There was a time when the notion of brushing your teeth everyday was not mainstream. People had to be convinced to do this. As Charles Duhigg mentioned in his great book ‘The Power of Habit’ one trick the industry discovered was to have toothpaste that foams. This is not a chemical requirement, it’s perfectly possible to have non-foaming toothpaste. However turns out that this little feedback mechanism helped people to make a habit out of brushing their teeth everyday.
This is interesting for two reasons:
- It illustrates that something that everybody does everyday without arguing was not widely accepted before. If that’s the case it’s perfectly reasonable to assume, that some habits that you want to take up now might be performed by everyone in a couple of decades without any second thoughts.
- Immediate feedback is helpful when performing something you hope to make a habit. It doesn’t even have to be some particularly pleasurable feedback. If you ask grown people their opinion about foam they probably don’t have very fond feelings for it. However despite that, it helps to program us to brush our teeth.
So what’s your foam? What can you tie to your habit which you will come to expect?