How to: Pick up a Good Habit

I started flossing 8 years ago and it changed my life. This may sound dramatic, but it's true and I've spoken to other flossing advocates who agree. I'm ashamed to say this, but I wasn't raised as a flosser - it was never part of my daily routine. So incorporating flossing into my nightly regiment wasn't easy. It took discipline, constant motivation, strong will and a reward chart. There were nights that I would skip flossing and it took time before the habit became deeply engrained in my life. But here I am today, an avid flosser. Not a night goes by that I don't wrap my glove-covered fingers in the glossed string and wrap it around my sparkling white teeth - strengthening my gums and thoroughly cleaning my mouth. The habit is all mine and I can't imagine ever giving it up. I can partially attribute this to myself but mostly have my chart to thank. Making a chart may sound like the kind of thing you do for a three year old with a bed-wetting habit or bad behavior. But it works on adults too and there's a lot of satisfaction that comes with filling up your chart with stars or check marks. So today is the day that you pick up a good daily habit. Whether it's a quick muscle-toning session, ten minutes of meditation or a good cleaning habit, create a chart to help you along. If you can't think of a daily habit that you want to acquire, I'll help! Here are some ideas:

1) Make your bed

2) Wipe down kitchen counters

3) Sweep the kitchen

4) Hang up that day's clothing

5) Do all of the dishes in the sink

And now, I will provide advice on chart-making. Please refer to the below chart which is the actual chart that changed my life.

Screen Shot 2013-08-28 at 8.33.14 AM

1) Make sure your chart has a clear title. That is, your goal.

2) Throw in some words of encouragement. "You can do it!" "Good Luck!" "Godspeed" "You got this!"

3) Write out the days of the week. In order. As opposed to, you know, not in order.

4) Make sure each day has a space for your reward. In this case, a star. But you can get creative here (and by that I mean use Lisa Frank stickers).

5) Be ambitious and challenge yourself for a significant number of weeks. Here, I took a 3 week challenge. Good for me!

Also note the colors that I used. The chart is COLORFUL and INVITING and FUN! How could I possibly let it down? If you like to make charts on the computer, that's great! Just keep in mind to add all of the necessary components.

And now...GO! Today is the day you change your life FOR THE BETTER!