How Visual Reminders Help Create Good Habits

So, here’s the thing.

I’m terrible at remembering to floss my teeth. Every six months, I would go to the dentist, and every time the hygienist would tell me to floss regularly.

I always promised that I would and would usually do so for a day or a few days. But then my bad habit of forgetting won out despite the inevitable “smack” in the head I would get upon returning to the dentist’s office for my next checkup.

This was all true prior to 2013.

Since then, I’ve switched to a new dentist and received a quick tip that has not only helped my smile but, has helped me get rid of several other bad habits.


You see, the newer dental hygienist taught me that by adding new habits as a “bolt on” to existing ones, would allow me to easily create good habits that last.

I realize that flossing your teeth immediately after you brush them should be easy to remember. However, it was just something that I would not focus on and forget.

The hygienist gave me 10 packs of dental floss and told me to put them in a decorative bowl that my wife had placed on the counter next to the bathroom sink. As a result, I now had a visual reminder to help me with a good habit that lasts.

It’s important to remember that cues act as triggers to allow us to change our routine and get the rewards we want.

The decorative bowl filled with floss acts as the cue or reminder for me to floss every day. This then turns into a routine resulting in better oral hygiene.

Pick one new thing you would like to make a habit. Challenge yourself and use cues, triggers and routines to create your new habit.