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Why do our resolutions feel so different one month in? Or even one day in? Why, at this time every year, are we forced to look back with a pang of guilt and wonder how different our lives could’ve been if we’d just stuck to those stupid resolutions!

Well, this year is going to be different! (For real this time) 

There are 3 tweaks anyone can give their new year’s resolution that will give it rock-solid staying power. We don’t always think about these at the beginning, when we’re confident and motivated and see our ‘Future-Selves’ as some kind of super-human, capable of extraordinary feats of self-discipline and inner strength.

But our ‘Future Selves’ have betrayed us again and again – because they’re not super-human. Which is totally ok – we just have to alter our expectations of them. Tweak your resolutions just a little, and by this time next year, ‘Future-You’ will finally get that resolution celebration she’s been after for years. 

Tweak #1: Boil it down

Let’s say your new year’s resolution is to improve your oral health. But, how? And, why? 

Really think through why you want to achieve your goal and write it down. Then think through every behavior you’ll need to change and write those down too. Be as specific as possible. For instance: 

Why do I want to improve my oral health?

  • To be able to eat the foods I love again
  • To be pain-free
  • To be confident in my smile

How will I get there?

  • Start brushing and flossing twice a day (no matter what)
  • Get 8-9 hours of sleep per night
  • Cut out sugar
  • Schedule any procedures I’ve been putting off

Tweak #2: Don’t overwhelm ‘Future-You’

That’s a hefty overhaul we just mapped out. This is where so many well-intentioned resolutions go south.

Look at that list. What are the small changes you can put into practice today that won’t overwhelm your brain? Make a list of these subtle changes, then plan to build on them over time. For instance:

Here’s what I can start today:

  • Brush and floss twice a day, now matter what (step up to the plate with this one!)
  • Go to bed 30 min earlier Mon-Fri. (Then eventually add the weekend in, then eventually make it an hour, then eventually increase as needed)
  • Stop putting sugar in my coffee in the mornings (Then slooooowly find the easiest places to cut back and gradually do it over time.)
  • Schedule a dental consultation to get some recommendations on procedures (That doesn’t sound nearly as overwhelming, does it?)

Tweak #3: Put yourself there

Think about what your life will really be like if you achieve your goals. If your resolution is to improve your oral health, picture yourself with the healthiest mouth you’ve ever had!

What are you doing? How do you feel? Are you smiling broadly? Eating foods you love? Do you feel happier? More confident? Have you started public speaking again or reconnected with old friends? Who will this ‘Future-You’ with fantastic oral health really be?

Keep him/her in your mind every time you’re faced with a temptation to give up your new year’s resolution – because by this time next year, that person can be YOU!

To take a small (and gradual) step toward reclaiming your oral health, schedule an appointment with one of our dental implant specialists today. Good luck with all of your resolutions and have a happy new year!

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