Why The New Year Can’t Save You
As the year comes to a close, I hear a lot of statements like this, “It’s been a crappy year” or “I can’t wait for this year to be over.” I worry about people who express that sentiment, because they seem to think a simple change in calendar year is going to change their life. They appear to believe that the only thing standing in their way of having things go their way is the numbers appearing at the top of that cute puppy calendar or hot fireman calendar (hey, I don’t know where anyone’s proclivities lie). They’re throwing their hands up and saying, “I give up. I’ll try again next year.”
The New Year can be a nice time for a fresh start. It can feel like it brings new energy and a boost in motivation. But that’s what it should bring—tools that we will use to do our work. That’s what motivation and energy are. But those who just wait in anticipation for the year to turn over, believing that’s when things will change, don’t seem like they plan on changing. They just think life will change, in spite of their actions, because the calendar year changed.
I do believe that, overall, the entire concept of the “new year” messes with us all—no matter how successful, struggling, stable, or unstable we are. Just because, historically, the world and its changes have been discussed in terms of years (the 1920s were this way and the 1970s were that way) doesn’t mean that each of us, as individuals, on our micro scales, will see massive changes each new year. The whole “New year, new you” thing is a hoax used by gyms to sell memberships and community colleges to sell night classes. Here is why the “I can’t wait for this year to be over” mentality isn’t useful.
It assumes no responsibility
When someone states they just can’t wait for the New Year to begin so that everything can change in their life, they instantly assume zero responsibility for the bad things that happened the previous year. It’s a way of saying, “What has happened to me was beyond my control and totally due to extenuating circumstances” which is never a productive mindset.