Ah, the New Year. Clichéd resolutions aside, seeing fresh numbers on the calendar does hit the reset button, offering a little push toward whatever would make your life, health and happiness bigger and better.
The problem: Vows to turn over new leaves often involve piling new responsibilities onto your already insanely jammed calendar. If you have trouble finding time for super-important basics like, oh, sleep, then what are the chances you’re about to increase your gym attendance rate by 700%? Please.
Here’s a different take. Forget new obligations. Try out these 10 things to let go of—yes, completely cut out of your life—in 2015. Sayonara, stress and hello, happy!
1. Time wasters
Now would be a great time to ask yourself: Are the things you spend time on every day furthering your goals of living healthy and feeling great? In other words, is all that Sudoku inching you toward toned thighs? Are the hours spent laughing at celebs on Twitter helping your performance on the treadmill? We all do this. We all should probably stop.
2. Social media envy
You know the drill. Online networks may offer the chance to stay connected to friends near and far, but they also breed self pity (“everyone’s life looks so much better than mine!”) and a demoralizing need for validation (“like me, like me!”). Forget Instagram’s new filters. Take in the beauty of life offline and stop comparing.
3. The belief that you have to be a “health nut” to be healthy
2015 needs to be the year when we all accept that being good to yourself isn’t about having a “yoga body” or jumping on the hot-health-foods bandwagon (we hear BroccoLeaf is the new kale…bah!). Anyone can be healthy, no matter what they know or how they act. Forget the playbook that’s holding you back. Just start by focusing on super-healthy ingredients one meal or snack per day (it can be as easy as throwing some fresh, responsibly-sourced juice, such as Naked Juice, in your bag!), and your health identity can build from there.
4. Morning emails
We wake up, turn on our phones and go right to our emails. Immediately our days are filled with stress, tasks and future obligations to plan for. Instead of starting the day off compiling a list of tasks to complete for others, reclaim your morning for you! Use it as a time to prepare for the day, meditate and give thanks for the good things in your life. Emails and texts will still be on your phone if you don’t read them first thing in the morning!
Outrage became the communication mode of choice in 2014, but how productive is it? Stop focusing on why everyone else is lame and it might be easier to focus on YOU.
6. Negative self-talk
We all do it, and we all suffer because of it. Telling yourself you “just can’t” means you won’t. 2015 is the year you cantrain for that marathon, start your blog, pull off high-waisted shorts, get a nose ring, or whatever.
7. The past and the future
We live like it’s yesterday, stuck on whatever events or habits that have been holding us back, and depend on that eternal tomorrow to magically deliver the health and confidence we’ve been waiting for. Forget it. 2015 is all about the treadmill group class or urban gardening workshop you’re giving yourself today.
8. Your self-image
Who we our to ourselves—the good, the bad—gets so ingrained that one day we wake up thinking we’re incapable of being anything else. Let go of whatever limitations you’ve been setting for yourself for ages, and then use that newfound lightness to do something fun.
9. Outside sources of happiness
See if this sounds familiar: “Once I’m finally [skinnier/fitter/richer/engaged/etc.], I’ll be happy.” What a waste! The best kind of happiness happens when you develop the skill to work with what you’ve got. Bonus: True inner happiness makes whatever searching you still want to do (you know, developing a taste for BroccoLeaf) a lot easier.
We know: Duh. Yes, 2014 is no more, but are you still lugging around 2014 baggage? Release yourself from whatever mistakes or bad habits dominated your life in the past 12 months and stop trying to make up for them. Whatever you think is still holding you back is history now. See how fun it is to make your health and happiness on this blank slate.