Halfway through January, I’m sure the “new year, new you” mantra has reached your ears along with mine. From “Dry January” to the latest and greatest weight-loss gimmicks, these new year marketing ploys have in recent years started targeting everything from financial wellness to skin care to home organizing. There is no area of your life that is safe from the clutches of the improvement industry.

In one way, I understand this cultural drive for a fresh start. After a cozy holiday season spent eating treats and spending more money than normal, it’s invigorating to box up the Christmas décor, vacuum up the stray pine needles and feel motivated by all that empty space. Plus, most of our calendars have a little more margin now that family parties and community holiday obligations have been checked off the list. We wonder excitedly what we will fill all of this time and space with, and thanks to all the New Year marketing, it’s no wonder we often choose an outrageous or unattainable goal (or five).

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