It’s the first day of the year. And while the end of one year and start of the next is somewhat arbitrary, this can be a great time to channel the energy into something useful. I find it helpful to think about the year ending and what I want to leave with it. So today, I’m chatting about 8 things to leave behind in the new year.

I used to be the person who watched seemingly everyone around me get everything they want with ease. What did they have that I didn’t have? I dove headfirst into personal growth and development and set so many goals, intentions, and dreams over the years to find out. I got really real with myself and did lots of self work. And one day I picked my head up and realized that I’d transformed SO MUCH!

Gone was the girl who was a school outcast. Who was too scared and shy to speak in front of her class so much so that she’d rather take a 0 on a poetry assignment than present. Gone was the girl who was a complete doormat who let toxic friends and rude people walk all over her.

In her place was the girl who knew her worth, stood up for herself, and went after her dreams with passion. Sure, I still stumble with things and work to strike the right balance between being kind and easy-going with not taking sh*t from others. But I’m so proud of how far I’ve come, and I know that YOU can make this same journey too.

Starting with this…

Text reads 8 Things to Leave Behind in the New Year - champagne glasses cheers in the background

8 Things to Leave Behind in the New Year

Here are 8 things that I’ve left behind that have helped me significantly reduce stress, get tf out of my own way, and massively uplevel my life. Plus a few things that I’m leaving *this year*.

This is based on my personal research studying human behavior and what makes those around me successful, confident, and happy vs not over the last 20-ish years. Plus, what I’ve seen from testing personal development strategies on myself over the years.

I give you – 8 Things to Leave Behind in the New Year

#1 Negative Self Talk

The #1 thing holding most people back from their goals, manifestations, and dreams is mindset. And one key area of this is self talk. How you talk to yourself matters deeply.

“Talk to yourself like you would to someone you love.”

Brené Brown

The way you talk to yourself all day every day is literally programming your subconscious mind, which is driving about 95% of your actions and life day-to-day.

Not to mention negative self talk is also unhelpful, stressful, and (more importantly) quite often not true. Most of us are FAR more critical of ourselves than we’d ever dare be to someone we love and respect. And yet we can say the harshest of things to ourselves without batting an eye.

In case no one’s told you lately, you’re worthy of positive self talk. That same kindness you’re giving to everyone else? It’s time to turn that loving attention back to yourself.

Next time you catch yourself in negative self talk, try speaking to yourself like someone you love instead.

# 2 Unhealthy Habits (Choose 1-3)

We all have unhealthy habits. But most of us know which ones really stand out. You know…the ones that you’re either afraid of dropping or just not ready to part with.

  • Staying up a little too late (some of us are night owls, but is your sleep schedule messing with your health?)
  • Watching too much Netflix (look, binges are fun, but do you really need to watch 6 hours every night?)
  • Staying in that unhealthy relationship because it’s comfortable (only know know if you’re truly happy or just scared to move on because you’re worried you won’t find someone better)
  • Eating a little too much processed foods (I love em too sometimes, but it’s important to strike a healthy balance)
  • Etc.

Of course, you know I’m not at all about big overhauls. So I’m not suggesting you drop ALL your unhealthy habits. Heck, I’m pretty sure I have some myself.

Instead, pick 1-3 to leave in behind in the new year to make space for new habits that are more supportive for who you know you truly are inside. When these are natural for you, add 1-3 more.

#3 Toxic Friends

*Sigh*

This is a topic near and dear to my heart. I’ve encountered many toxic friends/relationships over the years. And they suck. Big time.

To be clear, a “toxic friend” is NOT a friend who is sad because of a breakup, grief, etc. Let’s not get crazy.

But toxic friends who lie to you, manipulate you, use you, put you down, and partake in other toxic behaviors are not worth your time, lovely. You deserve better. And in the near year, it’s time to claim that.

Toxic friends can be hard to leave, whether you feel bad ditching them or you’re scared of retaliation. But trust me, it’s worth it.

Every time I’ve *finally* worked up the guts to end/leave a toxic friendship, I’ve felt MAJOR amounts of relief and enjoyed abundant amounts of reduced stress. Like a literal weight being lifted.

Toxic friendships are heavy and harmful, and you deserve friends who support and uplift you.

#4 Fearing Failure

Fearing failure keeps most people stuck. It keeps most people from pursuing the things they truly desire in life.

But here’s the deal. Failure is part of life. The sooner you can embrace it, the sooner you can start living life on your terms to the level you truly desire.

Elbert Hubbard once said:

“To avoid criticism say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.”

