New Year's Resolutions?
Updated: Jan 14
What are your thoughts on New Year’s Resolutions? Do you make them? Do you keep them? Are they worth the effort?
The news has been filled with information about how most resolutions are broken before the end of January. What can you do to keep your resolutions? According to research, behavioural economics is the way to go for keeping your resolutions.
First, according to GoSkills.com the 10 Most Common New Year’s Resolutions are:
Learn a New Skill or Hobby
Live Life to the Fullest
Save More Money/Spend Less Money
Spend More Time with Family/Friends
According to Dentists, these are what the top 10 resolutions SHOULD look like:
Brush after every meal
Visit your dentist 2/year
Take care of your teeth
Make Oral Health your main priority
Follow your dentist on Facebook
Follow your dentist on Instagram
Write a good review of your dentist on Google
What we are interested in here, at The Tooth Doctors, is how we can KEEP these resolutions (especially the brushing and flossing ones because we KNOW how much of a difference they make). Here are some tips on keeping your resolutions:
James Clear from Atomic Habits writes to start off small. If you want to start a flossing habit, start by flossing 1 tooth for the first day or week. Make it so easy that it doesn’t take much to do it.
Make it easy. Put your floss on the counter in plain sight so you can see it.
Plan for it. Make a trigger that will que you to maintain your resolution. If you want to remember to brush each night, decide on the time you will brush. For example, when you put on your PJs (trigger) then you need to brush your teeth (habit you want to form).
Plan for slip ups. Think about what might throw your new habit off. Maybe a trip or a series of really long days. What might slip you up and what can you do to maintain your habit during those difficult times?
Make it fun. If you want to remember to brush more often, do something fun like dancing or watching your favourite You Tube star while you brush.
Make it public. When you tell other people it’s more difficult to quit because you know those people will ask you about it.
Put it in writing. Write it down. Behavioural Economics says you are more likely to follow through on a goal if it is written down.
Make specific steps. If it is to restore your oral health, start by making series of dental appointments, invest in a electric toothbrush and maybe a waterpik. Write down the steps. When you have a clear list that’s been broken down into steps, it’s easier to follow.
Make a resolution with your friend. If you have support, you are more likely to succeed.
Make it a habit instead of relying on your own motivation. Research shows that often motivation alone isn’t enough, that habit forming is how you can achieve your goal. Research says it takes about 2 months to form a habit. It’s far fewer to break one. If you slip up, don’t worry about it and just keep going the next day.
In an effort to keep our resolutions, here we are going to write them down AND make them public:
Dr. Rob didn’t make a New Year’s Resolution - he says “why wait until the New Year?”
Jenn doesn’t make resolutions because she says she always fails at them.
Christine doesn’t make resolutions either but she says she’s avoided the negative vibes associated with “resolutions” and has made an INTENTION to try to be active everyday. Maybe we should change it to New Year’s Intentions? What do you think?
Jen hopes to try to eat vegetarian for a month.
Both Kasia and Tamara have resolutions for mind and body wellness.
What are you planning to do? Is your resolution one of the most common ones? What are you planning to do to stick to it?