Triggering Change

Went to the dentist today for a cleaning. Great chair for contemplation while someone scrapes junk out of your mouth. And at the end, the hygienist made no snarky comments about my lack of flossing. And then she asked what kind of tooth paste I wanted. I don’t use tooth paste so I asked for a second packet of floss. She liked the implication that I will actually floss again before our next appointment in December.

But will I? Is it enough to put a new habit in the rotation? Don’t I actually have to do the actual work?

When I had an opportunity, I put the habit into my agenda for the day, using my iPad this time. I have every intention of flossing this evening after I brush my teeth. It only takes a few minutes. How hard could another minute be?

But I’ve made this promise to myself many times in the past. Start flossing. Quit eating junk food. Get out twice a day and exercise, even if it is just a walk up to the back of the yard.

Until I built myself this tool for monitoring what I actually plan to do and then accomplish, I didn’t comprehend how hard it was to actually do something different. Unless I can make a change like flossing in my own life, what right to I have to suggest that others might tackle something much larger. I’ve had it easy. I fell into a lot of the opportunities I was able to exploit. My new business venture is the first one I’ve tried to engineer myself, intentionally.

But every journey starts with a single step, so flossing tonight may be mine. Now that I’ve written about it, maybe people will ask me how I’m doing. That could motivate me a bit.

And maybe there is another habit I need to keep track of, the one where I plan to do things and then bail out on them. Would it be fair to call it a chicken list, since it counts how many times I lacked the courage to get on with something as small and trivial as flossing?

Nothing has triggered a lasting change where it comes to flossing. Maybe admitting my weakness in a forum like this will get me off my butt.

Let’s add a link to this site to my Facebook page and see if anyone comes over here to read this blog. I wonder how I do that.


One Response to “Triggering Change”

  1. Kat Nagel Says:

    Easy enough, John. You just type the complete link (including http://) into your status box. If there are graphics in the post, you’ll be asked to choose which thumbnail you want to use. That’s it!
    Kat Nagel

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