You will find that it is necessary to let some things go, simply for the reason that they are heavy. So let them go… LET GO of them before the end of the year. Tie no weights to your ankles.
“Yesterday afternoon my twin sister called me from her hospital room. She’s been in a coma for almost a year now. Entering the holiday season and New Year with my sister back at my side is a priceless feeling. We actually spent the entire night together, talking and laughing. She’s still weak, of course, but surprisingly coherent.”
That’s the opening paragraph to an email I received this morning from a reader named Amber. It caught my attention for obvious reasons.
Amber then went on to say, “But you know what the really crazy thing is? A month before my sister’s accident, we got in a ridiculous argument and didn’t speak to each other for that entire month. And today, honestly, neither one of us can even remember why we were so darn mad. We were just being stubborn and holding on to the wrong thoughts. I’m so grateful we were able to let it go and get another chance to love each other.”
Wow! Talk about a wake-up call and a great reminder for all of us to LET IT GO.
And since the New Year is just around the corner, which inspires many of us to refocus our energy and attention on the right things, I think it’s a perfect time right now to start letting go of the wrong things. Wouldn’t you agree?
So today, I challenge you to this:
Before the New Year…
- Let go of your temper. – Never do something permanently foolish just because you are temporarily upset.
- Let go of petty grudges. – Life is far too short to be spent nursing bitterness and registering wrongs. If there’s someone in your life who deserves another chance, give it to them. If you need to apologize, do it. Give your story together a happy, new beginning.
- Let go of the idea that everyone has it better than you. – If the grass looks greener on the other side… Stop staring. Stop comparing. Stop complaining and START watering the grass you’re standing on.
- Let go of lingering false beliefs. – Stop from time to time and ask yourself, “Is it true?” It’s funny how we can sometimes wrap our minds around things and fit them into our version of reality. But thinking something does not make it true. Wanting something does not make it real. So watch your thoughts. Be wise. When your identity is not rooted in the truth, it can lead to toxic and lonely places where we seek approval from the wrong things. (Read Loving What Is.)
- Let go of expired ideals. – Growth is painful. Change is painful. But in the end, nothing is as painful as staying stuck somewhere you do not belong.
- Let go of yesterday’s drama. – You are not what has happened to you; you are what you choose to become in this moment. Drop the needless burden, take a deep breath and start again. Ultimately, you will know you are on the right track in life when you become disinterested in looking back, and eager to take the next step.
- Let go of your tendency to avoid problems. – You cannot change what you refuse to confront.
- Let go of life’s little annoyances. – Don’t let dumb little things break your happiness. Frustration and stress come from the way you react, not the way things are. Adjust your attitude, and the frustration and stress is gone.
- Let go of assuming other people are more “normal” than you. – The only normal people you know are the ones you don’t know very well. Period.
- Let go acting standoffish and unapproachable. – We all need to learn to be more human. Don’t avoid eye contact. Don’t hide behind gadgets. Smile often. Ask about people’s stories. Listen.
- Let go of the idea that some people are below you. – Even if you’ve worked really hard to get to where you are in life, there’s no such thing as a self-made person. Someone believed, encouraged, and invested in you. Be grateful and be that someone for others too. What goes around eventually comes around. No one has ever made themselves strong in the long run by showing how small someone else is. So don’t be lazy and make assumptions about people. Ask about their story. Then listen. Be humble. Be teachable. Be human. Be a good neighbor.
- Let go of the idea that you are what you physically own. – You are an incredible human being who’s entirely detached from what you have physically acquired in this world. Remember to remain humble. Ultimately, two things define you more than anything else: Your patience when you have very little, and your attitude when you have more than enough.
- Let go of wanting stuff you don’t need. – Don’t think of cost. Think of value. And remember, it’s always easier to find wealth by needing less, instead of making more and more and more. (Read The Total Money Makeover.)
