Like many new years that have come before, 2019 will be followed by an increase in gym memberships and organic food purchases. Three months later, however, many of those memberships will be canceled, and there will once again be enough treadmill spots for all. The truth is that we all have things about ourselves we’re unhappy with. Maybe it’s our weight, our overall health, or our smile. The new year and the tradition of making New Year’s resolutions — promises to a future you that you — presents a great opportunity to start making those life-changing steps needed to live the kind of life you dream of.

Unfortunately, this system sets many of us up for failure (a canceled gym membership), because it doesn’t include many of the steps needed to make these changes stick. If you’re ready to make a 2019 change but don’t yet know how to do it, this blog is for you.

Woman hands ready to write new year's resolutions on blank list on dark background.

Couple Resolutions With Goals That Matter

If you’re looking to change your life, it’s best not to change too many things at once. It can take nearly a month and a half to start a habit like going to gym, brushing your teeth twice a day, or flossing, and adding too many habits at once can short circuit your brain, especially if you haven’t set any specific intentions. More important than taking several dramatic steps toward accomplishing something, is identifying why you want to do something in the first place. Sure, you want to be healthy, but why do you want to be healthy, and what’s at stake if you don’t accomplish your goal? Perhaps you want to make sure you’re around for that first grandchild or maybe you want to avoid health problems in retirement. Writing this framework down in a journal, even if you only return to it twice a year, can help you to solidify the reasons for the steps you’re taking to achieve a better life.

Pick a Start Date, and Anticipate Problems

You don’t have to begin any of your changes at the beginning of the year. If you’re not yet ready, this could actually hinder the habit-making process. Before starting a habit, you’ll want to have set intentions, and done the legwork needed to start the habit. If you’re going to start going to the  gym, that might include buying yoga pants, workout gloves, and investing in a workout app. Also, doing some needed research. Anticipating problems can work in much the same way. If you’re going to be eating healthier, it’s helpful to look at the circumstances that have caused you to eat unhealthy in the past. If you work right by a plethora of fast food options, this may be as simple as packing a lunch every day. If you’ve got a party to go to, one with greasy but delicious finger food, make a point to eat beforehand.

Take Steps to Ensure Your Oral Hygiene Is Tip Top

Oral hygiene is important to the overall health of your body. Complications like gum disease, can increase your likelihood of heart disease, stroke, and even some forms of cancer — and avoiding them is as simple as a five-minute routine everyday. Brushing and flossing twice a day is the best way to protect your smile. Because plaque can harden into tartar in as little as 24-48 hours, the best time to brush and floss is before you go to bed, and when you wake up.

If it’s been awhile since you’ve seen a dentist, you’ll want to add that to your schedule as well. The American Dental Association recommends seeing a dentist for a regular checkup once every six months to avoid complications like gum disease, that can slowly progress into a bigger problem.

Give us a call at (907) 349-0022 or Contact us and come see why everyone is raving about the hygiene team at Excellence In Dentistry in Anchorage, Alaska.