I believe the same holds true to avoid failure. But listen to the quote…

Sure you can avoid failure. But you will be nothing. Of course, you know I believe everyone is worthy. That is your birthright. I interpret this as more – doing none of your dreams. Being nothing like the version of yourself that you know you’re meant to be.

“But failure has to be an option in art and in exploration–because it’s a leap of faith. And no important endeavor that required innovation was done without risk. You have to be willing to take those risks.”

James Cameron

If you want to be a famous singer, will you get there by avoiding the risk of failing by never performing? Or never writing your music? Or not recording that song and putting it on YouTube? Sure, you’ll never fail, but you’ll also never win.

If you want to live your dream relationship, will you find it by avoiding the risk of failing by never dating? Yes, you’ll avoid a failing relationship, but you’ll likely never meet your dream partner if you’re not open to them.

Stop being stuck in inaction because of fear. Go after the d*mn thing.

What do you want? Go for it. Even if you fail, you’ll have tried. Failure often gives us the experience and skills we need to win next time. And if you don’t fail, you’ll win!

“What if I fall?”
Oh but my darling,
What if you fly?”

Erin Hanson

#5 Complaining

I used to LOVE complaining. It felt so good. So right. So enjoyable. I loved to b*tch about all the stupid things frustrating me at work and in life. I frequently gathered with friends where we’d all enjoy a nice dinner over sharing everything that was pissing us off.

But guess what?

I eventually realized that my complaining was:

  • Keeping me stuck
  • Attracting more negativity
  • Attracting more of EXACTLY what I did not want
  • Annoying af
  • Useless

I’m going to tell you something REALLY interesting that I learned about complaining.

Turns out, we don’t do anything we don’t really want to do.

Wait, what?

Yup, it’s true.

So why on earth would you *choose* to keep living with the frustrating things in your life and *having* to complain about them? Because you get something in return for it.

Read that again.

When you complain, you’re getting something.

You get:

  • Attention
  • Sympathy
  • Encouragement
  • Popularity
  • Love

You’re dealing with sh*tty things and complaining about it because (in a really f*cked up way) you like it. You just haven’t realized it yet.

Here’s an example from my life. Once upon a time, I was stuck in a bad work environment. I had toxic co-workers, a ridiculous schedule, and an unrealistic workload. Did I stop and say, “Hey, this is really hurting my health and the quality of my life. Maybe I should look for a new job?” No, I did not. I stayed in that job, complaining about all the rude things my co-workers did, the terrible work assignments I was being given, and the fact that I couldn’t even use the restroom when I needed. What did I receive? Almost all of those bullets above: attention, sympathy, encouragement, popularity, and love. People were showing how much they cared by empathizing with my situation. And I (unfortuantely) liked it.

When I realized realized what I was doing (thanks to some personal development books on the topic), I made a “no more complaining rule”. I wasn’t allowed to complain about anything. Nothing at all!

I thought it would be hard. I thought I’d feel worse.

I didn’t.

I felt better.

My work situation improved.

And I felt…empowered!

Plus, I started making moves to take back my power in my own life.

Try setting a “no more complaining rule”, and let me know how it goes.

#6 Scarcity Mindset

Scarcity mindset is the mindset that keeps you thinking there’s not enough.

It’s frequently at the root of many of our limiting beliefs.

It sounds like this:

  • “There are no good men left” (scarce resources of love)
  • “I’ll never make enough money to ________” (scarce resources of money)
  • “I can’t quit my job because it’s impossible to find a new one” (scarce resources of jobs)

Sure, there’s an element truth behind these statements. For example, finding a job during a recession can feel pretty impossible and be very difficult.

But there’s a big difference between being realistic and constantly living in a state of not-enoughness.

Being realistic helps us stay safe and make good decisions.

Having a scarcity mindset keeps us stuck and living below our full potential.

What you need instead is an abundance mindset.

Abundance mindset says there’s plenty of whatever-you’re-interested-in in the world.

It sounds like:

  • “I bet there are a lot of men out there who would be a great match for me” (abundance of love)
  • “I can find a way to make the money to _________” (abundance of money)
  • “I’m qualified for many job openings right now” (abundance of jobs)

Now, don’t get it twisted. I’m not saying to quit your job, divorce your husband, and spend your life savings on a trip to Bali.

And I’m also not saying that every situation is easy for everyone. We live in an imperfect 3D world, and some things are harder for some people.

But opening up to an abundance mindset opens you up to possibilities.

“There’s enough for everyone. If you can believe it, if you can see it, if you act from it, it will show up for you. That’s the truth.”

Michael Beckwith

I can tell you from my experience living with a scarcity mindset for most of my life that when I embraced an abundance mindset, the floodgates of abundance opened. It was indeed a foundational step for me manifesting a boyfriend, new job in San Francisco, luxury apartment, and moving cross country within just a couple months.

