best New Years quotes
Source: AFP

As the clock ticks down to midnight and the excitement of a new year looms closer, we’re looking forward for a fresh start. We want to right the wrongs of the past year and do better, do more.

The best New Years quotes can help us do that.

A simple string of words may seem like just that but don’t underestimate their power.

As long as men can read, an era’s best quotes and thoughts can shape our perspective and instil a sense of purpose in a world where chaos can be overwhelming.

Quotes have the ability to encapsulate our hopes, dreams and resolutions in a few succinct sentences, serving as motivation that guides us through the unknown. They possess the power to uplift spirits, ignite courage and remind us of the resilience within.

As we bid farewell to the old and embrace the new, quotes not only provide comfort in times of uncertainty but also serve as catalysts for personal growth.

Psychologists suggest that exposure to positive affirmations, like those found in the best New Years quotes, can significantly improve one’s mindset and overall well-being.

It’s not just about setting resolutions; it’s about adopting a mindset that pushes you forward.

best New Years quotes

Before we get into the best New Years quotes, consider some of the worst. Source: AFP

Worst New Years quotes

Nothing puts a damper on the New Year’s spirit like stumbling upon a cringe-worthy quote.

Take, for instance, the classic gem: “New Year, New Me.” The worn-out phrase has become a punchline rather than an inspiration.

You’ve probably seen it plastered across social media profiles of people who, despite their newfound resolution, end up reverting to the same old habits by mid-January.

This quote’s predictability makes it uninspiring and usually becomes a failed resolution.

Another offender in the world of New Year’s misfires is the overly optimistic: “This is the year everything will change!” Sure, it is uplifting, but let’s face it – life doesn’t undergo a complete overhaul just because the calendar page flips.

When you encounter this quote, you can’t help but feel scepticism, especially when real change requires consistent effort and dedication. It’s like setting yourself up for disappointment by creating unrealistic expectations.

And then there’s the vague and cryptic: “New Year, New Beginnings.” While it sounds poetic, this quote is so generic that it lacks any real direction.

It’s the same as embarking on a journey without a map – you may have good intentions, but you’ll likely get lost along the way without a clear plan.

Without specific goals or actionable steps, this quote fails to provide the guidance needed to make tangible improvements in the coming year.

best New Years quotes

It is no surprise that words by Oprah Winfrey made it into our list of the best New Years quotes. Source: AFP

7 best new years quotes

1. Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right. — Oprah Winfrey

Be like Barbie and embrace the real world. Also, you can learn from her: that existential dread is normal.

It is so easy to get disheartened by the challenges you face. Don’t be down. Remember that mistakes are not failures but stepping stones to success.

Each hurdle is a chance to refine your approach, develop new skills, and grow.

best New Years quotes

The “Sandman” author Neil Gaiman has many profound words to live by. Source: AFP

2. 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. — Neil Gaiman

People make mistakes, but for celebrities, those mistakes are open to public scrutiny. It often leads to them being cancelled, but that doesn’t mean they can’t make amends.

Take Kanye West. He recently apologised to “the Jewish community” for a series of antisemitic remarks he made in 2022.

While West’s hateful comments are an extreme example of making a mistake, there is a lesson to be learned.

Neil Gaiman has one of the best New Years quotes as he invites you to view mistakes as catalysts for growth.

It’s a call to venture beyond comfort zones, to experiment, and to learn. In academia, making mistakes is integral to innovation.

Embrace the unknown, for it is in the process of trying and failing that you truly discover your capabilities and expand your academic horizons.

3. Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering, ‘It will be happier.’ — Alfred Lord Tennyson

Tennyson’s poetic optimism encourages us to approach the new year with a positive mindset. The threshold of the year holds promises of joy and accomplishment.

Did you know that we are finally winning the war against AIDS?

According to the United Nations, in 2022, deaths fell to 630,000.

There were an estimated 1.3 million new infections, the lowest since the early 1990s, and only 130,000 new infections in children, the lowest since the 1980s.

It is stats like this that make Tennyson’s words ring true because not only will you be better, but you will also be happier.

Keep the flame of hope alive, focus on your goals, and channel that positivity into your academic pursuits.

A hopeful outlook can transform challenges into opportunities, making your life journey not just successful but also fulfilling.


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4. Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year. — Ralph Waldo Emerson

Remember when Taylor Swift was named TIME’s 2023 Person of the Year?

For many Swifties, that was the best day of the year (other than dressing up for and belting out favourite hits at the pop star’s Eras tour, of course).

It begs the question: why can’t we live every day of our lives like it was the very best day?

Emerson’s timeless advice encourages us to find joy in the journey. This is certainly worthy of being one of the best New Years quotes.

Each day is an opportunity to learn, to contribute, and to excel.

By engraving this mindset on your heart, you’ll develop a profound appreciation for the learning process.

Every project, lecture, assignment, and interaction becomes a chance to improve and make a positive impact, making your year a continuous series of best days.

5. Don’t live the same year 75 times and call it a life. —Robin Sharma

If you know your history, the  Israeli–Palestinian conflict feels like deja vu.

Even President Biden tells Israel not to “repeat mistakes” made by the US after 9/11.

It is as though we have not learned that violence begets violence.

You can do better than our current world leaders, and actually learn from history and past happenings.

Robin Sharma’s quote challenges us to break free from the monotony of routine and learn from their past.

In the academic realm, this translates to exploring diverse subjects, joining clubs, and engaging with the community.

The new year beckons you to step into uncharted territory, fostering personal and academic growth.

Seek new experiences, for it is in the richness of variety that you’ll find inspiration, a broader perspective, and a more fulfilling journey.

Do not forget to learn from the past to create a brighter future. Aim to make new mistakes you can learn from.

best New Years quotes

The endangered bald eagle’s population is starting to recover. Source: AFP

6. It is never too late to be what you might have been. — George Eliot

Miraculously, the populations of endangered species are recovering.

This includes bald eagles, grey wolves, humpback whales, California condors and many more.

It is the strength of hope and the hard work of conservationsists which have brought us to this stage.

These qualities can be applied to many of the challenges we face.

George Eliot’s quote is a beacon of hope, encouraging us to pursue our passions fearlessly, despite all of the obstacles that stand in our way.

The new year is a blank canvas waiting for you to paint your aspirations.

Whether it’s exploring a new field of study or embracing a new hobby, this is the time to redefine and pursue what truly ignites your curiosity.

Tackle the challenge hopeful that you will succeed, and while it may not be a quick climb, you will succeed.

best New Years quotes

Around 50 million more girls are in school today than there were in 2015. Source: AFP

7. Celebrate what you want to see more of. — Tom Peters

Sometimes, we are so bombarded with bad news that the good things get overshadowed.

For instance, UNICEF reported that there are 50 million more girls in school today than there were in 2015.

School completion rates for girls have increased from 86% to 89% in primary school, and from 54% to 61% in high school.

There are five million more girls completing all levels of education every year now compared to seven years ago.

This is one of the best New Years quotes because Tom Peters invites you to focus on the positive aspects of their academic journey.

Celebrate achievements, both big and small, as they contribute to your overall success.

By recognising and appreciating your progress, you’ll find the motivation to strive for even greater heights.

Here’s hoping that even more girls complete school and that you achieve all of your goals.