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What does this sentence even mean? I think this is an idiom, right? Does this mean:

I will improve and won't repeat the mistakes I made the previous year.

OR

reason for doing something nice

https://www.macmillanthesaurus.com/excuse

excuse noun

a reason for doing something that you want to do

https://www.macmillanthesaurus.com/topics/reasons-and-excuses

Is this so? The phrase 'new year' refers to 'your determination' here, right?

This is a quotation on the arrival of New Year.

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    I suspect it means something like "It's okay for me to indulge in bad behaviour now, because I'll make a New Year's resolution to behave next year." So, good behaviour in the new year is an excuse for poor behaviour in the current year. But that's just a guess. More context is needed. Commented Aug 21, 2020 at 6:50
  • It was a quotation, a post.
    – xeesid
    Commented Aug 21, 2020 at 7:23
  • I remember now that after "Let the new year be an excuse" there was: for a change.
    – xeesid
    Commented Aug 21, 2020 at 8:14
  • "Let the new year be an excuse, for a change" has a quite different meaning without the comma.
    – Peter
    Commented Aug 21, 2020 at 8:18
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    We can use psychology on ourselves; that's what 'new year resolutions' are for. We pretend that a decision taken on January 1st is more binding than one made on any other day of the year. The hope is that we trick ourselves into obeying it. The date is the excuse (or reason) for sticking to it. Commented Aug 21, 2020 at 10:22

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It's not an idiom. Suppose there is something that you want. Eg to start a new job, buy a new computer, start going to a gym. All these things can be difficult and costly so you need extra motivation. You say to yourself "I will start a new job in the new year." The new year isn't the real reason, it is the explanation that you are using to do the difficult or costly thing. "New year" means "January the first" (as a date on which many people will start new things)

If you have been thinking about changing your job, let the new year be your excuse!

I had been using cheap shampoo, but I let the new year be my excuse for buying some expensive bath oils.

You know that you will need to buy a new car eventually. Let the new year be your excuse for trading in your old car and getting a brand new one.

New year is a good time to think about your future. Let the new year be an excuse for making a change for the better by getting fit and eating well.

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