With every New Year comes the chance for personal reflection and a list of things to rid yourself of. While following through with some of your aspirations after January 1st can be quite a challenge, there is something to be said for pushing yourself to improve. Acknowledging the New Year as a clean slate is not only therapeutic for the soul, but also an opportunity for letting go of the old baggage each of us is guilty of carrying. Here are 9 reasonable things to rid yourself of in 2014 that are sure to leave you feeling refreshed and maybe even a little bit lighter as you move into another year.
1. SELF DOUBT
Of all the things to rid yourself of this year, self doubt is definitely number one. Having successfully made your way through the ups and downs of 2013, recognizing your ability to achieve is a vital component to starting off another year on a positive foot. Challenging yourself to no longer make space for those little voices in your head reminding you of the distance that remains between you and your dreams may be difficult, but it is also necessary. No good has ever come from someone believing in what they couldn’t do; so reward yourself by refusing to feed into that way of thinking.
2. CLOTHES YOU NO LONGER WEAR
No matter how deeply you try to justify it, if you haven’t worn that sweater in three years, chances are you aren’t going to. Bagging up all of the clothing you no longer need will not only make space in your closet for new pieces, but also provide you with the chance to give back. Donating your gently worn coats, blouses and jeans to a local church or charity may help a fellow female kick off her year a little bit better, and taking part in that change is something to be proud of. There is no time like the present to improve your life from the inside out, plus a little extra room in your closet never hurts either!
3. UNHEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS
Sometimes the best way to start fresh is to assess the current state of the connections you have made. Relationships, whether they are of a romantic or friendly nature, are meant to enrich your life and make you feel better about yourself. If you are friends with or dating someone who brings you down in one way or anything, then you are doing yourself a disservice by keeping them around. Relationships are necessary for a positive existence, but an unhealthy one can make even the most amazing of experiences cheerless or stressful. This year embrace the people around you that deserve continued effort, and liberate yourself from the relationships that no longer serve you.
To judge another person is to assume that you yourself are without fault. Regardless of your reasoning, beliefs or concerns, making someone else feel small is never an action worthy of merit. In reality, criticizing someone else because his or her views do not match up with your own will only limit you from growing. Acceptance is one of the most underrated, necessary attributes a person can have, and it is something we all must actively work towards. Make 2014 a year for you to take the time to acknowledge the differences of others with respect, even if how they choose to live or think is different from what you are accustomed to.
5. A JOB YOU DISLIKE
No matter how you slice it, for the vast majority of us, financial stability is entirely dependent upon the careers we have. With that said, as an employee at any job you will always be required to put in effort and produce. Hard work is a great thing, and it is never something one should shy away from. However, if hard work is not coupled alongside true passion, a job will likely feel more like a prison sentence than a career. To up and quit without a plan may not be the answer, but strategizing to find other options so that you may eventually change your surroundings should be. Chances are you won’t find your dream job overnight. However, there is no possibility that you will stumble upon it by remaining stagnant in an environment that makes you unhappy. Take a chance this year, and see where it leads!
6. EXPIRED MAKEUP
If your plan is to start fresh for the New Year then what better way to begin than by cleaning out your makeup bag? From old brushes and mascara to the concealer you were given last Christmas, we are all guilty of hanging on to makeup we love for way too long. Soaking your brushes in baby shampoo and warm water is an affordable way to sanitize. There are also tons of brush cleaning solutions available through Ulta and Sephora. However, using some of that holiday bonus to splurge on new, high quality cosmetics will prove to be a great choice for your skin. Let’s be honest, pimples and pink eye will not be a good look any year!
7. AN OVERUSE OF TECHNOLOGY
As fun as Twitter, Instagram and NetFlix may be there is so much to be seen beyond the bounds of your screen. Unplugging yourself from social media updates and text messages will allow you to better exist in the present moment and enjoy the people and places around you. Making a conscious effort to embrace the time you are spending with others, whether it’s over coffee or a trip around the world, will show them how deeply you appreciate their presence. After all, wouldn’t you rather be living your life than looking at pictures of someone else’s? Make 2014 about the present!
8. OLD GRUDGES
There is nothing healthy to be gained from holding on to an old grudge. In life we are all eventually met with a scenario that brings out the worst in someone we trusted or loved. However, refusing to release ourselves of the resentment that situation caused only forces us into a position of immobility. Having the maturity to free yourself from the wrongdoings of others, despite how deep your scars may run, is not only cathartic but more importantly, essential for moving forward. There are dozens of people and relationships in your life worthy of attention, this year vow to let go of the past and focus your energy only on them.
A negative disposition or outlook on anything in life can be crippling. Regardless of your situation maintaining a positive state of mind is the only way to ensure that things turn themselves around. Is this easier said than done? Of Course, but choosing to live a happy life is a choice you should actively make each and every day. No one is perfect, and there will be times you find it difficult to fight off the negative energy. However, honing the ability to recognize such thinking and alter it will be a true gift to yourself for the new year.
When it comes to starting fresh in 2014 remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day, so committing to improvement is all that matters. Evolution at any level is a constant process, but dedicating yourself to progress will prove far more beneficial than you could have ever imagined. After all, New Year’s resolutions are meant to be fun! What are some things you are committed ridding yourself of this year?