New Year, New Me


This display was made by Joss J. on Canva to represent the welcoming of our newest year, 2023.

Joss Jones, Op-Ed Editor

As people enter the new year, they often begin it with the phrase “new year, new me” in mind. With this mindset, people have faith in the new year helping them find a new version of themselves. Although some people fulfill their new year goals, others do not and that is perfectly okay. As people, meeting and changing our goals are equally essential to our growth and evolution.

Common new year goals include but are not limited to: advancing in a career, changing jobs, reaching financial goals, and traveling or moving. Other goals people strive for in the new year are exercising more, losing weight, living a healthier lifestyle, and improving themselves overall.

In past years, I have been one to rely heavily on the new year to bring about a new me. At the beginning of those years, I formed goals such as wanting to exercise more, establishing better eating habits, and being kinder to those around me. All along these weren’t things that a brand new year could remedy, only I could truly make these changes within myself.

According to Dennis Buttimer, M.Ed., CEAP, RYT, a facilitator at Thomas F. Chapman Family Cancer Wellness in Piedmont, people have their reasons for making new year’s resolutions and having a hard time keeping them.

 “People want a second chance to improve the quality of their lives,” Buttimer said. “The New Year offers a blank slate — an opportunity to get things right. When we set New Year’s resolutions, we are utilizing a very important concept called self-efficacy.”

 Albert Bandura first established the idea that “self efficacy is an individual’s belief in their capacity to act in the ways necessary to reach specific goals.” 

People have a hard time keeping these resolutions because, “if you don’t have a structure in place to keep you motivated, the behavior you are engaging in will tend to trail off,” Buttimer claims. 

Data collected by Discover Happy Habits suggests that resolutions also aren’t met because people don’t set realistic goals, don’t keep track of their progress, forget about their resolutions, and set too many resolutions.

Personally, I have previously made my own new year’s resolutions in a true attempt to be a new me. I desperately wanted to take a year that felt like a “wild ride,” the past where I thought it belonged, and start off brand new as the new year had no official ties to me.

Myself and many others initially start the new year striving for our resolutions, statistics show that little to none of us actually meet our goals. Only 41% of Americans make new year’s resolutions. With this being said, only 9% are successful, while 52% were at once confident in succeeding.

Nevertheless, even if our new year goals aren’t always met, we can start over. Here are some ways to improve chances of success as reported by Inc.. “Set specific and challenging goals, set goals that you want to pursue with relentless drive and passion, and get a support system.” 

By following these tips, you can increase your motivation towards hitting your goals and allow yourself to pursue them until the end. It is human to lose motivation, but if we have a support system to cheer us on, then, we will be pushed further towards our goals even when we feel like giving up.

In my opinion, it also takes willingness and readiness to achieve a goal. Change can’t be made if the person is not truly ready. Additionally, change can’t be made if a person is not willing to change. They have to want change for themself.

Although in the beginning of the year we want nothing more than to achieve everything involved in our “new year, new me” mindset, it is okay to not meet those goals. It is acceptable to take a deep breath and step back. All in all, it’s hard to say if we ever really become new with the new year or if we just become better versions of ourselves. 

Ultimately, I would say that we become better versions of ourselves. A new year does not have the ability to make you new, though it does have the potential to inspire personal change, improvement and goal setting. As humans, let’s work toward setting smaller, realistic goals until we can reach our bigger ones. Let us also remember to give ourselves grace and patience. No one is perfect, so next time you find yourself setting “new year, new me” goals, remember that an external time change cannot force the internal change that needs to happen within you.