How Do You Say Happy New Year in Swedish?

For the past several years, I’ve made it my New Year’s resolution to learn more Swedish. My grandparents, aunt and cousins live in Sweden, and my immediate family travels to see them every summer. Time and time again, I listen in on their Swedish conversations, understanding next to nothing. While they make an effort to speak to me in English, I attempt to impress them with my broken Swedish when I can. Subsequently, I often find myself opening the Notes app on my phone to type out the words, “I will learn Swedish.”

However, since creating that goal, I’ve opened Duolingo a handful of times, and the only Swedish I’ve learned is how to order a beer, plus some profanity, which my dad taught me. Therefore, I’m probably more qualified to be cursing and drinking with a gang in a dark alley than conversing with my grandparents.  

Similar to my unsuccessful attempt to reach my resolution, many others find themselves in similar situations: forgoing their resolutions to reach their goal weight or to stop gossipping before March. The way I see it, New Year’s Resolutions are overvalued and generate unrealistic expectations.  

When initially learning about New Year’s Resolutions, I was intrigued by the concept of setting expectations for the upcoming year. To me, a new year meant starting fresh and setting goals; it seemed reasonable. In theory, these resolutions allow you to venture out of your comfort zone and try new things. Although many people expect instant results, what most of them don’t recognize is that New Year’s Resolutions exist for the long haul. Unfortunately, some people thrive on instant gratification, and when they don’t attain that, they tend to quit. 

Equinox gym has even gone as far as initiating its very own anti-New Year’s resolution campaign, called “We Don’t Speak January,” banning any new membership sign ups on Jan. 1, according to Fox News. Upon hearing this, I assumed that Equinox inaugurated such a movement due to the percentage of failed gym-related resolutions at the start of every new year. In fact, according to a survey conducted at Sun Dried with about 4,000 participants, it was found that 43 percent of people expect to give up their New Year’s resolutions after one month. Further research by EM Health revealed that 95 percent of goals are fitness related, but after just three months, only 10 percent of people think their resolution will last. 

The reason why so many resolutions fail is because they are too ambitious. Resolutions don’t have to be grueling. A goal as simple as discovering a better skincare routine will probably be more realistic than attempting to learn a language (cough cough). Goals can be ordinary and personal. You shouldn’t bite off more than you can chew because when you aren’t able to carry through with your resolution, you might feel as if you’re taking steps backward. 

To some, January might be the perfect time to start fresh and reinvent oneself and resent goals. When you think about it, it’s almost as if we’re given a clean slate. But in all fairness, you don’t need a holiday to begin making changes in your life. 

The beginning of March, middle of June and end of November offer just as much of a fresh start as Jan. 1, so what’s the rush? The point being, you don’t need a new calendar to start making new goals. There’s a blank canvas anytime you need one, and it’s up to you when and how you use it.