Next time you catch yourself focused on scarcity, try re-writing your thought to come from a place of abundance and more-than-enoughness.

#7 Limiting Beliefs (Choose 1-3)

This is a biggie.

Limiting beliefs are key parts of our mindset that are between us and what we truly want out of life. They are the invisible walls blocking us from our desires and manifestations. I say “invisible walls” because they’re there, but we can’t see them.

They’re sneaky like that. Most of the time, we don’t even know they exist.

They are often deeply rooted beliefs that we took on at a young age and don’t even realize we follow.

Have you ever wanted something and gone after it, but it remained out of reach no matter how hard you tried? You made the vision board. Did the journaling. Tried the manifestation techniques. Joined the dating app. Launched the business. Applied for the job. But you got nada?

Limiting beliefs could be at play.

Here’s an example I like to share:

  • A woman wants to manifest / find a romantic partner.
  • So she joins the dating apps and starts conversations.
  • She goes on some dates, but they go nowhere. Why?
  • Well, turns out that she has a belief that she’s unlovable because her dad was not there for her at a young age.
  • So what’s *really* happening is that she’ll go on a date, but maybe she’ll constantly be feeling like they’re not into her. So she may be standoffish or put out a nervous energy that pushes people away.
  • She may swipe left on people even though she’d love to date them. Why? To save her from the heartache of not matching because she’s “not good enough”. She declines them without even giving them a shot.
  • Maybe a cute guy tries to talk to her at the grocery store, but she can’t tell he’s romantically interested because she already believes that’s impossible for “someone like him” to like “someone like her.”

It looks different for different people in different scenarios. But the basic thing is that limiting beliefs drive our thoughts and actions and cause us to self-sabotage or otherwise block ourselves from what we truly desire. We want something on a conscious level, but our subconscious is driving with limiting beliefs as the guidance system, and we’re going off course. And we don’t even know why!

I could teach a whole course on this. But to keep things short, take something you desire – a thing you’re trying to manifest or a goal you’re trying to accomplish. What thoughts do you think when you think about succeeding here? Are you thinking, “Of course this is going to work out”? Or are you thinking, “It’s probably not going to work out because <insert reasons>”. If it’s the latter, you may have one or more limiting beliefs. Try re-writing these as you catch them and see if you can put more energy into your new, more supportive belief.

#8 Not Believing in Yourself

Sort of following on the previous section on limiting beliefs, one of the biggest ones is not believing in yourself.

Not believing in yourself is a surefire way to keep yourself stuck.

When you don’t believe in yourself, you don’t think the thing you want is possible for you.

Sure, it’s all good for other people. But not you.

So you more often than not stay stuck due to lack of action. You “know” you’re going to fail, so you don’t even try.

“If we all did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.”

Thomas Alva Edison

What if you believed in yourself the same way you believe in others? You know – the way you encourage your friend who is going for a new job, audition, relationship.

Next time you want something, instead of assuming the worst, ask yourself, “Why not you?”

Or ask yourself a better question: “What are some reasons this is totally for you?”

List out all the reasons you can find, no matter how small.

And in case no one has told you, you were born worthy. You don’t need to be more pretty, lose weight, get more cool, or anything else. You’re worthy right now. Say it with me: “I am worthy now.”

Summary

8 Things to Leave Behind in the New Year

The start of a new year is a great time to choose to leave some unhelpful parts of your habits and life overall behind in the previous year. And I don’t mean only on January 1. I mean the weeks just before and after the new year.

Heck, you can really apply these any time you’d like. Whether that’s an arbitrary time period or the end/beginning of a new month. Or quarter! Apply this as it works best for you.

And this is just a start. If you’d like to take this further, journal about what in your life has been blocking you or is generally unhelpful. Get to the root cause and set an intention to drop that too.

Sometimes the best thing we can do is focus less on what to do and more on what *not* to do. There’s a balance here, of course. But if you’re anything like me (Type A go-getter), we’re always so focused on what to do next that we don’t always pause to think about what we’ve been doing all along. And we miss the opportunity to stop doing something to get out of our own way.

Use this when you feel called or as part of your end-of-year review / new year planning.

Hope this is helpful.

More Helpful Posts, Ideas, and Resources

Celebrate Your Wins {End of Year Reflections}

How to Set Monthly Intentions (The Casual Way)

5 Signs You’re Living on Autopilot and How to Live Life on Your Terms Instead

Plan Your Next Level Year

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Thank you for stopping by and checking out my blog post about 8 Things to Leave Behind in the New Year. Cheers!