Why January 1st?


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Brooke Kruger, Opinion Writer

After a year of working from home, being unproductive, and feeling less motivated due to the pandemic, people look at the New Year as a chance to start fresh. The shift between December 31st and January 1st does not revolutionize unfortunate current events or offer any solutions to the world’s present struggles. The holiday of New Year’s simply creates the need to celebrate another trip around the Sun. For many, New Year’s Day seems to indicate the first and most important day for starting journeys of self-improvement. But what makes New Year’s Day a more suitable day than any other day on the calendar?  

From starting exercise programs, changing eating habits, or having more productive mornings, people choose New Year’s Day as the optimal starting point. The mindset of beginning on day one out of 365tells people they have the entire year to perfect and reach their goal. People dream about their goals from November into December with no intention of starting until the first of January. For a majority of people setting New Year’s resolutions, they choose monumental goals they have been wanting to achieve for months or throughout their entire lives. However, it is not proven that making New Year’s resolutions will make one anymore successful, and by then, they are months behind at reaching goals that could have already been pursued. 

Less than half of those who make New Year’s resolutions are successful within six months and 25% of people have already quit only two weeks into their journey. The fault in success rates falls on the yearly based time frame and is why smart goal setters do not restrict themselves to the start of the year. New Year’s Resolutions indulge goals that are usually visualized to continue through the entire year and don’t seem to have an ending date. Resolutionare not specific enough and usually do not include memorable achievements throughout the process. Many people decide, “I’m going to work out every day this year”, or “this year, I am going to form healthier eating habits!”. The process for achieving these goals are very vague and achievement milestones are nonexistent. With no feelings of progress or gratification, the motivation disappears and the goal that was set for the entire year is never achieved.  

Instead of procrastinating meaningful goals until the New Year, start when you have the motivation and are excited about your new journey. When people wait until a certain day to start a new habit, they lose the initial feeling of excitement that motivated them to pursue their goal. Instead of simply making the plan to work toward your goal every day of 2021, make two-week plans of specific, smaller goals. For example, if your end goal is to utilize your mornings better, choose something smaller within that goal and designate two weeks to it. For two weeks you might want to work on waking up earlier. The two weeks after that might be about substituting screen time for exercise time. At the end of each smaller goal is the gratification that motivates you to continue 

Yearlong goals are often unachievable and vague, essentially setting you up for failure. When living with the mindset of only being able to set goals in the new year, people assume that if they fail, their only opportunity for redemption isn’t until the next year. Don’t restrict your goals because the calendar makes it seem optimal.  


 Brooke Kruger is a Dakota Student Opinion Writer. She can be reached at [email protected]