7 Things to Leave Behind For the New Year

When we ring in a new year, we are not just bringing along hopes and aspirations for the months ahead, but also criticism and ugliness from the year before. Make 2017 different! Reflect on some of these ideas to decide what is worth taking with you into the new year and what is worth leaving behind.

1. Extra stuff

Take a look around your space. Now get up and look in your closets. Your garage. Under your bed. Under your sink. How much stuff do you have? It seems we are only truly aware of how many things we own when we are packing them up to move. Over time, we accumulate, we store away and we stack up stuff. Do we really need it all?

This year, commit to living a little more minimally. The western world has such a love affair with buying, gifting and accumulating things. We attach our status and our level of happiness to how many objects surround us, when that’s not what life is truly about.

Find ways to reduce the amount of stuff in your life. Request family dinners or charitable donations for birthday gifts. Sell or give away the things you don’t use often and find value in the stuff you already have. Recycle and reuse things. Say no to “freebies.” Bring your own cup to the coffee shop. Wrap gifts in scarves, instead of wrapping paper. Get rid of all that clutter.

2. Frivolous spending

While we’re at it, let’s stop spending as much, in general. There are all things in our budget that could use a good scaling back. Spending too much on groceries? Do some research on what you can make at home! Giving away half your paycheck at the gym? Make a list of at-home exercises and get your sweat on that way.

When we spend smartly, we also save smartly. And saving can bring us peace of mind in form of an emergency savings fund or paying down student loans. It can also get us excited about planning a family vacation or installing solar panels on our house. Think of what is possible and spend each day in a way that gets you closer to that vision.

3. Toxic relationships

Just like we have the power to leave stuff behind that isn’t serving us well, we can also do that with people. It is hardly ever an easy decision to make, but choosing to sever ties with someone who is only bringing toxicity into your life can be the best choice you can make.

Sometimes, despite all of our trying, we find ourselves at a dead end with people in our lives. There is nothing we can do to change people who do not want to change. If there are folks causing problems in your life that are affecting your health and happiness, consider creating a permanent boundary. There is nothing wrong with eliminating toxic relationships and everything right with looking out for your self-care.

4. Complacency

This past year felt like an endless, losing boxing match. Just when we thought we could get back up off the ground, we’d receive another earth-shattering blow. It’s been rough! And it’s been easy to get complacent about the things that matter.

Next year, leave that complacency in the dust. There’s no room for it in 2017. The world (and its players) is radically different and the passion and drive of people who represent what is right is desperately needed. Dust yourself off, reconnect with your most cherished values, and fight for them all year ‘round.

5. Dragging your feet

It’s not only complacency that can get in the way of acting on our wants and needs. We can call upon all kinds of excuses as to why we didn’t spend as much time with family this year as we wanted. Or why we told ourselves it was okay to gorge ourselves on sugar, even though it left us feeling perpetually crummy. Or why those books we wanted to dive into are still accumulating dust on the shelf.

Challenge yourself this year to look past the excuses and take action on what you feel is important—on levels both big and small.

6. Trying to do it all

On the flip side, some might struggle with working themselves nearly to death. Each passing moment not filled with an activity can feel excruciating. The “fear of missing out” creates a lasting anxiety that keeps us going, even when we really need a break.

It’s okay to “lean out” when we need to. Finding balance is very important to being happy and healthy. If there was too much on your plate in 2016, cut back next year and find a more manageable way to portion out your time.

7. Crappy self-image

There are reasons “weight loss” and other physical “improvements” are all the rage in the beginning of the new year, and a lot of it has to do with having a crummy self-image. If we feel badly about our bodies, our personalities or our accomplishments, our goals to pursue something different may be driven by negativity and fear.

Instead, try to rebuild and restore your view of yourself, if it is damaged. Journaling, meditation, art and being in nature are great places to start regularly reflecting on who you are and what you love about yourself. Leave behind the critical, negative view of yourself and invite a more accepting, self-loving perspective into your life with the new year.

Photo credit: Thinkstock

95 comments

Jerome S
Jerome S8 months ago

thanks

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Jerome S
Jerome S8 months ago

thanks

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Jim V
Jim Ven8 months ago

thanks for sharing.

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Cindy M. D
Cindy M. D9 months ago

Excellent advise!! One of new years resolutions for every year is to leave all negative thoughts and feelings behind. My advise to anyone trying to do it all is to STOP, ENJOY LIFE, NATURE, and ALL THINGS BEAUTIFUL. Keep balanced and have a bright and beautiful new year everyone!

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Leonie Trevanion
Leonie Trevanion9 months ago

Thanks for article

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JD She
JD She9 months ago

Noted

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Jim Ven
Jim Ven9 months ago

thanks for sharing.

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Siyus C
Siyus Copetallus9 months ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Siyus C
Siyus Copetallus9 months ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Kay M
Kay M9 months ago

noted

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