Happy New Year 2017!

With another year behind us, we have a lot to look forward to in 2017 for mental health. The biggest win for some people with mental illness was the passage of the 21st Century Cures Act, a law that includes a partial fix and reworking of some of the ways the U.S. federal government supports mental health.

But with another passing year, we’ve also lost a lot of wonderful people who helped to support the cause of mental health, most recently Carrie Fisher. I suppose it’s the nature of time marching on that, of course, it cannot be stopped. And we’ve had some political changes in this country that seemingly are opening up greater divides between citizens. Last year was a year that will be remembered in history books, but the real question you have to ask yourself is: will it be remembered in your personal history book?

After all, to most of us what matters most is what happens to us personally, in our own lives. Changes in governments, changes in laws, changes in policies — most of these tend not to affect us individually. What does seem to have the most impact in our daily lives are the big stressors: illness, the loss of a loved one or a close relationship, getting or losing a job, getting married, moving, or having a great personal achievement (such as getting a degree or finishing something you’ve worked on for years). These are the kinds of things that we mark in our own personal history books. These are how we usually remember the years gone by.

Speaking of remembering, if you’re making some resolutions for the new year, please keep in mind our usual maxim — stick to measurable, concrete, smaller, realistic changes. Don’t say, “I’m going to lose weight and be super-thin this year!” Instead try, “I’m going to make more healthy eating choices every day, exercise at least 3 times a week, and work on a healthier self-image.” Counting pounds usually is not a good strategy. Big changes are hard, but small changes also require dedication and regular mindful vigilance. If change were easy, self-help books would’ve replaced psychotherapy 40 years ago!

Closer to home, we’ve seen Psych Central continue to grow and reach more than 80 million people in 2016. That’s a huge and humbling number — one that I really cannot wrap my mind around when I consider what a small, close-knit team keeps the site growing. I am so thankful and appreciative of everyone who visits us throughout the year — and my staff, without whom I couldn’t do it.

We launched a new podcast this past year, The Psych Central Show. Please check out the archives and give the show a listen! If you like it, I appreciate your subscribing to the show on iTunes or via the Google Play Music store, and telling your friends about it.

Happy New Year 2014

To all of our loyal, regular Psych Central readers, I wish you a very Happy New Year!

I hope that 2017 is a good year for you and your friends & family. May the year be full of the things that bring you more happiness in your life and if you’re one to make resolutions, I hope you can stick with them!

We here at Psych Central wish you a very prosperous one in whatever you do.

And if you need a little help with your resolutions or making the most of your New Year, please check out our annual New Year’s Guide. And check out some of these most recent entries:

Moving from New Year’s Resolutions to Setting Intentions: 5 Tips to Help You Start