At the stroke of midnight, the New Year offers a clean slate for long-elusive resolutions

NEW YORK (AP) — It's a meaningless year-end exercise for many. But at midnight there's a clean slate waiting for the next round of resolutions.

From the first burst of fireworks to the closing chorus of "Auld Lang Syne" 366 days into the future – 2024 is a leap year – it's the year to finally achieve long-elusive goals, fulfill aspirations and persevere on those all-new Maybe a yearly resolution.

“As humans, we are creatures that aspire,” said Omid Fotuhi, a social psychologist and motivation and performance researcher.

“The fact that we have goals, the fact that we want to set goals, is an expression of that inner and almost universal desire to move forward, to reach, to expand, and to grow,” Director Fotuhi said. learning innovation at Western Governors University Labs and a research associate at the University of Pittsburgh.

"New Year's resolutions are one of the ways we do that," he said. “There is something very liberating about a new beginning. Imagine starting on a blank canvas. Anything is possible."

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If so, could this be the year to run marathons, defeat (or make peace with) old enemies like the bathroom scale and a thick waistline? Maybe learn Mandarin or register to vote and actually vote? So many questions, and so much time to delay.

Tim Williams used to issue himself a series of resolutions: lose weight, drink less, exercise more, and so on.

"In the past, I would make them, and I would fail or give up on them or whatever," said Williams, a part-time resident of Fort Lauderdale. Florida,

Carla Valeria Silva de Santos, a Florida transplant from Brazil, wants to learn to play guitar. She is a native Portuguese speaker, she wants to learn Spanish and improve her English.

As with any resolution, she said, the ultimate goal is to "improve your life and be at peace with yourself."

Josh Moore, another Fort Lauderdale resident, sees things in line with natural philosopher Sir Isaac Newton and physics. Every action must have an equal reaction.

"If you do something like eat a bunch of candy or a bunch of sweets at a holiday party, go for a run," he said, interrupting a jog with his dog. “Maybe you went out drinking too much and got a hangover. But then the next day when you feel better, go to the gym.

“Many people are too soft on themselves,” he said. “You really have to hold yourself accountable.”

Resolutions don't have to be big, grand or overly ambitious, Fotuhi said.

Even as they are, he said that value should not be derived from achievement alone but should also be measured by what you become by trying to better yourself.

“The goals are just to get you started,” Fotuhi said. "If they don't, then maybe it's not the right goal for you."

In other words, it's time to reexamine goals and expectations, he said, adding that some people hold on to old goals for too long.

“If you set a goal that is overly ambitious, that is not able to excite you and make you believe that it is possible, then perhaps you should think about a goal that is a little more within your reach. Ho – starting with 5k for example, then move up to 10K,” Fotuhi said.

Kozinn contributed from Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

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