In The Clutter Book: When You Can’t Let Go, I refer to “hooking” a new behavior to one you already have. My challenge is flossing my teeth. I can’t explain why I don't do it; I have the tools, I have the skills, I just never committed to it. Sure, the week before my dentist appointment I’d floss like a maniac, but I didn’t keep it up afterward.
Last week I decided that it’s time to start flossing daily. My goal is to do it once a day, when I brush my teeth before bed. If I don’t do it, I have to make a deliberate choice and not just shrug it off because I don’t feel like it. One night I got back out of bed because I forget and two nights I put the toothbrush down and got the floss because I overlooked a step.
This may not seem to be a big commitment, but for someone who despised flossing, it’s a huge change. Most research shows that it takes a minimum of 21 days of repeated behavior for a habit to take hold. A little more than a week in and it’s starting to become routine. Before I pick up the toothpaste, I pick up the dental floss; if I don’t, it feels wrong.In fact, I’m so proud of myself, I want to start another habit. I know, however, that you need to work on one new behavior at a time. It makes sense to take on a new challenge only after you’ve fully integrated the previous one.
What do you do to help yourself stick to a new habit? Are you working on changing something now? Click on Post a Comment, below, and tell us.Organized by MarcieTM: Save time and money by letting go of what you don't need and finding room for what you value
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