The ultimate list of 26 things, shit you need to let go of right now for an amazing life & year – from toxic relationships to clutter in your home and mind to everything else in between.
With the new year just around the corner, most of us have started to create a list of goals and an action plan to get there. Many of you might be making resolutions for changes you’d like to make in your lives in 2021. I say set goals instead of making resolutions, read here why!
When goal setting there is one piece of the puzzle that many people overlook and that’s things in your life that you should let go of.
Letting go is a difficult concept for many people, including myself. Whether you need to let go of a toxic friendship, a bad relationship, clutter in your home, or anything else, we need to acknowledge how difficult the process can be.
But unless we let go of what no longer serves us we are never going to be able to make room for what is really important!
As I was reflecting on 2020 and revisiting conversations I have had with my coaching clients and friends this year, I noticed there were some common things that came up that were weighing us all down at times. Since these struggles were recurring among many, I figured I will make a list of recurring themes across the board that will make for some kick-ass goals in the New Year to let go of!
Believe you me, some of these have made my list of 2021 goals in big bold capital letters – “SHIT I NEED TO LET GO”
Shit to let go of right now for an amazing year
Here’s the ultimate list of shit you need to let go of right now for an amazing 2021. Going to put this down in alphabetical order, pick what resonates with you and turn them into your goals —
1. Always Being Serious
Life is meant to be lived to the fullness and full of joy and fun. There is a time to be serious, sure, but if you’re always upright, struggle to find the humor in funny things, or don’t take some time to let go it’s time to start. It’s okay to kick back, enjoy a good time and laugh. There will always be more time for work and to-do’s, but there is never enough time for fun and connection with others!
2. Bitching and Complaining About Life
There are times when we all need to vent or complain about something that is happening in our lives. Totally normal and totally okay. But it’s important to remind yourself not to continue in that downward negative mindset for long so you don’t get stuck there. Vent and get it out of your system once and for all and move on! Practicing mindfulness and the attitude of gratitude is a great way to shift your mindset from negative to positive. Remember, even in the worst situations there is always a silver lining, even if you don’t see it right away.
3. Blaming Others
Taking responsibility for your actions and their consequences is a part of life, however, it can feel much easier to blame someone else (people, weather, the system, etc, etc) when things go wrong. If you find yourself falling into the habit of blaming others, take a step back, and consider why that might be. When we think about why we do certain things it can be easier to determine what we need to do to change our behavior. Taking the blame can take some getting used to, but it will make you a better person in the long run.
4. Breaking Promises
Trust is something we need in all of our relationships and once it’s established it’s a powerful part of that relationship. Once trust is broken, it is difficult or even impossible to repair. Given this, it’s important to keep your promises to your friends and loved ones. Trust is one of the most valuable gifts someone can give you so cherish it, respect it, and honor it. On top of breaking trust when you break a promise, you also risk disappointing your loved one, colleague, boss, etc. which has a negative impact on the relationship.
Burnout WILL reduce your productivity, and eat up all of your energy leaving you feeling increasingly helpless, resentful and hopeless – not a good way to start the year fresh is it? When setting your goals for 2021, consider making a shift in your life to avoid getting in a situation where you’re burnt out. Reevaluate your priorities, take a hard look at the schedule you have set for yourself and be sure to make time for you! Plenty of tips here to help recognize the signs of burnout as well as how to address and cope with it.
6. Busy Badge of Honor
We all wear them. In today’s society being busy gives you bragging rights but really, how silly is that!? When you are so busy you let life pass you by and never truly enjoy or embrace the little moments. Is that how you want to remember your life? No? I didn’t think so! In 2021, commit to letting go of that busy badge of honor and take a front seat to your life. When you control your schedule you have the ability to ensure that you make time for your children, time for your spouse, time for your marriage and more. Say goodbye to being busy all the time and save your sanity.
