Three Simple Habits That Make a Big Difference

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People see habits as behaviors primarily. But we also have habitual ways of thinking, and habitual ways of responding to situations and feelings. Here are three simple habits—one of each type—that will make a big difference.

Simple Habits

Behavior: Floss Daily

Dental health is highly correlated with overall health.

After previous attempts to floss daily fizzled out, I finally found a solution. I’ve been flossing daily for about 2 months now and I don’t see myself ever stopping.

The key was to get my teeth cleaned. I get my teeth cleaned more often than most (every 4 months). And usually, when I go in, I get the flossing lecture. This time, I decided to try doing it on day one.

I’ve settled on these flossers as the fastest and easiest way to floss. And I noticed some interesting things…

  1. I get food in my teeth EVERY DAY. That means a day without flossing is a day in which food rots in my mouth.
  2. As I’ve flossed every day, gum discomfort has gone away. Before, I would sometimes get discomfort when chewing something hard like jerky that pressed into my gums. That’s because they were inflamed from not flossing enough.
  3. My gums are tighter and no longer bleed.

This time, flossing stuck because I’ve seen the benefits. You can’t see the full benefits of flossing when your gums are already inflamed. That’s why I highly recommend that if you’ve had trouble flossing in the past, begin the first night after teeth cleaning. Then you will see the difference as you maintain your gum health.

Thought: “One at a Time”

If you can get into this habitual way of thinking, it will reduce your stress levels, make you feel better about yourself, and increase your productivity. The habit is simply to think in terms of doing one thing at a time. When we feel overwhelmed, it’s easy to juggle a dozen potential actions instead of focusing on doing one of them.

Just imagine a world in which you expect yourself to only do one thing at a time. It sounds ridiculous to think otherwise, because splintered focus is nearly useless. But when you feel obligated to do multiple things, it may be tempting to try to be a superhero.

Those who do one thing well at a time get the most done and get better results. Remind yourself of this!

Response: Create Momentum When Discouraged

Discouragement happens for a number of reasons. The solution to discouragement is a habitual response to create new positive momentum. The momentum doesn’t even have to be directly related to your discouragement. For example, maybe you flunked an important test or blew a job interview. You could respond with a great workout, or healthy meal planning, or practicing music. Anything that moves you in the direction you desire will do wonders!

Momentum is so much more powerful than we can comprehend. I can say from experience that discouragement can be defeated by creating positive momentum. As I wrote my most recent book, The Magic of Momentum, I had one of the worst years of my life circumstantially. But during this time, I was researching and practicing the concepts in the book.

It’s strange to feel like you’re thriving as everything around you falls apart, but that’s how I’ve felt in the last year. I wrote an entire book on how to build momentum, but the best tips I can give you are simply:

  1. Do not value an action by its immediate result
  2. Value an action based on how it changes your direction
  3. Aim for small and easy direction shifts

If you master this, you will be VERY pleased with the results. Momentum is everything.

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