Today is Valentine's Day, and to celebrate, here are ten creative ways to show how much you love your partner. I generated some of these for a TV interview yesterday on FOX19-WXIX morning news is Cincinnati. They wanted me to share how to use S.I.T. to be more creative on this special day. So here is my extended list:
1. Flowers are very common on Valentine's Day, with the most common gift being a dozen long-stem red roses. So to be more creative, apply the Division Technique. Divide the 12 roses into single versions, each in their own vase. Place them throughout your home. That way, you get twelve little surprises instead of one big one.
2. Building on the first idea, place eleven of the roses throughout your home, but hide or hold on to the 12th rose (the Subtraction Technique). When your partner realizes there are only eleven, he or she will wonder where the 12th rose is. That's the time to place it somewhere strategically (hint: pillow) or give it to your partner directly. Nice touch!
3. I love the Task Unification Technique for challenges like this. I like to pick a component in the home randomly and force it to take on an additional job. These ideas that leverage a resource in the immediate environment (Closed World) tend to create surprising, forehead-slapping ideas that make you utter, "Gee, why didn't I think of that?" For example, take the garage door. Imagine taking your traditional Valentine's Day card and taping it to the bottom of the garage door so that when she opens it, the card will dangle invitingly from the bottom. Clever!
4. Here's another example of Task Unification. Take shaving cream and draw a big heart with the words, "I love you" somewhere fun like the inside of your shower (make sure it's on the inside or you'll be in big trouble.)
5. Food is another way to inspire love. Instead of making a plain old salad, try taking tomato and mozzarella cheese slices and make a heart shape on the plate. Easy, cheap, and one of those little touches your partner will appreciate.
6. I found this idea on the Internet, but I love it anyway because it demonstrates the Multiplication Technique so well. Take a bunch of different size envelopes or perhaps boxes and place them inside one another (like Russian nested figures). In the last one, place your favorite love poem. Maybe corny, but it works!
7. We have a computer in our kitchen, and I love to use the screensaver function to surprise my wife with fun and loving things (especially if I'm in trouble from something!!). Try this by placing a big heart shape on the screen, perhaps with an image of the two of you together (wedding photo?). It's a winner every time.
8. Building on that idea, change her screensaver or background photo on her smartphone to show an old, nostalgic photo of the two of you. (Be sure you have a way to get her previous image on there, though, or you'll have a problem).
9. Attribute Dependency is a great pattern seen in the majority of innovative products and services. As one thing changes, another thing changes. Here's how to use it. Create a special smartphone playlist of all love songs. Put it in her library (when she's not looking). Show it to her after she gets out of the shower where you placed the big shaving cream heart shape. Play it for her. You're gonna have a good day!
10. Perhaps because I use dry erase markers so often in my work (teaching, speaking, facilitating), that I just love them. You can use them to write on lots of surfaces, and they can be erased just like on a white board. So take a (red) marker, and place loving messages all around the house on glass surfaces - bathroom mirrors, microwave winder, car window - you get the idea.
Have fun and enjoy the day!