7. Comparing Yourself To Other People
You know what’s great about being me? I’m not like anyone else out there. I’m completely unique and my own individual person. You know what’s great about being you? You are completely unique and are your own person. That’s the beauty in being human, none of us are the same. We are brilliant, kind, beautiful, amazing, and powerful in our own way and it’s time you started seeing yourself for the wonderful things you are. Be you, everyone else is taken! In 2021, extend yourself the kindness of not comparing yourself to others. You deserve to be happy and comparing yourself is a sure way to ensure you are not happy and spend your time nitpicking everything about your life.
8. Dwelling on the Past
“Worry is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do but never gets you anywhere” – Erma Bombeck
Have you heard this saying before? Most of us have but what does it really mean? There are all things from our past that we wish we could go back and change. Situations we wish we never got involved in, and hurt that we wish we could erase. Here’s the thing about worrying about the past (or even the future for that matter), it eats up your precious time, energy, and brainpower and it doesn’t change a damn thing. In 2021, focus on shifting your mind away from the past and look at the present, and plan for the future. What actions can you take today to change your life tomorrow and a year from now? Those are things that we can control and the things that deserve our energy. It’s okay to reminisce and consider what you’ve learned in the past, but you can’t live there and expect to live a positive, full life.
Ego is an interesting one and plays a significant role in our lives on both personal and professional fronts. You may find yourself letting your ego get in the way of forgiving others, letting things go, letting go of control, etc. Make it a priority to get your ego in check in 2021. There’s nothing wrong with being proud but don’t be so proud you lose relationships, damage friendships, or sabotage work relationships because of it. It’s important to recognize these traits in yourself to ensure that you’re bringing positive energy to the people around you. P.S. I’ve been trying to dig deep and truly understand the role of ego in my life, and it’s been quite an interesting journey as the ego isn’t always a villain either!
10. Fear of Failure
Failure is often viewed as a negative thing and it’s time to make a mindset shift here. Honestly, there is NO such thing as failure! We all have failed, many many times, while some pick right back up and keep moving forward, many beat themselves up about it and never even try again. In 2021, shift your mind to viewing failures as the learning lessons that they really are, and see them as opportunities to grow. When we can begin to think that way, failures – 1. become easier to accept and 2. shift from a negative thing to a positive one. We are always our own worst critics, so work on forgiving yourself when you fail and grow from it instead. If we didn’t fail enough then it simply means that we played it safe and didn’t take any risks or try enough new things! Fail Fast, Fail Often, Fail Forward.
11. Judging/Being Judged (yourself and others)
Judging ourselves and others is another habit you need to kick to the curb in the new year. We all have flaws and are imperfect, those flaws are a lot easier to nitpick than accept though. When you spend time judging yourself or others around you, you’re pulling yourself into a negative mindset that isn’t healthy for you or anyone else. Our flaws, scars, and imperfections are exactly what make us unique and are something we should celebrate, not judge. Commit to being kinder to yourself and others. “We see things not as they are, but as we are”
12. Lack of Self-Care
When you look at social media you see millions of people posting about a lack of self-care, moms especially. It seems that it’s the first thing to hit the back burner when you get busy. Here’s a dose of reality for you, not taking the time to practice self-care is actually going to make you LESS, yes less, efficient than you are currently! Taking even an hour or two here and there WILL make you more productive, happier, and healthier too. Having a lack of self-care is not something to brag about and can lead to more serious issues including burnout.
13. Limiting Beliefs
Ah yes, the “I Can’t” mindset. Think about the last thing that you did that was a challenge for you. Did you worry that you couldn’t do it and get stuck in negative self-talk? What was the outcome? Did you manage to get it done? I bet you did! We can achieve anything we set our minds to, I’m a firm believer of it. So in 2021, it’s time to ditch your limiting beliefs once and for all. As people, we are powerful and capable of just about anything we set our minds to and it’s time to recognize that and pat yourself on the back for it. Don’t waste your time dwelling on those limiting beliefs instead believe in yourself and your abilities and watch how your life changes.
