Setting New Year’s resolutions is a great way to make sure you’re heading in the right direction. One of the most common goals women set for the New Year has to do with their personal health. However, to be successful, this requires something most women have a very difficult time doing.

“I’ve seen it over and over,” says Dr. Bruce Allan. “Women are very good at taking care of everyone else but can often have a hard time putting themselves first. They feel guilty spending time and resources on themselves.”

This is a familiar tug of war that women face, even when it comes to their own health. Self-care is a necessary part of living a healthy life, but guilt often gets in the way. Dr. Allan says the time women spend taking care of themselves can be the difference between missing or keeping a New Year’s resolution.

Here are three key reasons Dr. Allan says women should make time for themselves.

Reduces Stress. Find one thing you do for just yourself and then enjoy it. That small break to replenish you soul will actually help lower your stress levels. Lower stress levels mean you are able to focus on the things that are really important instead of constantly being distracted and then feeling overwhelmed.

Mental strength. Giving your mind a break and doing something relaxing is the equivalent of a rest day on a workout regime. Your body heals during rest and so does your mind. Self-care gives your brain a break, which in turn will help you to better focus.

Sends a message. If you never take time for yourself, you’re telling those key people in your life that you don’t really matter. If your children and family never see that self-care is a part of your lifestyle, they’ll assume you don’t need it. This is not the case, we all need a little break but, others see how you treat yourself and then they just do the same.

As the fresh start of 2019 gets underway, putting your personal health at the top of your to-do list is an investment that will pay huge dividends in the long run. “If women want to be successful they must take time to take care of themselves,” Dr. Allan says. “Happiness and health go together and when women make themselves stronger, we all win.”