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Mental Health Monday: Does the 'new year, new me' mentality do more harm than good?

How do the major goals we set in place on Jan. 1 impact our mental health the following months?

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — For many people, the new year is a time to make big lifestyle changes. 

But, how do the major goals we set in place on Jan. 1 impact our mental health the following months?

Ben Harrington, the executive director at the Mental Health Association of East Tennessee, said New Year's Resolutions often times force us to put too much pressure on ourselves to reach too big of a goal by a specific deadline.

When we don't reach that goal in a certain time period, it often times makes us feel like failures.

Instead, what people should be doing is taking that goal, breaking it down and taking smaller steps that will eventually lead them to their final goal.

Each small step along the way is an accomplishment in and of itself.

Harrington used weight loss as an example.

"They could follow that and chart their success, and then realize, 'Okay, so I didn't lose 15 pounds in 60 days, I lost 13.' Does that mean that's a failure? No, that's actually an 87% success rate."

Harrington also encourages people to find partners who have similar goals this new year.

Partners can support and coach each other to success.

"Don't count it as failure. Count it as partial success," Harrington said. "That partial success counts. You got halfway there, you got 80% there. You got 90% there. Keep trying."