- Let go of seeking happiness from outside yourself. – In life, you have to create your own sunshine. Happiness starts from within. So read something positive every morning and do something positive before you go back to sleep. Keep your focus on all the positive possibilities and opportunities, and you will feel great. Feel great, and you will do great things.
- Let go of wanting to be repaid of every good deed you do. – Don’t worry too much about what’s in it for you. If you’re making a positive contribution to others, there’s always something in it for you. You were born with the ability to change someone’s life. Don’t ever waste it. Be kind. Be present. Be someone who makes a difference.
- Let go of all the little white lies and charades. – How do you build credibility? It’s not rocket science. Be honest. Follow through. Honor your promises. Say sorry when you screw up. Be the type of person you want to meet and spend time with. Be the type of person whose actions, words and values always agree with each other.
- Let go of any hypocrisy. – For instance, don’t pray when it rains if you don’t pray when the sun shines.
- Let go of putting everyone else’s needs in front of your own. – Give as much as you can every day, but don’t allow yourself to be used. Listen to others closely, but don’t lose your own voice.
- Let go of fearing what your intuition is telling you to do. – Fear kills more dreams than failure ever will. So don’t let fear shut you down; let it wake you up. Do one thing every day that scares you. The more that you act on your intuition fearlessly, the more your intuition will serve you. If you genuinely feel something, pay attention.
- Let go of waiting for the stars to align. – Remember, you don’t always need the perfect plan. Sometimes you just need to give it a try, let go, and see what happens. Just do the best you can until you know better. Once you know better, do better.
- Let go of the need to get everything done at once. – Keep going. True purpose has no time limit. True purpose has no deadline. Don’t stress and overwhelm yourself. Just do what you can right now.
- Let go of the “all or nothing” mentality regarding success. – Appreciate the grey area between the extremes of success and failure – the journey, the process, the path – what you’re learning, how you’re helping others learn too, and the growing process you allow yourself to participate in. And above all, never let success get to your head or failure get to your heart.
- Let go of criticizing yourself. – Nobody is inspired by your misery or self-deprecating comments. If you wish to inspire yourself and others, be joyful. Have fun. Love yourself. Forgive yourself. Accept yourself. Be unapologetically YOU.
- Let go of those who say you aren’t attractive enough. – More women worldwide are suffering from anorexia and bulimia than are fighting breast cancer. There are similar statistics for men too. Love yourself the way you are, because you are beautiful just the way you are.
- Let go of changing just to impress people. – Change because it makes you a better person and leads you to a brighter future. Change because you know it’s the right thing to do for YOU.
- Let go of needing everyone to like you. – Everyone doesn’t need to like you, and some people won’t no matter what you do. Try not to take the things these people say about you personally. What they think and say is a reflection of them, not you. (Read The Mastery of Love.)
- Let go of all negative influences. Period. – You can’t expect to feel good if you surround yourself with negativity. Be with those who bring out the best in you, not the stress in you.
- Let go of thinking that giving up the wrong things (and relationships) means failure. – Giving up and moving on are two very different things.
- Let go of the idea that it’s too late to start over and get it right. – Remember, it’s always better to be at the bottom of the ladder you want to climb than the top of the one you don’t.
- Let go of putting things off for one more day. – Stop procrastinating. Stop wishing for it and start working for it. Do what you have to do today so you can do what you truly want to do, and be where you truly want to be, tomorrow.
Sometimes the hardest part isn’t letting go, but rather learning to start over in certain areas of your life. This is a challenge all of us face. If you’re struggling with any of the points above, there is a clear path to the new beginning you seek. Your present habits are simply broken and need to be mended. When you trust a broken set of habits every day, it’s only a matter of time before you feel broken too.
It doesn’t have to be this way though. You can make adjustments starting today that will instantly help you feel better, think more clearly, and live more effectively. That’s why we wrote our book, “1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.” It’s filled with short, concise tips on how to do just that. Check it out.
The floor is yours…
What’s the #1 thing you need to let go of before the New Year? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts with us.
