50 Things To Let Go Of To Be Happier In 2024

Whether you’re thinking of the new year and how you want to live your life, or if it’s dead center in the middle of the year, there are things we no longer want to carry in life. So today I’ve dug deep into things to let go of so you and I can create a life of peace, happiness, and intentional living.

woman outside looking at view of mountain

Many of these things we want to let go of impact our emotional well-being as well as our physical space.

Why It’s Important To Let Go

Letting go of things, both physical and emotional, is crucial for personal growth, well-being, and overall happiness. 

Here are some reasons why it’s important to cultivate the ability to let go:

  • Reduced stress by having less mental clutter
  • Improved mental health
  • Letting go creates room for new experiences
  • Improved relationships – allowing space for forgiveness
  • Increased happiness and contentment
  • Having a more organized and serene environment

This post contains affiliate links, meaning I may earn a small commission if you make a purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you. Disclosure info here.

How To Let Go

Letting go of things that have been a constant in our lives forever can be extremely difficult to let go of as they are second nature to us.

The first way to let go of something is to have an awareness of what you’d like to remove from your life. 

Once you have this it’s time to think about why it’s important for you to let this go

Make a list of the pros of letting this go, and then a list of the cons. Your ‘pros’ of letting this particular thing go must heavily outweigh the cons.

You also must truly want to let this go. If you only feel like you should let it go, it most definitely won’t happen.

For more helpful tips on letting go check out How To Let Things Go: 7 Steps To Move On, which goes into more detail.

For more inspiration also make sure to watch this video from Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD

50 Things To Let Go Of In Life

There is no time like the present than to shed the baggage that may be holding us back. Letting go is a powerful act of self-care and personal growth. 

Therefore, here are 50 big things to let go of so you can release the burdens that might be preventing you from living your best life

50 Things To Let Go Of This Year

1. The Fear Of Saying No

When you want to say no to someone, but end up saying yes this means you’re ultimately putting your own needs on the back burner – behind the other person.

This leads to feelings of regret and overwhelm and the more you continuously say yes to things people ask of you, when you don’t have the capacity it can quickly go in a downward spiral.

So, start practicing saying no in the right situations. A great way to do this is…

When someone asks you for something, tell them you will get back to them once you look at your calendar/workload/etc.

This way you can see if…

  • You have the time to say yes, and
  • That you indeed want to say yes.

Otherwise, kindly say you’re not able to, with no explanation required. 

This can feel tricky if you’re used to always saying yes, but it’s essential so you can begin to create a well-balanced life.

2. Toxic Relationships

Feel you might be in a toxic relationship – whether it’s a romantic relationship or a friendship? Now is the time to look at the common traits of a toxic person and see if any of these apply. 

Unhealthy relationships affect our mental health in so many negative ways, so it’s important to think about what you need to live a happy, peaceful life.

Ultimately you’ll know deep down whether you are in a toxic relationship, so begin to think about ending things. 

If you need help you can talk to a friend for support or get professional support at a place such as BetterHelp – Online Therapy.

3. Negative Emotions & Dwelling On The Negative

Continuous negative thoughts and emotions can weigh heavily on our happiness. 

I, therefore, recommend the following:

  • Take notice of when negative feelings are happening
  • Then, write down what’s on your mind in a journal or notebook
  • Think about why you are having this negative chatter. Write down a reason this might be the case
  • Brainstorm a few ideas on how to eliminate this negative talk

4. Fear of Failure

woman letting go of paper in the wind

Why let go of the fear of failure? Because this is holding you back from trying new things. 

As the quote goes…

 “When we fail, we learn, we grow and we mature. It opens our eyes to new pathways toward reaching our goals and connecting the dots where we hadn’t before.” – Elaine Turner

Failure is inevitable when trying new things. In fact, there are many big companies (Amazon, Netflix, Coca-Cola) out there that encourage making mistakes. As great things can be learned from failing and without mistakes these companies wouldn’t grow.

The same can be said for you. 

So, get out there. Rip the bandaid and go and do something scary – something you’re uncertain of. 

