Flossing: that is my New Year’s Resolution for 2016. While this goal may seem easily attainable, I have failed in years passed to floss once a day and even once a week. Although I don’t have any cavities (this is a miracle, since my sweet tooth is very influential in my diet), every time I go to the dentist I hear the same thing: “You need to floss.” Not to floss more, but to actually floss my teeth.

I’ve surveyed my friends and they all say the same thing–flossing is part of their daily routine, just like brushing their teeth and washing their faces. They tell me they actually enjoy flossing, something I don’t quite understand, as it usually leads to bleeding gums and unidentifiable liquids splattering on the bathroom mirror.

But for the sake of my oral health, and for my poor dental hygienist who seems to tire of telling me the same thing year after year, I decided to buckle down and commit to a flossing routine.

The first day of flossing came with the usual side effects: bleeding gums and fingers losing circulation. The second day I was convinced that everyone who flossed was crazy and had way too much time on their hands (it takes a while to get in between every stupid tooth, especially the ones way back there). On the third day of the new year, I had already climbed into bed before realizing I hadn’t flossed that day. My guilt got to me, though, and I sighed and dragged myself out of bed to the bathroom.

After eleven days, the bleeding has pretty much gone away. Now, I set an alarm on my phone that reminds me to go floss before I go to bed (which has been a huge help after those late nights out on the town).

While flossing may not be the most exciting New Year’s resolution, it’s one I know I can stick to if I try hard enough. According to my dentist, it will greatly improve my oral hygiene, and according to my dad (who hasn’t gotten sick since 2003, he claims), it will improve my overall health. Also, there’s really no excuse why I shouldn’t be flossing every day, considering how many Oreos I eat.

Some people go all-out for their New Year’s resolutions, like visiting every state in the US or losing thirty pounds. These are admirable goals and I applaud those who achieve them. But don’t let resolutions intimidate you or keep you from trying to better yourself. Something as little as flossing can improve your life and make you feel like you accomplished a goal, which can lead to feeling better about yourself.

So if you don’t have a New Year’s resolution yet, I encourage you to think small–spend more time with your cat, cook more meals at home or in your dorm room instead of going out, read three books this year–for fun (yeah, I should probably get on that). Sometimes it’s the little things that make a year wonderful.

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