In a message delivered shortly after midnight, Putin talked about love of family and country, RIA Novosti reported. His brief speech was short on specifics.
Putin said at the end of the year everyone becomes more conscious of how time is "fleeting."
"We should become more responsive and benevolent, more generous and caring toward our loved ones, our children and parents, our friends and colleagues, and everyone who needs our support," he said.
Putin's decision to run for a third term after spending four years as prime minister prompted large protests. He called on the country to stand united.
"As we face the future, we naturally hope for positive, joyful changes, and our personal plans are inseparable from Russia, from our heartfelt, noble feelings toward our Fatherland," Putin said.
One of Putin's last major actions in 2012 was to sign a law banning U.S. adoptions in Russia.