What’s the worst that can happen? Failure – yes. But think about all that you can learn along the way. 

5. Worrying What Other People Think

As a society, we spend a lot of time worrying about what others think about us. 

The following thoughts may go through our minds…

  • Did I say the wrong thing?
  • Do they think I look bad in this outfit?
  • Do people not like me?
  • Did I not get enough likes because people think my post is dumb?

The list goes on. 

When we’re so concerned about what others think about us it becomes an all-consuming habit that is bad for us in so many ways such as lowering our self-esteem.

So, let’s try and flip the switch and focus on what we think about ourselves because this is what really matters.

We can ask ourselves the following questions in a variety of situations:

  • Do I have good intentions?
  • Am I trying my best to do the right thing?
  • Am I being authentic to what makes me happy?

6. Low Self-Esteem

As mentioned above, when we worry about what others think of us that can contribute to lower self-esteem. Why? Because we can not control what others think, nor can we really know what they think.

So, now is the time to look for ways to boost your self-esteem. You deserve to feel good about yourself and putting in the work really does help. 

Here are a few exercises you can try:

  • Practice self-love affirmations. Here’s a list of affirmations you can try with a printable worksheet to get you started.
  • Check out my self-love journal with writing prompts to help you build self-esteem
  • Write a list of your positive qualities and keep in somewhere you can easily reference when you need a boost

7. Unrealistic Expectations

When we set unrealistic expectations the chance of failure is much greater. And if we do this on a regular basis we can start to doubt ourselves and feel defeated.

Let’s use your daily to-do list as an example.

If you consistently put everything but the kitchen sink on your daily to-do list, you will inevitably not be able to complete everything. This daily feeling of not completing your to-do list can be a downer and lead to bigger feelings of ‘being unorganized’, feeling less than and looking down on yourself.

So, with the to-do list instead write a daily (or weekly) list of things you can achieve. Sure, you can add one more item as a stretch goal but mainly focus on the 3 main tasks of the day. That’s it.

8. Dwelling On Past Mistakes

Dwelling on past experiences that didn’t go well isn’t helpful for anyone. Sure I did mention above that it’s okay to make mistakes (and it of course is), but the goal is to learn from these mistakes and move forward.

Continuously thinking about things you did wrong over and over again isn’t good for your mental health and it’s not going to help you reach for a better outcome in the future.

9. Feeling Guilty

That guilty feeling you have… it’s something you have control over. There may be people in your life who try to make you feel guilty, however, you can’t feel this way unless you allow yourself to. 

Now, as someone great at feeling guilty all the time, I know this is easier said than done. 

So, what I’m doing is noticing when that guilty feeling arises. Then I think about why I feel guilty and if it makes sense for me to feel guilty. Usually, it doesn’t make sense at all. Just being aware of when this is happening is the first step to stopping guilt in its tracks. 

Give it a try and see if this helps at all.

10. People Pleasing

If you’re a people pleaser I bet you also resonate with feeling guilty, like mentioned above. Because of that guilt, you feel the need to please everyone all the time. 

What’s the problem with this? Well, in most cases you are catering to everyone else’s needs to get positive reinforcement and approval – and never getting to your own. The result is you feel burnt out, overwhelmed, and exhausted.

So, next time you feel the urge to go over and above for someone, ask yourself:

  • Do they expect this from me?
  • Do I even have time for this?
  • Will this make me feel good?

If the answer is no, then it might be time to start practicing saying no.

11. High Expectations of Others

You can not control what other people do or do not do for you. You may think to yourself, “well I would help someone in this situation”, but that doesn’t mean other people feel the same way.

It’s simple – we can not control other people’s actions and therefore we need to do our best to let go of our high expectations as we’ll only feel disappointed.

12. Self-Criticism

Now is the time to stop putting yourself down and instead focus on self-compassion. If you catch yourself being unkind (to you) think about how you would treat a friend in the same situation.

