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10 Things to Let Go of Before the New Year

If you’re ready to make some space in your life - physically, mentally, and emotionally - here are 10 things you should let go of before the new year rolls around.

The past year was full of changes for me as I’m sure it was for you. And as most years do, this one went by at the speed of light. So much so that I haven’t had a chance to reflect on anything that’s happened – the good and the bad.

With the new year approaching, it’s important to let go of any baggage that’s weighing you down and make space for what’s to come.

If you’re ready to make some space in your life - physically, mentally, and emotionally - here are 10 things you should let go of before the new year rolls around.

January is a time to start afresh, but you have to address the things that held you back in the previous year. Otherwise, you risk falling into similar habits and chasing the same dreams without success.

If you’re ready to make some space in your life – physically, mentally, and emotionally – here are 10 things you should let go of before the new year rolls around.

10 Things to Let Go of Before the New Year

1. Fear of the future

Most of us feel motivated at the start of a new year with excitement around our new goals. That being said, the new year can also be daunting. You might not have a solid plan or bucket list for your future, and things might feel more unknown than ever. If you’ve been feeling unsure of where you’re headed or what the future might hold, don’t stress. When you try to imagine a whole year in front of you, it’s only going to cause you to panic. Instead, take things day-by-day and don’t feel like you have to have your whole life figured out before the new year starts.

2. The need to be busy

Over the past few years, self-care has become one of the most talked-about topics. Even so, I still don’t think we’re taking self-care seriously. Most of us feel the pressure to stay busy from societal expectations, but it can also come from avoiding the things you need to address in your life. Let go of the need to be busy and embrace self-care to the fullest next year.

3. Bad spending habits

How was this year for you in terms of money? Did you find yourself spending more than you should have? Look through your past spending history and see if there’s one area where you can cut down (Starbucks, is that you?) and make a goal for the new year. If your goal is to pay off debt, The Budget Mom is a great resource.

4. People on your timeline who drain your energy

Cutting people out of your life is easier said than done, but it’s a lot easier to control on social media. If you’re following people who anger you, post too much, make you feel jealous, or make you feel negative – unfollow them. If you can go beyond the timeline and cut out negative friendships and relationships IRL, that’s even better.

Related Post: How To Unplug From The World When You Need A Break

5. Criticism of what you didn’t accomplish

Though the end of the year is a time to reflect on the good, it can bring up a lot of regrets and ‘should-haves’. If you review the goals you set for yourself at the beginning of the year and find that you haven’t accomplished them yet, don’t be too hard on yourself. There’s always time.

6. The need to figure everything out

As put together as other people may seem, it’s rare to find anyone whose life turned out the way they planned it. Instead of forcing yourself to try and ‘figure your life out’, give yourself a little space to let life happen to you. Amazing things happen when you least expect them to. Getting frustrated because you haven’t figured things out isn’t worth it.

7. Physical clutter

Physical clutter can have a huge impact on your mental state of being. If your space is brimming with things you don’t need, consider making some physical space for the new year. Get rid of clothes you’ve never worn, declutter your home, and create a peaceful space around you.

8. Fear that you won’t be successful

When you tell yourself that you’ll never get anywhere, the chances of you getting anywhere are pretty slim. Use the time before the new year to reflect on the thoughts you have about yourself and your abilities. Your mindset plays a huge role in your success (whatever success means to you) so make this next year the year of believing in yourself.

9. Lack of self-discipline

I mentioned in this post that self-discipline is such an important part of self-care, and it’s also an important part of achieving your goals. These days, everything and everyone is competing for your attention. Without self-discipline, you risk getting distracted by everything. If you have the ability to do what you say you’ll do and stay focused, you’ll be a force to be reckoned with.

10. The need to be in control

Stress happens when you feel like you’re not in control. The hard truth is that you’re not in control of most things in your life. You can rarely predict how the next chapter of your life will play out, so avoid wasting your energy on trying to control everything. Accept that you cannot control the circumstances of your life, but you CAN control your reactions to the circumstances.