Wonderful message today, especially as we count down the final weeks of the year. I needed to hear each and every one of these. I am printing this so I can read one every day until the New Year. Thanks for reminding me that simply letting go of old, negative habits is often the easiest path to positive change. Here’s one of my favorite quotes from your book on this same topic:
“Happiness in all walks of life is often more about stopping than starting. More about subtracting than adding. More about letting go than holding on.”
And therefore, I am going to focus on letting go of thinking I have to do certain things the way I’ve always done them. It’s time to mix it up!
Patrick Hardy says
Number 23 is something I am struggling with and it’s been at least a decade since I started criticizing myself for every little thing. It makes me very unhappy and it reached the point of depression. However, I realized that I am never going anywhere with the self-depreciation. And also, it is somehow the root of most of my problems regarding my professional life.
So, starting this now and continuing into the New Year, I am going to accept myself as who I am, little by little.
Thank you, Marc and Angel, for the very valuable advice and lessons you are imparting to those who need it. It is like a beacon, shining as a source of warmth to the weary, uninspired and hurting.
I need to let go of a big source of negativity in my life. Because, for me, letting go is all about getting involved in something positive. Instead of constantly reviewing how I felt in the past, I try to do something enjoyable and worthwhile with my present in an effort to learn and grow.
The writings from both your book and blog have helped me immensely with this. And like Dev, I have a favorite line from your book that I think perfectly describes my thoughts about letting go: “Letting go is not forgetting, it’s remembering without fear” as I take the next step forward.
Sandra Pawula says
Wow! This is a big list and I’m sure everyone will find something that resonates for them. I’ll start with your very first recommendation!
I don’t see any benefits in anger at all. But, still I have old habit patterns and can go there sometimes. I don’t think I’ll be able to let go of these habits patterns entirely before the end of the year, but I’m definitely focusing 2015 on embracing love and dissolving any of its opposite emotions like anger. Thanks for the encouragement.
Rose Costas says
Thanks Marc for another great post. Can you imagine 2015 is upon us? I was just counting on the list all the things I am guilty of and just when I thought I had only thirty or so things to work on before the year ends my mind said Marc didn’t include #31 Let go of Worrying? I just starting worrying about all the things that I need to work on and with 2015 around the corner I have a lot to accomplish. I do not intend to continue with the same old attitudes and believe for 2015. Thanks again
Great reminder. Beautiful and timely read. Thanks.
Another powerful and thought provoking post. This one is surely going to be printed and referred to frequently between now and the end of the year. Thank you for the inspiration to be a better person!
Great post. And we still have a month to work our way through them 🙂 I think number 8, the little annoyances, is one I’m working on today after a series of small irritations…
It’s good to remember how blessed I am. Thanks for the reminder!
@Rose: Yes, worry is a big one, and when you worry you are creating stress and anxiety, and often times even passing it on to those closest to you. Worry steals joy.
Paul Smith says
Love you guys! I’ve honestly been struggling pretty much all my life thinking ,worrying, feeling sorry for my self.. Etc, etc. I’m guilty of all the points listed in this post.
I’m trying to take everything on board now. I have faith, I do have positive beliefs , I am more aware.
In a much better state of mind but, omg I’ve got so much to learn and long way to go. Yes I have learning difficulties, but I’m my own worst enemy. I need to change and boy I want to…
Love you and all your writings,
Missy Gerebese Catado says
Thank you Marc and Angel, you’re both an inspiration to me.. I really love reading your blog posts and emails.
I am printing this also.
I haven’t had a relationship with my sister in 3 years. I haven’t seen her in over 5 years. As much as I have tried to reach out to her it’s just always toxic and negative in my life.
I need to allow myself to “move on “and know that I haven’t “given up.”
I need to let go of feeling responsible for other people’s feelings and attitude.
Words fail me. You guys are just awesome. I learn a lot even from the posters’ comments. Much appreciated.
Here’s to a better you. Cheers..
This is the most useful blog I have ever read.. this is exactly what I needed. Thanks for your amazing work. Keep going and continue to inspire lives..