13. Things You Can’t Control

Any self-proclaimed control freaks here?! Yep – me too. I feel most calm and at ease with life when I can control what’s going on around me. But, of course, that cannot be applied to all areas of our lives – especially difficult life circumstances such as the loss of a loved one or some health diagnoses.

If you find yourself in a situation where you’re deeply struggling because you can’t control something, it’s time to talk to a professional to give you some support. I really believe this is the only way through this. They will help you accept the situation and move on so you can live your life again. 

For help, you can speak to someone local or try an online therapy resource like BetterHelp

14. Negative Self-Talk

Is your inner voice constantly putting you down or saying you’re not good enough? Now is the time for self-compassion, so you can build up your confidence and believe in yourself in all that you do. 

Instead of negative self-talk, show yourself kindness like you would to a good friend.

15. Taking On Too Much

Cramming too much into every waking hour can lead to overwhelm, stress and complete burnout. So, take a breath and imagine a life where everything on your to-do list is something meaningful, and achievable.

It’s about quality, not quantity. 

16. Needing To Control Everything

It’s impossible to control everything. In fact, it will make you go crazy and it’s truly not good for your overall mental health.

Also, remember you can only control your thoughts and actions – nothing else. You can not control specific outcomes, however, you can control how you react to them.

17. Have A Poor Body Image

I’m putting my hand up on this one. I have a poor body image and I’ve realized that it has nothing to do with my actual size, as I’ve felt this way at a size 12, and also at a size 6.

So, I’m working on this with the help of a therapist to help me not put so much weight on how I look. Instead, I want to focus on how I feel.

18. Procrastination

Procrastination is a huge obstacle preventing you from achieving what’s important in life. Those day-to-day tasks and larger life goals need your commitment and motivation to tackle them each day.

To do this:

  • Break tasks into bite-sized chunks
  • Setting yourself up with mini rewards for each completed task.
  • Try using an app like toggl where you can time your work for specific periods of time – then allow yourself to have a break before getting back into work

Remember, slow and steady wins the race.

19. Holding Grudges

The weight of holding a grudge can wear heavy on your heart, yet there’s unmistakable relief that blossoms with forgiveness. No matter what, when you forgive you are providing yourself with peace.

20. Self-Doubt

Not believing in yourself. This is holding you back from so many opportunities and beautiful experiences.

That nagging voice of self-doubt can handcuff you, stopping you from going after your biggest ambitions in life. 

Think of the novelist never writing the first word, or the entrepreneur too intimidated to pitch an idea. Believe that you’re capable, for belief is the seedling of every great endeavor. 

Start small, try speaking up in that meeting at work or finally sign up for that course you’ve been interested in.

21. Bad Habits

Whatever bad habits you currently have, I bet you’ve been wanting to get rid of them for some time. So, first, identify the bad habits you want to get rid of, then work on a step-by-step plan on slowly removing each bad habit from your life.

You can use a habit tracker for this, but instead of using it to record a new habit you are doing – use it to record your progress on not doing a particular bad habit.

22. Comparing Yourself To Others

Comparing your life to someone else’s story can chip away at your self-esteem. Always remember that their’ day 300 might be your day 30 – so it’s not a fair comparison.

Everyone has different ways to reach their goals, but what truly matters is that you reach your destination – not how.

23. Physical Clutter

Imagine how good it will feel to clear out the clutter, all of those physical items that clog up your space and mental bandwidth. 

When you tidy up your environment you’re also tidying up your mind. There’s such joy in letting go of physical stuff you don’t need or don’t love.

24. Debt

Prioritize financial freedom by addressing and tackling your debt head-on. This could mean creating a realistic budget, exploring debt consolidation options, or getting professional help.

So, instead of accumulating more debt, consider making a commitment to live within your means and gradually paying off existing debts.

25. A Job That You Hate

If you have a pit in your stomach every Sunday night because you dread going to work the next morning, it’s time to recognize that you need to let go of that job you hate.

We spend at least 40 hours a week working, so it’s important to do something that feels fulfilling.

