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Why is change so hard?

I’m a bad flosser.

I just got back from my dental checkup with my head hanging in shame again.  Every time I leave, I swear I’ll do better.

Worse yet, last time we left I bragged to my wife how on our next visit the dentist would look at my teeth and say ‘I can’t touch that, I’d only be ruining perfection‘.

Yet the man with the drill wins everytime.

I usually manage to floss my temporarily-pearly-whites for four to six weeks.  I remind myself of how my dentist accidentally slips and punishes my gums for making his job a pain.  I tell myself how he’s quietly judging me behind that mask, assuming my entire life is a plaque-ridden mess.

I set out to prove him wrong.  But it never lasts.

Fast company wrote a great article a number of years ago called change or die, citing how nine out of ten people when told by medical professionals they need to make some behavioral changes or face early death – never end up changing.

How do you change?

What long term sustainable behavioral changes have you made recently?  What supports do you put in place?  How do you prevent excuses from robbing you of change?

Now if only they made bacon-flavored floss…

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{ 4 comments… add one }

  • John May 13, 2010, 10:59 am


    Check out the book Switch by Dan and Chip Heath. The subtitle is How to Change when Change is Hard and it is GREAT. It has helped me immensly in getting my life in order and at my job where I tutor and mentor kids.

    Check it out.


    • Lon May 14, 2010, 10:53 am

      Hey John, yeah I’ve heard good things about the book. I was reading their other book made to stick and it seemed a bit slow for me as good as it was, so I hesitated on picking Switch up. I’ll definitely check it out.

  • Ceci May 28, 2010, 10:49 am

    Dude: http://www.mcphee.com/shop/products/Breakfast-Floss.html

    They also have bacon-flavoured soap, and mints. 😛

    • Lon June 14, 2010, 4:52 pm

      missed your comment here – wow!! they have everything – even bacon bandages! soo amazing.

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