New Year, New Me… Or Is It?


Jill Yoder

A False Hope: The new year is a time for resolutions and a starting point for us to reach our goals. But, does January 1st really function as a motivator for us to reach new heights? Or is it just another day on the calendar?

‘Five! Four! Three! Two! One! Happy New Year!’ The clock strikes twelve and the year has come to an end. Glasses raised, hugs and kisses shared, and a smile on every face. Most people are excited for the possibility of a clean slate and are eager to see what this new year will change in their lives. It’s an interesting concept, that January 1st is somehow so different from December 31st, and yet we always convince ourselves that this will be our year. ‘Yeah, maybe last year sucked, but this year I will be my best self. I will prioritize the right things. I will be happy.’ Don’t lie, you think that too. Every year it’s the same cycle. 

On the other hand, there are always those who have a grudge against the optimistic tradition of New Year’s resolutions. Those realistic – or should I say pessimistic – individuals who always take the chance to remind everyone that nothing has really changed. That January 1st is just another day, and you are still the same person you were 24 hours ago. Although this may discourage some and take away from the excitement of the holiday, it is a valid point to be made. Twelve o’clock on the first of the year is not some magical shift in reality. Many people go into the new year determined to completely change their lifestyle, but with no plan on how to do so. And then reality sets in and they realize that the productive, healthy mindset they were so determined to have starting on day one of 365 is simply not there. And within a month, all resolutions are soon forgotten. 

Now despite all of that, it is only fair to note the importance this holiday holds for some. It is an opportunity for a clean slate. A universal motivator. Yes, there is no real difference in the days, but some people simply need a starting point, however metaphorical it may be. As long as a realistic mindset is kept, the start of another year is the encouragement some people need to start working towards the goals they have pushed to the side for far too long. 

The holiday is also a time for reflection. The new year encourages us to examine the past, as well as focus on the future. Whether the last year was good or bad, we all have the opportunity to take the lessons we learn and go forward into the next year, trying our best to make it worthwhile. So, as an avid New Years lover myself, I encourage you all to make this your year, because any day can be a starting point if you make it one.