It’s that time of year again – time to start thinking about what you are going to do in 2019 to be a better spouse, parent, employee or employer, humanitarian, etc.

Those are great resolutions, and we encourage you to think about them if you feel you need to. But let’s not kid ourselves – you are reading about New Year’s Resolutions on a plastic surgery website. You’re here because you want to make some changes in 2019 that will improve your appearance. We’d all like to slow Father Time a little bit, and if resolutions can help, then why not?

But there’s one problem with New Year’s Resolutions – few people keep them. Eight percent to be precise. The overwhelming majority of us fail. The question, then, is what are those eight percent of people doing that the rest of us aren’t?

BJ Fogg of Stanford University has some ideas on the topic. He thinks the goals we set for ourselves are too big, and instead we need to start tiny, and build up to our ultimate goal. And when we say tiny, we mean it. Here are some examples of his tiny habits:

  •      Floss one tooth.
  •      Put on your walking shoes.
  •      Read one sentence in a book.

See? Tiny. The idea of tiny habits is that you set yourself up for success without relying on motivation. It’s just so simple to get done that you automatically feel good about accomplishing your task. Then you’ll want a taste of even more success. You can read more about Fogg’s research on his website, Tiny Habits.

So, let’s start with the most obvious changes – the ones you probably already know you need to make, and then think about some tiny habits you can create around them.

Quit smoking. The health benefits of ending this habit are tremendous and include lowering your risk of heart disease and lung cancer. Smoking also ages you very quickly and quitting is the one way to keep it from doing further damage. And if you are considering plastic surgery, you’ll want to quit as soon as possible. Smoking will interfere with your healing after surgery, and it will work against the good results your surgery provides.

Start tiny by

  •      Postponing your first cigarette of the day for 5 minutes.
  •      Keeping a stress ball nearby to occupy your hands instead of reaching for a cigarette.
  •      We also recommend talking to your doctor about treatments that can help you quit smoking, like nicotine replacement or cognitive behavioral therapy.

Exercise. Like quitting smoking, a balanced routine of cardiovascular and muscle-building exercise provides benefits to both your health and your appearance. It helps keep your weight steady and tones and tightens muscle.

Start tiny by

  •      Taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
  •      Parking further away in the parking lot.
  •      Putting on your walking shoes first thing in the morning.
  •      Doing two lunges every morning when you wake up.

Eat right. A diet rich in whole foods, filled with a variety of color will provide your body with the nutrients it needs to stay healthy and repair damage.

Start tiny by

  •      Adding a snack of celery sticks or baby carrots to your lunch.
  •      Putting an apple in your backpack.

Use sunscreen. Too much sun exposure can cause skin cancer and aging. It’s obvious when you’ve been sunburned that you’ve had too much sun, but damage from the sun can occur long before a sunburn shows up. Depending on the time of day and your skin type, a burn may happen in as little as ten to fifteen minutes.

Start tiny by

  •      Keeping sunscreen in your car, your handbag, and any other place you know will be handy when you find yourself out in the sun. You can’t use sunscreen if you don’t have it.
  •      Switching your daily moisturizer to one that already has sunscreen in it.

Consider plastic surgery. Sometimes we want to change something about our appearance that diet and sunscreen habits won’t fix. Plastic surgery may be a good choice for you, but it takes planning.

Start tiny by