14. Need To Control
Everyone wants to have a certain amount of control over things in their life, however, it’s important to remember that there needs to be healthy boundaries with control too (or as I am learning, the need to control anything should no longer be a need). As individuals, we need to recognize that there is a difference between controlling vs. putting logic into play and taking action. Feeling the need to control everything and everyone around you will lead to unnecessary stress and burnout. Whether your need for control extends to your personal or professional life or a combination of both it’s crucial you let it go in 2021.
15. Need To Know Everything
I’m a big believer in continued learning and personal development. If you know everything, what do you have left to learn? The world, society, life – they are all continually changing and we need to possess the ability to learn and adapt. By changing your mindset to one of continued learning, you can beat the need to know everything and elevate yourself to a new level of knowledge and expertise. Lots of people don’t take action because they have the need to know everything there is to learn before they even begin, but they forget that lots of things are learned ‘on-the-job’, so start where you are and don’t miss out on the present opportunities.
16. Need To Be Right
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but that doesn’t mean you’ll always be right. It’s time to move past that need. When we refuse to be open minded to others opinions, suggestions, etc we are doing a disservice to ourselves and denying ourselves the opportunity to engage in deeper thought and conversation while also limiting our learning opportunities. There is a disconnect in society where most people believe that their opinion is the only opinion and won’t even give anyone else’s thoughts or experiences the time of day. Beat that disconnect and do better for yourself in 2021.
17. Not Asking For Help When You Need It
We can’t do everything all the time and it’s time to acknowledge that. Commit to asking for help in 2021. Whether that’s help from your spouse, a friend, a colleague, or anyone else, speak up! When you do everything yourself you burn yourself out, cause unnecessary stress in your life and begin to resent those around you. Asking for help is a simple way to avoid all of that in the new year!
18. Not Investing In Yourself
Do you struggle to invest in yourself? Many people hesitate to spend even a dollar on themselves, especially in today’s strange and uncertain economy. When budgets are tight, it can be terrifying to even consider spending extra on yourself – trust me, I get it and totally understand that! Sometimes when we consider looking into something we desire, we worry about the consequence of spending $ to do so. What tends to be overlooked is the opposite – what if I invest in *insert program/course/life coaching etc* and excel? In 2021, prioritize you, your education, your opportunity for advancement. Dedicate your efforts to making positive change in your life and guarantee you won’t regret it! People won’t think twice before dropping $1000 bucks on a bag or gadget/appliance but when it comes to investing in oneself, it’s a whole other story, why? #foodforthought “There is no more profitable investment than investing in yourself.”
19. Overspending/Buying Things You Don’t Need
When you think about your budget and all the items you have, how much money do you think you’ve wasted on things you didn’t need or didn’t even really want? I bet it’s a lot! It is for most of us #Guilty. If you have financial goals for 2021, this one is especially important. By creating a budget and sticking to it you can help to avoid overspending and collecting items of little to no use. Did you know that clutter also negatively affects your mental health? By purchasing less you can avoid feeling overcrowded and risking anxiety-induced clutter too in 2021!
More often than not we are all guilty of wanting to be perfect with every aspect of our life, but perfectionism can take over your life if you’re not careful. When you find yourself avoiding people or situations it’s time for a reality check. Whether you struggle with perfectionism in your personal life, your work life, or both it can be really mentally unhealthy and not what you want to drag into a new year. Changing your mindset can be a hard thing to do, but once you do you’ll feel so much weight off of your shoulders. I guarantee it!
We are all guilty of putting something off that we need to do at one time or another. There isn’t anyone out there who doesn’t procrastinate. If you’re a chronic procrastinator add that to your list of shit to let go of in 2021. I believe that anyone can change any behavior they set their mind to and change starts with an understanding and a commitment to it, here is an entire guide to help you address procrastination. Change takes time so ensure that you give yourself some grace when tackling this one! Tips to beat this bad habit – procrastination!
