Now that we are several weeks into 2017, it’s time to check how earnestly you’re following your new year’s resolutions. If you didn’t make any resolutions for 2017, take a look at this recent post, New Year’s Resolutions for a Better Smile for some ideas—it’s never too late to make positive changes for your oral and overall health! Whether your resolutions are meant to improve your health, your daily habits, or whatever they may be, follow these tips to make your resolutions become lifelong changes.
Write Down New Year's Resolutions
Start your new year resolutions off on the right foot by simply writing them down on paper. When your goals are written down on paper, where you can reference them down the road, they become more concrete. When deciding on your goals, follow the SMART guidelines—specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely. If your new year resolutions fall into these categories and they’re documented, you’re much more likely to finish the year with success in keeping your new year resolutions.
Find an Accountability Partner
Sharing your new year goals with an accountability partner (or even better, all of your friends and family) will help you stay on track toward achieving your resolution because your accountability partner will be checking in to see if you’re make progress toward your goal(s). Select an accountability partner who will offer encouragement, advice, and maybe even work alongside you. Additionally, having the courage to share your resolutions with friends and family creates a vulnerableness that will push you toward wanting to reach those goals. Your chances of success are much higher if others know of your resolutions and you have at least one other person to check in on you. It’s more challenging to admit failure to a friend or family member than solely to yourself.
Don't Take Days Off
Whether your new year’s resolutions revolve around your health, reading more books in the year, achieving a better work and home life balance, or simply flossing more, be sure you add time in your days to make strides to reaching your goals. While your resolutions may seem much more feasible if you allow yourself days off from making progress, it will become more and more challenging to actually create real habits if you aren’t committed to making these resolutions part of your daily routine. If your resolution is to exercise for 30 minutes every day, plan ahead to fit that into your schedule. And even if there are days where you can only squeeze in 20 minutes, that’s better than nothing at all.
Have Checkpoints on the Schedule
Once your new year resolutions are established, create checkpoints every two weeks or once a month where you and your accountability partner can evaluate if you are on track toward reaching and/or keeping your resolutions. Have you been flossing every day? Are you on track to being able to run that 5K, 10K, half marathon, or marathon later in the year? Sometimes the biggest challenge of New Year resolutions is that the ultimate goal seems so far away—therefore, having smaller checkpoint goals helps you get “little wins” on the longer journey.
New year resolutions can be fun challenges to kick off your new year while striving toward improving your overall well-being. If maintaining better oral care is part of your 2017 goals, contact us today, or request an appointment.