26. Buying Too Much Stuff

Shopping can feel intoxicating for many – you know, that retail high. 

Beyond the initial dopamine surge, each unneeded object weighs down your wallet and your living space. 

So, take a minute to reflect on your desires versus your necessities and think about the financial relief that comes from curbing your impulse buying. 

27. Clothes That Don’t Fit

Holding onto clothes that no longer fit can be like clinging to a version of yourself that’s no longer present. 

Not only do these clothes take up space in your closet, but they prevent you from finding the clothes that do fit and that you feel good in.

So, get into your closet and be ruthless. If you haven’t worn the item in ages because you’re hoping it will fit one day, it’s time to say goodbye.

28. Overspending

Now is the time to end overspending for good. If there is something you need or truly want, make a plan to save up for the item (if you can’t afford it). 

Also, ask yourself, 

  • Do I really need this? If yes, why?
  • Do I have something else already that can work instead?

29. Time Wasted on Social Media

Are you scrolling endlessly, sacrificing precious moments you could be living fully, genuinely interacting with loved ones? 

Establish limits to your social media time on a daily basis, or even have a social media detox for a given period of time. This will allow you to be more mindful and spend time doing things you truly love.

30. Having Poor Physical Health

Neglecting your physical health can decrease your overall joy in life. 

A great way to get in the habit of looking after your well-being is with physical self-care, and doing things such as:

  • Getting regular exercise
  • Having regular checkups with your doctor
  • Prioritizing a healthy diet
  • Having good Sleep hygiene

31. Staying In Your Comfort Zone

When you stay in your comfort zone you feel safe and comfortable which allows you to feel in control. The problem with this is life can feel like it’s on repeat – nothing new or exciting is happening for you.

The goal is to get out of your comfort zone, so you can go from feeling like you’re just existing to truly living – living a life that you choose.

32. Holding On To Painful Feelings

Holding onto painful feelings and memories from difficult times is one of the hardest things to let go of. 

These feelings prevent you from living a happier life and living in the present moment. It means you’re preventing good things from entering your life – as you most likely won’t see them as you’re so focused on the past.

In cases like this, I highly recommend talking to a professional if you’re able to. I am a partner of BetterHelp – an online resource that has over 30,000 therapists. They match you to your ideal therapist based on what you need right now. Complete the intake form and get 20% off your first month with this link.  

33. Packing Too Much Into Your Schedule

You wear busyness like a badge of honor, believing it’s synonymous with success. Hit pause. Ask yourself why you’re sprinting through each day. 

Feeling overwhelmed becomes the norm when you’re constantly saying ‘yes’ to every request. 

It’s time to grab a notebook and critically audit your commitments. 

  • What are you doing out of obligation that drains you? 
  • Is there anything that’s regularly in your calendar that you hate?

To find balance, create space for deliberate downtime. (You can even book this in your calendar).

34. Putting Yourself Last

As the saying goes “you can’t pour from an empty cup.”

Neglecting personal needs for too long invites burnout, yet so many of us do it. It’s not selfish to practice self-care; it’s essential to recharge and live a fulfilling balanced life. 

35. Not Being Accountable For Your Actions

Owning up to your mistakes is about personal growth. Every error is a chance to learn, to become undeniably stronger and wiser. 

Cultivate a mindset where mishaps transform into stepping stones, each one lifting you closer to the person you strive to be. 

To foster trust and respect: 

  • Approach accountability with sincerity 
  • Acknowledge slip-ups without defensiveness 
  • Clarify the lesson learned
  • Express a clear intention to make amends 

This is not just about saying ‘sorry’, it’s a commitment to do better, with an open door to genuine progress.

36. Looking for an Easy Way Out

Life is full of challenges, and seeking shortcuts may hinder long-term success. Embrace difficulties, learn from them, and grow stronger.

For example: Rather than avoiding challenges at work, confront them, and develop the skills needed to overcome obstacles.

37. Making Excuses For Not Starting Something

It’s time to stop blaming external factors and take accountability for your choices. Accepting responsibility is the first step toward positive change.