22. Refusing To Share Your Feelings
If becoming more emotionally intelligent isn’t on your list for 2021, it should be. The world has been a place where we’ve been encouraged to hide our feelings and struggle alone for too long. It’s encouraging to see things change and we need to be an active part of that change. If you’re struggling with your feelings, reach out to a loved one or tell the other party how you feel. By sharing your feelings you improve your emotional intelligence and each time you do, it gets easier to share. Sharing your feelings sets a good example for your children and others who look up to you too. By sharing your feelings you will begin to live a more positive life and it will be easier to process how you feel too. There’s power in being vulnerable!
23. Saying Yes All The Time
Raise your hand if you’re guilty of this. Guess what? You are not alone, many are guilty of saying yes when they should say no. Honestly, if I had a dime for everytime I coached people on why it is such a struggle to say NO I’d legit be a millionaire! But I get it and know exactly where that need comes from. When you reevaluate your priorities for 2021, be sure to reevaluate your boundaries on this front too. Many are inclined to always say yes, even if it doesn’t serve them or support their goals. In 2021, prioritize your goals – what you have on your plate, and yourself, over things others ask of you that you just don’t have the time or energy for.
24. Scarcity Mindset
In the simplest terms, a scarcity mindset is the belief that there will never be enough, be it food, money, emotions, etc. And guess what? The more you think that way the more you manifest exactly that! When you possess a scarcity mindset, you continually worry that there isn’t anything else coming down the line and what you have is all you will have. This negative mindset WILL limit you from achieving your financial goals and ultimately wealth and it WILL make you feel like you aren’t worthy of wealth and success. Stop just getting by in your life and start living it in 2021.
25. Unforgiving – Holding Onto Grudges/Resentment (yourself & others)
Resentment is a powerful emotion that continues to grow over time if not addressed. Do you find yourself unwilling to forgive someone who hurt you or did you wrong? Year after year do you continue to resent or dislike this person (even if it’s yourself) due to their actions? When we are resentful and hold a grudge it disturbs our mental (and in turn, physical) health. Make 2021 the year you learn to be more forgiving and let old resentments and grudges go. When you learn to forgive someone who does not deserve it, you reach a higher level of emotional intelligence and you learn to let shit go that doesn’t serve you clearing up space in your heart and mind. Remember, forgiveness isn’t always for the other person, it is for you too! Start by forgiving yourself for all the things you need to and work your way through.
26. Unrealistic Expectations (from yourself & others)
We are our own worst critics. There is no point in even trying to deny that. When we put unrealistic expectations on ourselves it creates a lose-lose situation where we are always disappointed in ourselves or are frustrated all the time but are also not able to get the things done we want to. That’s no way to start a new year with a clean slate. You need to treat yourself with respect and praise yourself for all of the amazing things you do on a regular basis. You also need to give yourself realistic timelines to get things done and achieve what you set out to. If you’re feeling the pressure of unrealistic expectations of others, you need to let that shit go too. Boundaries are a good place to start. When someone asks something of you and their expectation is unrealistic, stand up for yourself and respectfully give them a realistic solution. Trust me, you’ll thank yourself later.
Now tell me, how do you feel when you read this list of all that shit you need to let go of?
Overwhelmed? Excited? Anxious?
Maybe you’re wondering how you could possibly make these kinds of changes? Through my life coaching services I have helped several people just like YOU – to process how they’re feeling, to understand how these feelings, emotions, and thought patterns get in the way of their life and their goals, and finally guide them to work towards creating a life they love!
My biggest tip – take a step back and assess which of these applies to you? Think about what weighs you down and makes you unhappy? Think about what you are going to let go of in 2021? What’s at the top of that list? Start by taking baby steps towards addressing them, one at a time.
Commit to a better year in 2021 for yourself!
“In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.”