Achieving balance and mental wellness in the new year

Another important part of making an attainable resolution is a good understanding of personal needs; people should know makes them happy, or how to feel a sense of achievement.

“Oftentimes, New Year’s Resolutions tend to be for others, but they should be personal goals instead,” Dr. McHale stressed. “You’re setting yourself up for failure if your resolution is to make someone else content or happy.”

For example, if someone has a resolution to stop smoking, but they are only doing it for a spouse, not because they actually want to quit, they’re unlikely to stick to their plan. Instead, McHale suggests making resolutions about goals you want to accomplish, because there has to be a personal investment.

Once resolutions have been identified and formed through positive reflection on the past year, McHale says it’s important to implement a plan to achieve those goals. He goes by the 50 percent rule.

For example, if someone wants to lose 50 pounds, McHale explained to break the goal in half and revaluate in six months. By working hard on losing 25 pounds within that time, you can reevaluate your progress and plan at the six month mark. He noted that getting rid of the idea of yearlong resolutions helps lower expectations, and allows people to see progress on a shorter time frame. “The best thing that leads to future success is past success,” McHale said.