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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at CU Boulder chapter.

For most, the stroke of the clock hitting midnight on New Years Eve is a celebration of the unwritten months ahead. Endless possibilities allow for a brand new start: for a complete and total rebrand which will finally mark the beginning of real change. Instead, I’ve found and felt that January tends to look a lot more bleak and drags on so long there are claws left behind in the fabric of time where it refuses to pass. 

Something about January, the month of hopeful resolutions and self promises, feels more like intense pressure to relaunch my entire life while also pledging to commit to some new hobby that probably won’t stick for more than a couple weeks. Now, don’t get me wrong, I think January is a perfect opportunity to start something new, and New Year’s resolutions are quite possibly one of the most endearing things humans do, but I think it can create a lot of pressure in an unhealthy way. 

This is what I’ve coined January dread :a month that goes on for entirely too long with way too much circulating content detailing how to change your life just by making a list of goals and drinking more water. When I think back on memories and the people that have had a big impact on me, it’s the spontaneous moments where I went out without a plan that I reminisce on the most and it’s the friends that I never could have seen coming into my life that have made me want to be a better person. There’s a beauty in the unplanned; January makes a lot of us forget this. 

When I first got back into reading a few years ago, it was a goal that spurred in late November over Thanksgiving break. It’s the only “New Years resolution” type of goal that I’ve ever totally stuck with, and it happened 11 months into the year. Maybe it was just because I really liked reading or because I didn’t have the pressure of the new year hanging over my head, but letting the goal happen naturally really helped. 

Learn how to crochet and slowly leave the hooks and yarn forgotten under your bed three weeks later or start a book challenge and leave the books collecting dust on the shelfs. Unremembered hobbies don’t water down the intent and aspiration you had to start something new; maybe you can learn something along the way. And the timing doesn’t matter either—a resolution in January is just as notable as one made in February, June, or December. Restricting yourself to only making goals on the eve of a New Year can hold you back from a lot, even if they don’t necessarily stick. Small steps forward count too, even if we end up taking a couple backwards after. 

If there’s one thing I hope February can offer you, it is a little bit of peace from whatever last month entailed. Counting the clock down on January 31st has always been more liberating for me anyways. 

Arly Benitez

CU Boulder '25

I am from northeastern Colorado and am currently majoring in political science with minors in journalism and philosophy. I am an avid GoodReads user and love to read as much as I can. When I'm not reading, I'm at a concert or out with friends.