You'll know you've formed a habit when it feels strange not to take that walk or drink that glass of water.
Breaking a habit
Emboldened by my success in establishing a flossing habit, I asked for expert assistance in breaking my snacking-while-channel-surfing habit.
Psychologist James Claiborn, author of "The Habit Change Workbook: How to Break Bad Habits and Form Good Ones," suggested that I consider what I'm getting out of my mindless snacking, under what circumstances I do it and whether there's a more healthful habit that might offer the same rewards.
Since the snacking was giving me a little mood boost and a little selfish "me" time at the end of a busy day, I tried a minor beauty routine which only made me feel, well, ready to snack. Since I tend to eat when I'm bored by what's on TV, I tried watching shows I actually wanted to see. That was a little better, but not much.
Claiborn suggested that I keep a record of when I eat while watching TV and why, which I couldn't make myself do, but I did have a breakthrough of sorts one morning when I was taking a shower. The breakthrough went something like this: "Hey, I like taking a shower. I get a little mood boost from taking a shower. This is selfish 'me' time."
I switched shower time to the evening, after the kids were in bed, and — lo and behold — emerged with zero interest in hitting the refrigerator.
Now if only I can repeat that result 65 more times, I may have a new habit.