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Dr Jerry Simon December 27th, 2023

New Year’s Resolutions: What is a S.M.A.R.T. Goal and Why Does Making One Matter?

Let’s start at the beginning:  What is a New Year’s Resolution?

A New Year’s Resolution is a goal that you set at the start of the year with the intention of completing it at some point throughout the year. Yet it is estimated that less than 10% of New Year’s Resolutions are achieved (psychologytoday.com*).  

How to Make a Resolution That Will Be Achieved: 

One challenge may be that our goals are not always SMART: meaning, they are not..

  1. Specific,

  2. Measurable,

  3. Achievable,

  4. wRitten,

  5. and have a Timeline. 

Now that we understand S.M.A.R.T. goals, let’s see a common New Year’s Resolution some people may have.  A real-life example would be to have a better smile. A recent poll found that people do judge a person’s overall health and other factors based on that person’s smile. So many people tend to wish to improve their smile as their ‘New Year’s Resolution’.

Meet Jane. She knew she wanted to improve her smile but did not know where to start. So she came to the right place.. the experts!  She is a real patient, treated at Dental Care Stamford. 

For example, let’s meet Jane. In January 2022, Jane’s New Year’s Resolution was to have a healthy, impactful smile: a valid goal, but not a SMART goal. With no timeline:  it probably wouldn’t be achieved.  Here is how she made her goal S.M.A.R.T.

Research shows that writing your goal helps achieve it. (see Forbes, below).  Jane wrote in 2022 that she was committed to having a great smile, with straight, white teeth that are free of cavities, with a timeline of December  2022.  A Much better goal Right?!

This is Specific [straight, white teeth that are cavity-free,] Measurable [via photographs] Achievable [we chose a six-month smile-accelerated orthodontic system with clear braces that works gently and quickly,] wRitten [she wrote it down] and there is a Timeline [by December 31st]

Now how did Jane follow through with her S.M.A.R.T. Resolution?

Here are Jane’s steps (consider saving  and applying the format, for whatever your Resolution):  

Jane scheduled an appointment on January 8, 2022: 12 months before her deadline.

  1. During her consultation Jane was informed of the possibilities for Jane’s Smile, including what goals she wanted to achieve. We diagnosed several cavities that required treatment; and then based on the consultation, recommended the Adult Accelerated Orthodontic Program.  
  2. During the two weeks it takes to make her clear, nearly invisible, braces Jane got her dental cleaning and fixed the two cavities so she could start her treatment with a clean slate.
  3. On February 14, 2022, we placed her braces on. 
  4. Jane came for adjustments approximately every two weeks until her final appointment. Between each visit, she followed at-home instructions perfectly. 
  5. On December 6, 2022, her smile was looking great and she returned on December 12 to remove the braces.
  6. Jane’s New Year’s Resolution was Completed.  Jane shared she felt a significant confidence boost and a sense of accomplishment

This example shows how to follow the S.MA.R.T. SYSTEM [  Specific, Measurable, Achievable, wRitten and have a Timeline.] People may achieve any goal, big or small, by following this example of creating measurable timelines. My gentle suggestion is to start this New Year by examining what matters most to you: what are your goals for 2024? Then set some SMART steps, filling in the details.  Then start taking action.  “Baby steps are the key to achieving goals,” wrote author David Ramsey. 

It’s never too late to achieve the goals you want.  If those goals include a healthier, more impactful smile – don’t hesitate to contact us for a free consultation.
It’s 2024, It’s your time for a brighter, better smile than before!

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