What I Like About Starting a New Year

Sunday, January 1, 2023

The thing that I like about the new year isn’t that I expect to try to change in a handful of likely unattainable ways. It’s that I know I will change in dozens of unexpected ways both big and small — that no matter how hard I do or don’t try to become someone new in the year to come, I will become someone new, even if just a little. 

Because that’s just how time works. 

No, the first of the year isn’t some magical date upon which everything shifts and resolve steels and motivation appears. But it is a tangible, memorable, measurable date, a marker by which to examine where you were and where you are and where you hope to be. We could do it any time, sure, but most of us don’t; we’re not waking up on April 23rd or September 7th going “Now, what exactly has happened in the last 365 days?” 

Maybe we should, I don’t know. But we don’t. And New Year's gives us an opportunity to really do it, to easily mark the passage of time and the changing of self. 

Skeptics pooh-pooh “new year, new me” sentiments by saying there’s nothing special about the first of the year, no inherent wonder in the flip of the calendar. But I would argue that there is magic in the annual opportunity to reflect on marked differences, on time gone by, on who we’ve been and who we want to be, and then to take conscious steps to make positive change. 

We can’t predict who we’ll be at this time next year, and none of us enters into the new year thinking we can. But we can take the time to consider our hopes and dreams and to create actionable plans to work toward them in the hopes that at this time next year, we’ll look both back and forward and feel differently. 

There is always magic in dreaming up better versions of ourselves.

Happy New Year, friends.

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