I need to learn not to take things that others say or do so personally. So often I get upset about things that are not about me. For example, when my brother-in-law says disrespectful and rude things about my father, my heart rate increases and I find myself seething with anger. It is not about me, he clearly has an issue in his life and his inability to deal with that issue leads him to be outwardly disrespectful.
We all need to practice the old credo, “if you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything at all”
Melissa Wilson says
What a great topic. Nothing like letting things go before the start of a new year. It can be difficult, that’s for sure, but once you do it can be so freeing. You realize the only thing holding you back is you.
This is a great list of reminders of things I *have* changed in my life. 🙂
But since you asked what still needs work, numbers 9 and 10 hit closest to home. These two have also been evolving through attention and focus and basically appreciating the work I’ve been doing for myself.
Personally I’m glad you didn’t use the words New Years Resolutions. I’ve felt for many years that when I decide on a change, I start. I don’t wait for a calendar date to start. 🙂
Hi Marc and Angel,
Your posts have got me, and still are helping me through a difficult time. The difference between me not coping at all and coping are your posts. Thank you for sharing with me, I don’t think I’d be able to cope otherwise as well. You are both are a blessing to me and your posts are timely.
PS: I will buy your book first pay check when I find a job 🙂
This was so timely. I began 2014, my year of positive recovery, by implementing number 26 wholeheartedly: Let go of needing everyone to like you. I remember someone telling me when I took on this tough job four years ago that I needed to do what I thought was best for the organization, not necessarily what was the most popular. Because at the end of the day, if you only do things others want you to, your plan may still fail and you would have wondered how things would have turned out if you had stayed true to your heart. It took a lot of discipline to not let those who I know don’t like me get to me. But I can honestly say, oh well….their loss! Because I’m a pretty awesome chick, if I do say so myself! 🙂
Great list. My #1 thing to let go of is my expectations…of people, situations, myself and to make more space for grace. This is a repeating theme for me so I need to pay attention.
I think that putting things off for one more day tends to be one of the most difficult things for me to let go of that you put on this list. I think that it’s very hard sometimes to make yourself do things you have to do in order to progress in your life, yet if we never do them, we never get anywhere. It’s hard, but true! One thing I’ve been putting off for a long time is renewing my driver’s permit. I never got my driver’s license, and would love to learn how to drive. Unfortunately my driver’s permit expired, and I really want to renew it, but I just have not gotten around to retaking the test and such… I guess the only thing to do is just do it, because I know it matters to me and once I start driving again, I think I’ll feel good about it! Anyway, best to everyone, it’s so nice to find a site where people actually want to learn and grow and become more inspired! 🙂
Rhonda Rainey says
I need to work on so many of these points that it is all overwhelming. I am at a place of crisis in my life where just finding the courage to move forward is an accomplishment. Thank you for putting into print the things so many of us feel but can’t find the words to express.
Rhonda Rainey says
PS. Numbers 12 and 13 are ”biggies” for me right now. I know good things can come from a physical letting go.
Thank you Marc and Angel.
You’re really doing a wonderful job and helping me in many ways.
Wow! you really blew me! Excellent tips! I’m going to print this and make sure I go through it every day to give me strength and motivation to be a better person.
Great list as we head into the end of the year! Letting go is one of the hardest yet most satisfying act one can do. The hardest part for me is doing it on a daily basis. It’s easy to look at a list and say yes, this is great! It’s another thing to practice letting go, every day. Something that has helped me is to pick just one thing I can let go of each day, write out what it is, and practice it throughout the day. It’s a lot easier and more specific than “letting go”. Thanks again, Marc!
Marc Chernoff says
It doesn’t look like anyone requires a direct response today.
Thank you you all for supporting our work and sharing your thoughts and insight with us. Angle and I appreciate you. 🙂
Cheers to letting a little bit of the nonsense in our lives GO, as we start a New Year with our best foot forward.
This is one of the best articles I’ve read! Thank you for compiling such an accurate and inspiring list!
