When back-to-school season arrives, it’s a great idea to do some schooling ourselves and do a quarterly check-in to assess if we are making progress with last year’s resolutions or goals. Whether it be a goal you set on New Years Eve or a goal you’ve added during the year, setting yourself up for success is incredibly important. When setting dental hygiene goals, using the S.M.A.R.T. goal model is a great way to create a goal you can smile about.
Here are the seven steps to setting a S.M.A.R.T. goal for your dental hygiene:
We can’t measure progress if we do not know exactly what we are measuring! Having a goal of “taking better care of my teeth,” sounds nice, but… what does that really look like? Make your goal as specific and objective as possible. For example, if you want to take better care of your teeth, a specific goal such as “ I want to brush my teeth two-three times a day” tells you exactly what you want to achieve, giving you a way to track your progress objectively.
Making a goal measurable makes it even easier to objectively assess. Saying “I want to floss more” does not give us a helpful measure for what “more” looks like, but saying “I want to floss once a day for three minutes” gives you two different ways to objectively identify whether or not this goal is being met.
Assessing if a goal is achievable is possible when you ask the following questions: Is this goal something I have control over? Do I have the resources, time, supplies, etc. to attain this goal? Is this goal one that I can act on? It may sound funny, but sometimes we make goals without acknowledging what we would need to act on that goal. For example, if your goal is to brush your teeth after lunch, ask yourself: Do I have a toothbrush on me around lunch? Do I have time/the availability at work to meet this goal? For success, we have to make sure this goal is in our realm of reach.
While it would be nice if your Krengel Dental dentist could meet your goals for you, in order for the goal to be met, it has to be relevant to YOU. Ask yourself, “does this matter to me?” and take time to reflect on why this goal is applicable to your life and important to you. For example, if your showing starting signs of gingivitis, reflect on why a specific goal, such as using a mouthwash twice a day, is relevant and important to you. If you don’t have buy in, chances are the goal won’t be bought into.
T: Time bound
Set a time boundary on how long you are going to meet this goal. Of course it would be great if your goal for flossing every night for five minutes became a habit, however knowing how long you are going to pursue this goal and when you would like to achieve it helps boost motivation, makes the goal feel more realistic and gives us a time to check in and assess progress. For example, if your goal is to schedule a dentist appointment, add “before the end of this week” to make it time bound. This accountability gives you a deadline, helping you get there before you forget about it.
Setting one S.M.A.R.T goal for your dental hygiene can make a huge difference in improving your smile and overall health, and we are here to be your accountabili-buddy and help you decide on a relevant and achievable goal! Give us a call today- (952)-888-1311, and consider it one step taken towards that goal.