Quotations about the new year, including the holiday (not always January 1, depending on culture), and the personal emotional experience of the time. From the joy of a New Year’s Eve to the reflection of a New Year’s Day, to just the feelings that get aroused at this time of year, you’ll find some commentary from notable and unknown writers.

May the New Year bring you courage to break your resolutions early! My own plan is to swear off every kind of virtue, so that I triumph even when I fall!

— Aleister Crowley

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light:
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.
Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

— Alfred Lord Tennyson

Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.

— Alfred Lord Tennyson

Hope
Smiles from the threshold of the year to come,
Whispering ‘it will be happier’…

— Alfred Lord Tennyson

I made no resolutions for the new year. The habit of making plans, of criticizing, sanctioning, and molding my life, is too much of a daily event for me.

— Anais Nin

One big secret about succeeding in the new year lies in concentrating more on things that matter most in life, and walking away from those things that are of no value or use.

— Bamigboye Olurotimi

Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man.

— Benjamin Franklin

“Honor to the earth,” the abbot said, “honor to the dead in the passing of the year; honor to the living, in the coming of the new. A Great Year passes tonight. A new one begins. Let the good that is old continue and let the rest perish….”

— C.J. Cherryh, Fortress of Owls

New Year’s Day is every man’s birthday.

— Charles Lamb

Packaged inside of every mistake there lays a great lesson. And while I don’t want to take the mistake into the New Year, I most certainly want to take the lesson that’s packaged inside of it.

— Craig D. Lounsbrough

As we did every New Year’s Eve we made ridiculous resolutions that no one would keep, and quietly we all wondered what the coming year would hold, each of us praying for our own private miracles. Good health. Better health. A marriage for this child, a good job for another. This hopefulness was something hardwired into our psyches, that a new year might mean some monumental something wonderful could happen to bring us happiness at a level we had never known. A new year was a chance to start over. Maybe even, just maybe, there would be peace on earth for one entire day.

— Dorothea Benton Frank, The Last Original Wife

We should celebrate every year that we made it through and every year that we’re happier and healthier.

— Ellen DeGeneres

We spend January 1st walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives … not looking for flaws but for potential.

— Ellen Goodman

The object of a New Year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul and a new nose; new feet, a new backbone, new ears, and new eyes. Unless a particular man made New Year resolutions, he would make no resolutions. Unless a man starts afresh about things, he will certainly do nothing effective.

— G.K. Chesterton

Let our New Year’s resolution be this: We will be there for one another as fellow members of humanity, in the finest sense of the word.

— Göran Persson

Why do we even celebrate the New Year? It’s just this arbitrary quirk of how we measure time in years, right? Midnight tonight is the very same transition from day to day that we do every 24 hours. But this thing in my hands, it feels real in a way the numbered calendar box never does. Why? What makes midnight tonight any different?

— Hillary DePiano, Murry in New Year’s Thieve

You don’t like New Year’s Eve? Are you insane? It’s literally the best holiday ever. You just party all night and it doesn’t matter what stupid stuff you do because the year’s over and you get a brand new start in the morning.

— Hillary DePiano, Molly in New Year’s Thieve

New Year’s Eve, where auld acquaintance be forgot. Unless, of course, those tests come back positive.

— Jay Leno

Every man regards his own life as the New Year’s Eve of time.

— Jean Paul Richter

I hope you realize that every day is a fresh start for you. That every sunrise is a new chapter in your life waiting to be written.

— Juansen Dizon

What do you need in the New Year? You need a dream; your dream needs an action; and your action needs right thinking! Without right thinking, you can have only unrealised dreams!

— Mehmet Murat ildan

The new year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written. We can help write that story by setting goals.

— Melodie Beattie

A new year is like a blank book, and the pen is in your hands. It is your chance to write a beautiful story for yourself.

— Melody Beattie

Make New Year’s goals. Dig within, and discover what you would like to have happen in your life this year. This helps you do your part. It is an affirmation that you’re interested in fully living life in the year to come.

— Melody Beattie

Approach the new year with resolve to find the opportunities hidden in each new day.

— Michael Josephson

I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.
Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.
So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.
Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.
Make your mistakes, next year and forever.

— Neil Gaiman

Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.

— Oprah Winfrey

Each New Year, we have before us a brand new book containing 365 blank pages. Let us fill them with all the forgotten things from last year—the words we forgot to say, the love we forgot to show, and the charity we forgot to offer.

— Peggy Toney Horton

And now let us believe in a long year that is given to us, new, untouched, full of things that have never been, full of work that has never been done, full of tasks, claims, and demands; and let us see that we learn to take it without letting fall too much of what it has to bestow upon those who demand of it necessary, serious, and great things.

— Rainer Maria Rilke

Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

Kindness, kindness, kindness.
I want to make a New year’s prayer, not a resolution. I’m praying for courage.

— Susan Sontag

For last year’s words belong to last year’s language
And next year’s words await another voice.

— T.S. Eliot

What the new year brings to you will depend a great deal on what you bring to the new year.

— Vern McClellan

What the new year brings to you will depend a great deal on what you bring to the new year.

— Vern McLellan

There are years that ask questions and years that answer.

— Zora Neale Hurston
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