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How's the New Year's resolution going?

For many of us, a new year also means new, good intentions. But now that January is almost over, it can be hard to live up to that new commitment, no matter if it’s about healthy choices or new skills. It may help to know that according to science, it takes on average 66 days to form a new habit. And moreover, even if you lose the battle once in a while or give up altogether, it will get a little easier every time you start again. So hang in there, and remember that all tricks are allowed.

Make it as easy for yourself as possible. Set up sub-targets and treat yourself to a (healthy) reward when you’ve made some progress. Perhaps there is an app to track your results? Set up reminders in your phone – or simply put up post-it notes everywhere around you. If you’ve decided to exercise after work, lay out your workout clothes already in the morning. If your resolution is about good oral health, make sure you have a lot of interdental brushes or dental floss at home, so that you won’t run out of it just as you’ve started.

And another thing, do it because you want to do it – not to please your personal trainer or dental caregiver. Then the odds of succeeding are the best.


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Lally P, van Jaarsveld CHM, Potts HWW, Wardle J. How are habits formed: Modelling habit formation in the real world. Eur J Soc Psychol. 2010 40:998-1009.

Fact-checked by DDS Anna Nilvéus Olofsson.

Subjects

  • Behavioral sciences

Categories

  • healthy smiles for life
  • oral health

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