In Defense of the January Reset

In Defense of the January Reset

New Year, New You? Why Not!
new year's resolution 2023

By Megan Collins | Last Updated: Aug 7 2023 | 4 min read

Every year at this time, we see our friends and family embrace the New Year’s reset. “New year, new you” resolutions swarm the news and take over our social media feeds.

I’m giving up alcohol for the month! Cutting out sugar! Throwing out all my uncomfortable shoes! Reading a book a day!

This year, though, I feel like I’m seeing as many screeds opining against the January reset as I am encouragements to use the month to kickstart healthy habits.

As we enter our sixth (!!) year of SG’s annual No Jeans January—our month-long denim detox challenge—I both get the pushback and I don’t. 

On the one hand, there’s truly nothing more American than making something popular and then turning around and immediately disavowing the hype.

Allbirds? We don’t know her! Spinning? Not since Big collapsed on a Peloton! Kanye West?

…Actually, okay, that last one makes sense.

But I stand by the ‘New Year, New You’ reset!

I truly don’t understand why anyone would fault a person—or worse, make snide comments about their effort to try to change themselves for the better?

Any person who sneers at a ‘new year, new you’ sentiment is caught up in their own sphere of stuck-ness. Don’t let them snare you into it.

I say:

Do the Whole 30 if that’s your thing.

Embrace Sober January.

And yes, tackle the No Jeans January wardrobe challenge…if you dare. 

Need more reasons a January reset deserves respect?

I’ve got you. 

new year's resolution 2023

1. There’s no bad time to decide you want to improve your life.

Unless your New Year’s resolution is to, I don’t know, eat more babies, I’m guessing that whatever it is you want to start, stop, or try in the new year would make a net positive impact on your life.

People hit a pause on drinking, or join a gym, or curb negative thinking.

Those are worthwhile endeavors!

Other resolutions around positive behavior, like ‘Call my mom every Sunday’ or ‘Take up watercolor painting’ encourage you to live a more thoughtful, intentional life.

If the nudge of a new year helps you set that goal, I don’t see the problem. 

2. Everyone’s doing it right now!

Apart from the New Year’s naysayers, most everyone is making some kind of resolution this time of year!

The whole month is set aside for setting and achieving goals.

Think about it. No one’s going to respond to your work email for weeks. Your boss takes most of January off to head off to a white lotus hotel in the Seychelles.

Why not set aside some me time for reflection and goal setting?

3. January stinks! What else do you have going on?

There’s nothing else to distract you, like a Fourth of July party or a fall football tailgate. 

What, were you planning on doing something fun this month?

Absolutely not.

No one’s leaving their house until at least MLK Day, so you might as well use this time to clean out your metaphorical closet.

Or your real one, for that matter.

4. Process is easier to embrace than ever before, making success totally within reach. 

From Atomic Habits to progress-tracking Notion templates, it feels like we’re in a golden age of process.

If you’ve ever tried to level up your life with no plan (“This is the year I’m going to learn sign language!” …proceeds to do nothing but watch Coda without the subtitles on in December…), you know that resolutions are not wishes you whisper and hope will come true. 

You have to implement systems to help keep you accountable, to make a new habit stick. 

Leverage the resources out there to help you make it happen!

And if you want to see if you can give up jeans for the whole month? Well, here at SG HQ we’re happy to keep you accountable!


Join the conversation! Head to Twitter and tell us what New Year, New You goal you’re setting!

I started Style Girlfriend to help guys look, feel, and act their best.