that needs to get done…when I step out of the car.

Here is my plan:

It’s been said that it takes 28 days to make or break a habit.  Not only will I take the pledge but I am going to embark upon a 28-day challenge which I invite you to join.

The pledge and the challenge can be different things for different people.  You may pledge not to text and drive or not to talk unless hands-free.  The less you do with your cell while you drive, the better.  Taking the pledge is the first step.  Even if you slip up, that’s OK, as long as you keep trying.

Think about it this way: For every second that you do NOT use your phone while you drive, you reduce the risk of harm, or worse, to yourself, your passengers and to all those around you.

I have created a Facebook event where we can share anecdotes and small victories as well as slip-ups to inspire and to encourage each other.  If any of you has experienced the effects of a car crash that resulted from cell phone use while driving, please share and remind us all of how important it truly is to Leave the Phone Alone.  (Just for clarity: You do NOT have to be a mom to take the pledge- all drivers are welcome!)

I promise to be honest about my success and lack thereof as I embark upon my challenge.  In the interest of complete honesty, I will disclose the following: My cell phone will be on so that I can be reached in the event of an emergency. I plan to look at it only when I am stopped and I may leave it on silent to make this transition easier, but it will be with me and “on”.

I am now signing off to go take the pledge.  I invite you to do the same.  Visit the “28 Day Challenge” event on the Facebook page where you can take the pledge as well as leave your comments and anecdotes. Not on Facebook?  Click here to take the pledge and for further information about the campaign.

Please leave a comment to let us know if you’ve taken the pledge!

If you’re on Twitter, follow @LeavePhoneAlone.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend as we embark upon our journey …to a safer journey.


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