What are you letting go of for next year?

I’d love to hear what your goals are for next year and what you plan to let go of before January 1 rolls around. Leave a comment below with your thoughts!

About the Author
Picture of Catherine Beard
Hi, I'm Catherine! As the creator of The Blissful Mind, I love exploring ways to make life more fulfilling, especially when it comes to our daily routines, habits, and well-being.

30 Responses

  1. Thank you so much for this article. This is just what I need right now. I love reading your blog (and following you on Instagram). Big love from Indonesia :)

  2. Oh my gosh Catherine. Literally every line item was something I went “Oh, and this too!” This is staying on my open tabs. I’m so grateful this year for you, for your insight and transparency and generosity of your time and talents.

      1. Hi and great article, as always. Thank you for sharing that with us along with your beautiful insight.
        I’ve always been really great at taking care of others and working more towards self-care. All of these elements apply and next year I hope to let go of fear, self-doubt and procrastination. Here’s to 2020!

  3. your words are beautiful !!they made a grate impact on me.whenever I read your posts I feel relief , great job please continue doing it! every word from you is like flawless seriously at the movement I’m search for words to express to say how amazing your posts are.
    I thank you for everything !

  4. What am I letting go of for next year? Everything – first thing that came to mind when I read that question.

    I certainly can relate to all 10 items. My mantra for 2019 is to live simply and simply live.

    Thank you, Catherine, for your sharing on your blog. I really enjoy reading what you write and exploring your website. I’ve passed your site on to friends and colleagues. Let’s face it – we all need bliss-filled moments in our lives, especially with the world we live in.


  5. Love! Love this article. Such encouraging words and so many helpful tips. A lot of what I needed to hear that I feel apply to me. Thank you(:

  6. It feels like I’m always adding, adding, adding things into my life. Especially on my to-do list and goals list. I love this. It feels refreshing to think about things I can let go of in the coming year. Hooray for fresh starts.

  7. Love a fresh start! These are great things to NOT keep in mind. Letting go and being ok with not having achieved something is hard, but this post certainly helped. Thanks Catherine! x HNY!

  8. Thank you so much for this post! I decluttered my entire room this past week and it feels great to be in a clean enviroment. I’m shocked about how much stuff I have.

    Wish you a Happy New Year!

  9. Fantastic blog! I facing a court sentencing of my ex who hurt me and confronting it is going to test me big time! Facing my past used to make feel fear but I feel a bit more confident about it and stronger no one can destroy me even if they try.

  10. Absolutely agree with all of them. And still, find it hard to follow through. I’m going to keep all of these in my mind while I make this year my best yet!

  11. Thank you so much for taking the time to share your thoughts and insights. I read each one and found myself continuing to say, “She must know me from somewhere!” Thanks again for making me truly look in the mirror and start getting real with myself.

  12. 100% convicting me with this phrase: Most of us feel the pressure to stay busy from societal expectations, but it can also come from avoiding the things you need to address in your life.. This just nailed my last 3 years. I found this post on a Pinterest page and now I’m a fan,. Great stuff.

  13. I’m having the hardest time letting go of the need to be busy, having to always make time to hustle harder wherever and whenever I can. Thank you for the reminder ✨

  14. Thank you so much for this article Catherine, some of them rang a bell and didn’t make me feel guilty but gave me ideas for 2020.

  15. I think that guilt is one of he biggest things that gets me down. I always mean well but then things don’t go as well as I’d hoped and then I spend so much time feeling guilty about it… I guess I probably need to be more realistic about what I’m trying to do…

  16. I agree! This past year I’ve been focusing a lot on removing people from my timeline that don’t bring me joy, and criticism of what I didn’t accomplish. so good!

  17. I love this soooo much, especially #5. Criticism of what you didn’t accomplish.
    I’ve been beating myself up over not completing a bachelor’s degree as quickly as I’d like (online, self-paced) and really, really need to let it go.

    Everything is rings true as well!

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