I struggled with making a big deal of the ending of one year and the beginning of another; it seemed so artificial. The phrase "the year of the Lord's favor" came to mind so I decided to read the corresponding Biblical passage to gain insight.
"The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor" Isaiah 61:1-2a (NIV)
What I sensed is that a new year is symbolic to a fresh start. Days, weeks, months and years are for our benefit to mark time; special events; and significant happenings. God is not bound by time. He is outside of time. God will work within time to bring about His will, if it is in accordance with His timeless plan. God can bring about change and answers to situations we have been praying about at any time. He does not have to wait for a particular day, month or year, as if that time has the power to unlock the answer. Sometimes God acts in accordance with significant dates, days, months, holidays or years, to drive home something about its importance in our lives.
"As God's fellow workers we urge you not to receive God's grace in vain. For he says, 'In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.' I tell you, now is the time of God's favor, now is the day of salvation." 2 Corinthians 6:1,2 (NIV)