It’s the same process for many (if not most) of us every year. When the end of December rolls around, we feel very inspired to make some changes in the new year, and we start forming resolutions. These resolutions might hold for the first week or so of January, but quickly fall by the wayside. We fall off the bandwagon, we revert back to old habits, and within a month of promising to complete life-changing goals, we’re right back where we started.

Sound dramatic? An article from Business Insider doesn’t think so, in which they note that by February, 80 percent of New Year’s resolutions fail. The overwhelming majority of people do not see their goals come to fruition, but dentist Dr. Erika Burley is here to help you see some success. Burley Dentistry in Charlotte is a premier dental clinic, offering cosmetic dentistry, general dentistry, and oral surgery, to name just a few services. We resolve to help you reach your dental goals, and it’s a commitment we make each and every year.

In today’s blog, we’ll share some mini resolutions that may seem small, but bring enormous impacts. Learn about some of the best resolutions you can tackle in 2018, and schedule an appointment with our dentist today!

Why do resolutions often fail?

There are any number of reasons why a resolution (or in more general terms, a goal) might fail. However, one of the most significant reasons for goals to fall short boils down to the size and attainability of a goal.

With something that is pretty involved, such as losing 40 lbs., this is a time-intensive and lengthy process that ultimately requires changing many aspects of your life. Some people are able to make this type of goal happen, but oftentimes, still end up back in their old ways at one point or another. This is because these types of goals involve many life alterations, which is a really difficult thing to do—particularly if it’s all being tackled at one time.

An article by Forbes points to the importance of making smaller goals, especially ones that lead to a bigger change: “The purpose of [making] smaller goals is not to get you closer to your goal, but to develop the skill of belief…” Essentially, setting yourself up with smaller goals is setting you up for success, because it’s connecting the belief that something is attainable with an idea that is, indeed, achievable.

If there’s one thing we dentists know, it’s that small steps can make one huge difference. Take a look at some of the goals that can largely impact your life for the better, in dental health and everywhere else!

Floss more frequently and with more intention.

As we’ve mentioned in previous blogs, one of the easiest things you can do to preserve your dental health and health as a whole is to floss regularly. Flossing is so easy, we all know how to do it, yet less than a third of the population flosses on a daily basis. It seems like yet another task that’s added onto our bedtime routines—which anyone, after a long day at work or school, knows how exhausting that can sound.

It’s not just your Charlotte dentist that would love for you to floss more, it’s your body in general. Plaque buildup, if left untreated, can lead to tooth and enamel decay, as well as bone and jaw problems, and even cardiovascular problems. Prevention is absolutely essential in these circumstances, and can be achieved through regular flossing.

Make it happen: Think of what your baseline, or normal amount of flossing is in this current moment. Do you floss once a week? Once a month? Not at all? Wherever you’re at, set a reasonable and small goal to work towards. Maybe if you’re at a place where you don’t even own dental floss, start by saying you’ll floss twice a month. If you’re a once-a-monther, up it to once a week. The eventual goal is to floss daily, but you can always build up to that.

Up the ante for the amount of fitness in your life.

No, we’re not saying start training for a half marathon in a month, or suddenly find yourself competing in the CrossFit games. Those are pretty huge goals, and as you already know, small is the way to go.

Just like with flossing, think of what your current level of fitness is. If you currently are very active, the type who runs or hits the gym four times a week, you might not necessarily need to increase your amount of time—but can change up the type of workouts. For example, maybe bring in a new fitness activity, such as yoga, biking, or racquetball into your life. Or maybe your workouts are concentrated to after work, in which case you might want to commit to taking more walking breaks throughout the day.

If you keep saying “this is the year” that you commit to fitness but have regretfully fallen short, there’s absolutely hope! Make this your year with some tiny, almost microscopic goals. You don’t need to start with a gym membership, but maybe just start by getting a 20-minute walk in, a few times a week. Or hit up the company gym after work on Tuesdays, and gradually increase the type of workout and overall intensity each time. Again, you can always build on the foundation you set, but you have to have a strong foundation to start. It’s more than OK for that beginning place to look nothing like your end goal—with commitment and patience, you can absolutely get there.

Get more sleep.

This might sound too easy, but something doesn’t have to be challenging to be necessary. Getting enough sleep is a vital component of a healthy lifestyle, and there’s never been a better time to stay on track with your sleep schedule. Sleep is something that’s so easily compromised, even though it shouldn’t be, and for many people, falling (and staying asleep) is a relative challenge.

Make it happen: Start getting ready for bed well before you actually plan on falling asleep, which will encourage your body to ready itself for bed. If getting to bed on time is the issue, gradually go to bed earlier and earlier each week, even if the increments are only five minutes earlier at a time. If staying asleep is the issue, consider talking with a doctor or someone who specializes in sleep for expertise that could help.

In our next blog, we’ll continue on the topic of mini resolutions that you can make for yourself this winter. Having goals is a great way to maintain motivation, and to challenge yourself for self-improvement. Burley Dentistry absolutely believes in you, just like we believe your smile will be in the best shape possible after a visit to our dental office. Make your next appointment today, and Happy New Year!