As the trees fall into their winter slumber, the human race prepares for our own version of rebirth when we ring in the new year. Though many people look at this as a time to start new things or build new habits, who’s to say we can’t simply make a pact to leave behind the ugly parts of ourselves behind when we close the books on 2018?
In the spirit of turning over a new leaf and restarting ourselves, here are 18 unbecoming characteristics we can all stand to leave behind in 2018.
1. Leave Behind Self-Deprecation
There’s a difference between modesty and being self-critical to the point that it’s harmful. Start 2019 fresh and without constantly putting yourself down.
2. Drop Your Painful Past
We all have baggage that we carry on our minds and in our hearts. These painful parts of our past often haunt us and ruin our ability to live in the present. It’s time to shed those emotional scars and allow your heart to soar.
3. Stop The Constant Comparisons
Thanks to social media, most of us become trapped in constantly comparing ourselves to others. The result is rarely beneficial; it often leads us to suffering. Commit to breaking this toxic cycle in 2019.
4. Forget The Impossible Plans
We all set unrealistic goals occasionally, but the danger comes when we see our achievements as failures when we don’t hit those impossible milestones. So what if you aren’t where you planned to be at 25? Let go and live in the upcoming year.
5. Leave Behind The Perfectionist Complex
The perfectionist trap is so easy to fall into, and once it ensnares us, it’s nearly impossible to escape. Try to slowly break free from the need to be perfect and allow yourself to just be you. You are perfectly imperfect, and it’s beautiful.
6. Give Up The Bitterness
They say resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die, and oh, is it true. When we let bitterness into our heart, it literally destroys us. Work towards letting go of grudges, jealousy, and bitter feelings in the new year, and stop poisoning your soul.
7. Stop Making Negative Judgments
Just like resentment, passing judgement on others (or ourselves) always does more harm than good. When we judge, we automatically go into a negative headspace and add to the suffering that already exists in life. By letting go of judgement in the new year, you’ll find yourself feeling happier and healthier.
8. Give Up On Having It All
When we become consumed with wanting it all, we not only run the risk of accumulating lots of debt and stress, but we also miss out on enjoying all that we already have. Take time in the new year to relish in all the people and things in your life, and let go of that thought that it’s never enough.
9. Leave Behind Those Unhappy Circumstances
Stuck in a dead-end job? Suffering in an abusive relationship? Whatever it is that is contributing to your present suffering, make a vow to leave it behind as you walk away from 2018. Plan ways to make positive changes in 2019 and find happiness again.
10. Stop Accepting Less
You never deserve less than total love and acceptance from those in your life. If you are accepting anything less than that, strip yourself of those people.
11. Drop The Harmful Habits
Whether it’s smoking, disordered eating, or anything else that’s hurting you, it’s time to break the cycle. New year means new you, a healthier you who loves yourself enough to take care of your body.
12. Stop Feeling Jealousy
Jealousy is the quickest way to kill love, especially when it reaches that point where it’s all-consuming. Learn to analyze your jealous feelings when they start bubbling up, and figure out what’s really behind them. By processing this emotion in a more healthy way, you’ll help your relationships thrive in 2019.
13. Quit Rushing Everywhere
Don’t you get tired of constantly being in a hurry? I do! Leave behind everything that causes this (procrastination, poor routines, etc) as you move into the new year.
14. Quit Seeking Internet Validation
This nasty habit is another one that has developed in this time of social media. Remember, though, you aren’t defined by how many “hearts” your pictures get or how many retweets you have. Leave behind that need to find validation from the screen in 2018.
15. Leave Behind The Stubbornness
When we are willful and stubborn, we often miss out on experiences and opportunities simply because they don’t fit our narrow-minded plan for life. Leave the stubborn attitude in 2018 and open yourself up to new experiences and compromise in the new year.
16. Give Up The Vanity
You may not think this one is about you, but we all have vain moments whether we admit it or not. Regardless if you spend those minutes in front of the mirror applying makeup or silently cursing at your appearance, you are obsessing over something that simply isn’t worth it. Learn to let go and see the beauty that’s inside without that perfect top or extra bit of makeup.
17. Quit The Constant Passivity
As long as you silently let the world go by, you aren’t really living. Stop being a passive part of your own story and become the main character this upcoming year.
18. Leave Behind The Codependence
We can all benefit from greater independence and spending time alone. Don’t confuse this with being a loner; there’s a difference between having people in your life and relying on people for everything. Let go of the unhealthy this December and embrace life in a new light in the new year.
Say goodbye to the year and person that was and welcome the new beginning that is to come with open arms. Cheers to a good year to come!
Previously Published on Thought Catalog