So, instead of making another excuse, take some action and commit yourself to starting that new goal of yours.

Instead of participating in office gossip, strive to create an atmosphere of support and collaboration.

38. Gossiping

Gossip can be toxic and harm relationships. Focus on building a culture of trust and open communication instead.

Instead of participating in office gossip, strive to create an atmosphere of support and collaboration.

39. Perfectionism

Let go of the unrealistic pursuit of perfection. It’s just not realistic. Embrace mistakes as opportunities for growth and learning.

According to recent studies, perfectionism affects your overall mental health and is linked to depression, anxiety, and burnout.

Perfectionism can prevent you from moving forward, so you end up staying stuck. Instead, aim for 70% – 80% perfect. I can guarantee that no one else will notice.

40. Your Insecurities

Let go of your insecurities, starting today. Release self-doubt and negative self-talk. Focus on your strengths and accomplishments, and celebrate your unique qualities.

Instead of dwelling on perceived flaws, practice self-compassion and appreciate the person you are.

41. Having a Fixed Mindset

Adopt a growth mindset that sees challenges as opportunities to learn and grow. Be open to new ideas and experiences.

Example: Instead of thinking you can’t learn a new skill, approach it with curiosity and a willingness to develop.

42. Things That Don’t Bring You Joy

It’s time to let go of possessions, activities, or relationships that no longer contribute positively to your life. This can even include perceived sentimental items.

43. Always Wanting More

Practice gratitude for what you have rather than constantly desiring more. Contentment comes from appreciating the good things in life that are present today.

Instead of chasing endless goals, take time to appreciate the achievements and blessings in your life.

44. Complaining

Shift your mindset from complaining about problems to actively seeking solutions. Complaining rarely leads to positive change. So, turn your venting sessions into constructive brainstorming and problem-solving sessions.

45. Only Making Small Goals

Are you playing it safe with goals to avoid failing? Don’t limit yourself to small goals. Set ambitious objectives that challenge and inspire you to reach new heights. It’s one of the best ways to make a big impact on your life.

46. Not Asking For Help

Asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness. Embrace the support of friends, a family member, colleagues and professionals when needed.

For example, instead of struggling in silence, reach out to loved ones or mental health professionals for guidance or assistance when facing challenges.

47. Not Being Honest with Others

Clear communication is crucial for healthy relationships. Be honest about your needs and boundaries to foster understanding.

So, instead of keeping your feelings bottled up, express your needs and expectations in a calm and assertive manner.

48. Not Being Honest with Yourself

Self-awareness is the cornerstone of personal growth. Be honest about your strengths, weaknesses, and desires.

In introspection lies power. Confront your truths, the raw and real core of your aspirations and limitations. It’s a courageous leap towards authenticity, creating a life you truly love.

Instead of denying your true passions, embrace them and align your actions with your authentic self.

49. Past Trauma

Instead of focusing on past trauma, prioritize healing and moving forward. 

Unresolved trauma can hinder personal growth. Seek therapy or support to process and heal from past wounds.

50. Not Appreciating The Path You’ve Taken

Reflect on your journey and acknowledge the progress you’ve made. Each step, no matter how small, contributes to your overall growth.

So, Instead of always fixating on future goals, take a moment to appreciate the resilience and determination that brought you to where you are today.

Things To Let Go Of In Life: Final Thoughts

As we embark on this journey we call life, it’s time to let go of what no longer serves you. By releasing these burdens, you open up space for personal growth, positive change, and a more fulfilling life. 

The best thing you can do for yourself is let go. It’s time for a fresh start and to embrace this new-found opportunity to lighten your load and create a brighter, more joyful future.

What Things Are You Letting Go Of In Your Life?

Share in the comments below to inspire others.

More Resources To Help You Let Go:

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About Yolanda

Website Owner / Content Creator

I’m passionate about helping you live life to the fullest so you can choose to find happiness and purpose. Learn how to CREATE THE LIFE YOU LOVE with intentional living and discovery of the simple things life has to offer. Learn more…

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