For many of us, a new year means a fresh start—the chance to cast aside bad, old habits and begin anew. A time of promise, of hope, of looking forward.
But at least one local man says he's still waiting to see the "new you" that a magazine promised him last year.
"I remember the cover vividly," recalls Stan Wojciehowicz, 42, a retail analyst in Hoboken, New Jersey. "It specifically said NEW YEAR, NEW YOU, in big letters, right at the top. Then something about shaping up and slimming down and having my best year ever. And a picture of a guy without a shirt. He was ripped."
Wojciehowicz was sold.
Even though he has read the issue cover to cover several times, however, he says little has changed.
"The magazine had this recipe for Lentil and Chard Soup, so I made that and ate it," he says. "Then I did the 3 Best Stretches for Runners."
"Also, I went shopping and bought all of the 9 Foods for Injury Prevention and Health. After that I Reset My Mindset With These 5 Easy Tricks, learned 7 Secrets of Motivated People, and sprinkled lavender oil on my pillow for a better night's sleep."
Despite his efforts, Wojciehowicz says he's more or less the same man he was 12 months ago.
"I go for runs a few times a week, and I try to eat better, but I'm still just kinda schlubby," he says, poking himself in the gut. "Still sort of bored at work. This pain in my lower back is the same."
It's not just him. Wojciehowicz's wife, Darla, agrees that there's nothing new about her husband.
"Same old Stan," she says. "Gets home from work, has dinner, plops down in front of the TV. I love the guy, don't get me wrong. But... I mean, look at him."
"I think it's not fair, what that magazine cover did," she adds. "Making promises it couldn't keep. Shame on it."
For his part, Wojciehowicz says he doesn't blame the periodical for his lack of transformation.
"I must have not done something right," he says. "Maybe I didn't make enough soup."
Whatever the reason, he's vowing to hang in there, even as the rest of us prepare to celebrate the coming of another new year.
"I don't give up very easy," says Wojciehowicz. "My New Me could appear any day now."
"I'm really looking forward to it."