I particularly respond to #21 and #28. It’s always hard for me to admit that I’ve taken on too many projects; when I have to set one aside, I feel like I’ve failed somehow. I fight the urge to examine my calendar for the exact moment when I knowingly overstretched myself.
But it’s also hard to admit that I’m a human person with limitations – that I can’t achieve everything I want to achieve in the next month or so. Pacing myself is a challenge I face daily.
18 is me! I never put myself first for anything, and when I did I was treated like I did something wrong. I need to leave because nothing will change, no matter how much I wish they would. I have been thinking that I should of left along time ago. Thank you for all of you helpful advice!
Kate 4767 says
Thank you so much for this timely reminder. I am surprised to see just how many points I identified with; 2,6,13,14,23,27 and 30. And here I was still thinking of myself as a Positive, forward thinking person.
Time to get out of bed, do those painful exercises and do things I’ve been “going to do today” and not done.
I am amazed at how many of the items on your list I could identify myself with as well. I also thought of myself as a positive person. Yes, I was wrong on that one. It only goes to show you, no matter how old you are there is always room for improvement.
Thanks for sharing this with me.
Wow! Very enlightening.
I will let go of being too judgmental.
Thank you Marc and Angel, these words and reminders really helped a lot.. I have been feeling stuck and unhappy for almost a year now, after i got hurt from people and for putting my family before myself. And i truly don’t know why this is all happening in my life.i felt like this is a bad dream and i wanted to be awaken. but after reading some of your blogs, i felt better, like i still have a chance to reconstruct my life again and bring it back to the right track again. you are right, there’s always a chance to start and get things right. and i have to take actions before its going to be too late for me..and u know what, i believe that in this life there’s always a hero to save lives of many.. and you are one of them. Thank you very much.
Thanks for saying that giving up and moving on are 2 different things. So simple but so true! This changes EVERYTHING for me. Thank you.
Hunter Marie Bedgood says
Wow I can relate to many especially the letting go of people and grudges from the past. It’s gonna be hard when my it just happened a week ago, however I know I have held grudges for years…had a lot of hurt in my life but always bounced back. Here I am already happy with myself and my life yet still angry at people who could care less….quoted in Frozen…Let it go… let it go. Look me up on facebook and inbox me sometime – I do need advice on how to forgive and forget and move on…too personal. Good blog though…4a.m. I’m still up. Is there a way to let go of insomnia lol
Gibril Sowe says
You are very right. The only way one can change a situation is by confronting it. This is a life experience.
Lorraine J says
I would love to give up dieting and stick to eating smart. My aim is not to starve myself or not enjoy food, but to be mindful of how I eat so I can enjoy food.??
Worry. I need to let go of lots and lots of worry. I took over a business the day I found out I had a serious illness. I know worry isn’t going to help me stay healthy, physically and business-wise. However, I want to be my best all the way around.
There are a few that fit me to a tee. Number one being letting go of past tragedies. There have been so many in my life that I find it hard to let go. The biggest was the loss of my husband 9 years ago. The guilt and shame I carry from that has been a source of pain for so long. Also never feeling good enough for anyone even though I have always done without to ensure others (friends and family) have what they needed or wanted. Pray for me that in the coming new year I can finally find peace within myself by following your suggestions. I plan on printing these and taping them to my fridge so I can see them on a daily basis. Thank you so much.
Thank you so much for the inspirational message. I need to know these things (we all do). They are very helpful and I will print them out and read them every day too. Such a nice way to start 2015. So much has been going on lately and I worry all the time. I usually don’t think much of myself but I’m going to try to stop worrying and let go of the neg. in my life. It is very hard but I know I have to do it. I just stumbled across this page tonight. It’s just what I needed. Thanks again.
This was so timely for me. It was full of great ideas and ideas to work on. For me #29 jumped out at me, not to late to start over and get it done. I have been thinking that I am so far down the path that it us continue or admit failure. So it has renewed my hope that I can begin again.