Only floss one tooth to start!

Yesterday I enjoyed an open conversation with a great teacher who is finding it frustrating to have a child in class who continually says no to doing school work.  As one would expect it is a complicated situation where the teacher is trying so many things. The thought came to me that there is little positive emotion happening when there is no sense of achievement for a child.

Last night I was doing some interesting reading on breaking habits (Transform your Habits – ebook – – a great read if you have time.  The book carefully looked at the need to start small.  The example was given if you want to start flossing your teeth, then you start one tooth at a time. This to me seemed ridiculous, but then the longer I thought about it, the more it made sense.

In my family I am always the last out of bed in the mornings and I have been badly wanting to change this. I keep telling myself ‘this week I will start to get up earlier’, but it never happens. After reading this e-book, I know I need to start small and plan it in my schedule. Thus I am planning to get up earlier on Wednesdays only (there, now I have committed to it publicly!) and then I will move on from that start.


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Back to the child who is saying no to work. I wondered today if it might be a habit of not working and if so, what would happen if he was faced with a very small amount of work to do? Interesting.  Just a thought. If anyone is in a situation to try it, I would love to know if it works?

Habit breaking is a difficult thing, but starting small is a great idea. Bad habits we know we are caught in, can really effect our outlook on life.

It takes time to develop habits and it takes time to break them, but often we want it instantly. We need to hang in there, start small and schedule the change into our days.


4 thoughts on “Only floss one tooth to start!

  1. Is a habit a behaviour? If it is then research shows that we all behave for a reason (William Glasser and Choice Theory.) If our “habits” or behaviours are hurting ourselves or others then maybe we do need to “break” or change them. The question to look at here, is what is driving the behaviour/habit? I would imagine you are up quite late at night and that those few extra minutes in bed in the morning are well deserved. If no one is affected by this, then do you need to change, or rather enjoy it? In terms of the student who is reluctant to complete tasks, what is driving this behaviour and how does one reconnect with them and help them feel more positive about themselves and what they shine at? My chocolate “habit” well it is week 8 of term 3!!


    • Mmm you have got me thinking! My first response is to think that a behaviour becomes a habit after it has been repeated. I totally agree, we always need to look at what is driving the habit/behaviour then often a change can be more effective if other issues are being addressed. In regards to my moments in bed, I want to get up earlier so I can fit more in, so I am the one affected! A chocolate habit sounds like a good thing at this time of term – i guess it is that well worn saying – all things in moderation. Enjoy! Thanks for commenting, it is great to have you on board. Love Rebekah x


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