I was having some dental work done  specifically, I was having a crown replaced. The dentist made and installed a temporary crown, telling me to be careful about chewing on that side. 

The dentist and her husband, who work together, were taking off the next day for a two-week vacation. My new permanent crown was scheduled to be put on their first day back at work.
The next day after the temporary crown had been installed it came off when I was eating breakfast. Why? I do know that I had eaten using the left side of my mouth, the one where the crown was.
Fortunately, my dentist had given me contact info for another dentist in case of an emergency. So I called him. I came into his office and he put the crown back on.
Now I needed to change the habit I had of eating on both sides of my mouth. How to do that?
I needed a constant reminder.
So, thinking of the scene in the movie Remember the Titans where Julius and Gerry get pumped up by yelling “Left side, strong side”, I wrote on a piece of paper “RIGHT SIDE, STRONG SIDE” and put it where I sit to eat meals at home. I also wrote it on a piece of paper to carry with me when I was eating out.
By putting this reminder front and center, as best I could, I was successful at changing that habit, so much so that after I had the permanent crown installed I still ate for a while only on the right side!
How did I change the habit?

  • I was motivated by a strong desire to do so.
  • I screwed up trying to do it without adding to my normal routine a pattern-interrupt.
  • I developed a reminder that was fun to use. I love that movie.
  • I kept the reminder in front of me virtually all the time that I had food in front of me.

“Need” became “desire” became “how” became “habit.” What is it about your life or your business you do just because you did it yesterday even though it does not produce the results you want? Take responsibility and change your habit!   —Paul Winans, a veteran remodeler, now  works as a facilitator for Remodelers Advantage , and as a consultant to remodeling business owners. Contact him at paul@remodelersadvantage.com .