Creating good habits is something that most people strive to do. We want to incorporate systematic behaviors in our lives so that we are more productive.
I struggle with doing this myself as in order for anything to become a habit you have to do it consistently and consecutively for a defined period of time.
I had Invisalign for 18 long months. I had to floss and brush after every meal. I thought gosh I sure will be glad when I don’t have to floss and brush after every meal! I felt like it was such an inconvenience.
Eighteen months of flossing and brushing after every meal including snacks. I’m a snacker (LOL).
Finally, I was done with my treatment. I could put that pesky flossing and brushing after every meal behind me – yay. I could go back to my previous routine of brushing only twice a day, morning and before bed, and flossing at night.
Even though I didn’t need to brush and floss anymore, I still carried my little bag with my toothpaste, floss, toothbrush and mouth wash to work with me every day. It had become a habit.
After eating, what did I do? I found myself trotting down to the restroom to brush and floss even though I didn’t need to do it anymore.
Why did I do this and why do I continue to do this?
After 18 months I’d changed my behavior by the act of repetition. Also, my tolerance had changed.
Here’s what I mean by my tolerance had changed. Before I’d gotten Invisalign, I wasn’t bothered with food in between my teeth or having an after taste in my mouth.
Mind you this was never an issue before. What’s more I’d never really noticed it. All of my life I’d gone without flossing and brushing after every meal.
But after only 18 months which is a very short amount of time, I have to brush and floss after every meal! I hate having an after taste in my mouth and food logged between my teeth.
The results of having Invisalign is of course my teeth are straighter. But I developed a more conscience concern about my oral health. Brushing and flossing are more important to me than they were previously.
What am I saying?
- Creating good habits don’t just happen. We must be intentional and consistent in our actions.
- It’s not always easy. But we have to keep at it.
- If we have a not-so-good day, don’t get discouraged just pick-up and start again.
- The inconvenience of creating a good habit will ultimately yield positive results.
Finally, Don’t give up!