The new year is just around the corner, and joy is in the air. December is the month people buy their planners, get new calendars, set goals, and make a list of all their resolutions. The intention behind these actions is clear: “New year, new me.” We somehow feel that these practices tell 2016, “We are ready for you!” But, are we?
Every year, I make a list of the things I purposely don’t want to see in my new year. From time to time, I review my “naughty” list to make sure I haven’t fallen back to old habits. We have all heard the saying “out with the old, in with the new.” Truthfully, we can’t enjoy the new if we don’t make a conscious effort to get rid of the old. What things pushed you further away from yourself and your goals?
If you want to experience a better new year, here are nine things you must leave behind in 2015.
1. Diets and easy fixes.
Leave the “I’m on a diet” life. Focus on having a healthy mind and perspective. Nurture your health from the inside out. Once you have a healthy “inside”, it’s easier to condition your body. A diet will keep you stuck in an endless cycle. Create a lifestyle that supports the belief you have cultivated about yourself and healthy living.
2. Destructive relationships.
Leave behind relationships that subtract from you. If a romantic, collegiate, family, business relationship or friendship is taking away from you, abandon ship. Jim Rohn says, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Evaluate your circle.
3. Following trends.
We are all guilty. Someone changes their profile picture on . to “show support” to a country. Everyone follows. Some of your friends rant about Trump. Everyone makes a status about it. You see a random article on why Steve Harvey’s mistake during Miss Universe was terrible, and you join the conversation.
Where are these interactions taking you? It’s like a hamster on a wheel chasing food that isn’t there. Stop following fads. Swim in a different pond. Start progressive conversations.
4. Fear of trying.
Leave behind the fear of giving it a try. I get it. Some things can be scary. But fear is healthy to a degree. It keeps us safe from obvious dangers like running into other cars or jumping off a cliff. Taking a risk? Trying something new? No. Tell fear, “Thanks for wanting to keep me safe, but you are not making this decision for me, so bye bye.” Feel the fear and then give it a shot.
5. Saying “I don’t know.”
You are smarter than you think. Your words give your mind directions on what to do. Repeating the phrase “I don’t know” keeps your mind in a state of confusion and procrastination. If you are unsure of an answer, Google it or ask someone.
If you are in the middle of a life decision and have no idea what you’re going to decide, say, “I’m in the middle of getting clarity.” Words are powerful.
6. Self-limiting beliefs.
Leave behind the lies you keep telling yourself. “I will never figure this out. Things will always be this way. This always happens to me. I can’t do that. I always have bad luck. I will always be poor. I will never make it.” Really? Just stop. There are too many resources available today for you to not get what you want.
Leave behind the tendency to look in the mirror and cringe every time you see yourself. You are a masterpiece. Embrace the cellulite, hair, belly fat, small booty, wide forehead, and big feet. Stop bullying yourself. Instead, look for the things you like about yourself and focus on that. Accept every part of you even if you’re still learning to love them.
8. Your ex-anything.
Leave the past in the past. This could be an ex-boyfriend, ex-girlfriend, ex-hookup, ex-booty call, ex-side chick/dude, or ex-friend. Just leave them behind. They are an ex for a reason. Stop running towards the comfort of knowing them and move your life forward. There is more to life than the world you once lived via your ex.
You are human and will make mistakes. You feel regret after eating that cookie. Really? Enjoy it. You feel regret after having fun all night and waking up tired?Please. Enjoy life. One day you won’t have the energy to stay up all night. Be thankful for the mistakes you have made and what they taught you, but don’t feel regret for being human. Ever.
We anticipate starting life from a clean slate. For some that can be on a birthday and for the rest of us it can be during a new year. Before focusing too much on what you want from 2016, consider the things you must abandon. The idea of a new year and a clean slate is possible if you choose to clean the slate yourself.
This article was originally published at The Good Men Project.