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20 Things to Let Go of in 2023 (for a Better & Happier Life!)

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While each day is an opportunity to change your life for the better, there’s just something about starting a new year that feels extra motivating! If you have big goals or dreams you hope to achieve, then you’ll love this list of 20 things to let go of in 2023.

Letting go of things is an excellent way to clear out space in your home and life so that you can focus more on what matters most to you.

Don’t think this is just about letting go of physical clutter, either; it’s also essential to let go of negative or limiting behaviors and thoughts so you can earn back your freedom.

Here is a list of 20 ideas for things to let go of in 2023 to make this year truly life-changing!

A woman letting go of toxic items this year

20 Things to Let Go of in 2023

Stick around until the end of this list for a FREE printable 10-page decluttering checklist to help make decluttering and letting go easier!

Enjoy this list of things to let go of and be happier!

READ MORE: 90 Letting Go Quotes to Move Forward with Your Life

1. Fear of the future

It’s natural to experience fear when looking ahead to what the future holds, but don’t allow your fear to take control of you.

Sure, fear can keep you from making mistakes, but it also keeps you from growing and learning. Focus on taking one step at a time and keep moving forward.

Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear

– George Addair

2. The illusion of control

We can control some things, but there are plenty of things we can’t, and it’s important to recognize the difference between the two.

Let go of the things you can’t control and focus your attention on what you can do to improve your life.

READ MORE: 7 Extreme Decluttering Tips from an Ex-Hoarder Turned Minimalist Mom

3. The need for more things

Do you find yourself constantly comparing yourself to someone else and wanting what they have?

Nowadays, it’s easy to find yourself always wanting more, but owning more things doesn’t necessarily make you happier.

After all, the more things we have, the more work and responsibility we have to care for them. The fewer things we have, the less time and energy we spend on taking care of them, meaning we have more space for important things in our life.

Be grateful for what you have and go for experiences over possessions.

4. Clutter in all its forms

Clutter can be physical, mental, digital, or emotional, and it’s often a result of negative thoughts about ourselves, indecision, procrastination, fear, or unresolved issues from the past that culminate in a big pile of stress and overwhelm.

The more things we have accumulated over time, the less space there is for anything new to happen in our lives.

Get rid of things you don’t use, don’t love, or don’t need, and make space for the things that matter most to you. You don’t have to go full-on minimalist to reap the benefits of minimizing clutter, so go ahead and start!

READ MORE: 70+ Decluttering Quotes to Motivate You in Clearing the Clutter

5. Guilt about letting go

It can be challenging to let go of things we’ve been holding on to for a long time, even if they no longer serve us or make us happy.

We may feel guilty when we think about getting rid of something given to us or has sentimental value, but it’s important to remember that we are not obligated to keep anything we don’t want.

Fight guilt with gratitude and find positive ways to let go of clutter, such as selling it online or donating it to a charitable organization.

READ MORE: 20 Signs You Might Be a Sentimental Person – Good or Bad?

6. Frogs you haven’t eaten in

When you keep putting yucky tasks off, they keep piling up, and it can be tough to know where to start. One strategy is to focus on one area at a time and work your way through the clutter systematically.

There’s a book on this topic, which refers to a famous Mark Twain quote:

“If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And If it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.”

– Mark Twain

Start by identifying any of these “frogs” and write them down at the beginning of each day; you can choose from one to three (check out this daily planner for help with this!)

Once you’ve identified those frogs, take care of them straight away – often, you’ll find it takes less time than you anticipated.

7. Bad money habits

Do you tend to spend money celebrating when you’re happy or blowing off steam when you’re upset?

Or maybe you keep putting more and more debt on your credit card, but bury your head in the sand and try not to think about how you’re going to pay it off?

It’s time to kiss bad money habits goodbye and say hello to more money in the bank.

Fight bad money habits this year by tackling goals like:

  • paying off debt
  • tracking your spending
  • keeping a budget
  • cutting down on emotional spending
  • starting a money-making side hustle

8. Toxic relationships

Part ways with negative people or drain you of your time and energy.

The longer you’ve known the person and the closer you are or were, the harder it can be to say goodbye, but it’s time to cut the cord.

You don’t need that kind of negativity because it will only hold you back from reaching your goals and enjoying life.

Instead, fill your time with positive people who support and encourage you and nurture those relationships.

RELATED POST: 30 Toxic People Signs That Scream “Avoid Me” (and How to Deal!)

9. Saying yes to everything

Don’t feel bad about saying no because you’re allowed to prioritize your time and energy. If you don’t have the time, money, or energy to commit to an event, activity, or person, it’s best to be upfront and honest about that.

It’s okay not to go out every week or attend so many social events when it takes away from things you enjoy or make you feel fulfilled.

BE INSPIRED: Less is More: 21 Reasons to Make it Your Life Mantra

10. Last year’s goals

You either met your goals, or you didn’t, so it’s time to let go of your vision for last year and make new ones for the upcoming year.

It’s important to set fresh goals that excite and inspire you!

Pat yourself on the back if you met your goals and let go of lingering guilt or regret if you didn’t. But don’t just walk away from unmet goals without trying to learn something from experience – every failed goal is a valuable opportunity!

If you didn’t achieve a goal that you set for yourself, then you have two options:

Some goals take longer to reach than others, so don’t be discouraged if you’re only there partway! Just workshop your plan and keep at it; eventually, you’ll cross the finish line.

11. The past

The past can either help you or hurt you.

If you dwell on things that have happened in the past, it’s going to do nothing but hurt you.

But if you learn from those things and let them go, then the past can be a valuable experience to help push yourself forward!

Remembering who you are and where you came from is important, but don’t let the past dictate your present or overshadow your future.

READ MORE: 15 Decluttering Questions to Ask Yourself and Make Choices EASIER! [PDF]

A woman who has let go of things and decluttered her life

12. Worry about what others think about you

Allowing someone else to direct your life or behaviors can only hold you back.

Humans are social creatures, and we have a natural desire to be accepted and loved by others, so we often change ourselves to fit into their mold.

You have to live with the decisions you make, and they don’t, so don’t allow your mom or Uncle Jimmy or that girl from high school that you’re Facebook friends with dictate what you do with your life!

13. Perfectionism

Trying to do things perfectly every time can often lead to anxiety and a feeling of not being good enough.

Perfectionism can also lead to procrastination, as you’ll spend more time worrying about failure or trying to make sure everything is perfect than actually completing the thing you’re trying to do.

Of course, you want to do your best, but it’s not always realistic that everything in your life will turn out exactly as you want it to, so embrace imperfection so you can keep moving forward.

Repeat after me: done is better than perfect.

READ MORE: Top 10 Organizing Blogs to Follow and Tidy Up in 2023

14. Buyer’s remorse

Buying things you don’t need or want just because they’re on sale can often lead to buyer’s remorse.

It’s essential to be mindful of your spending and only buy things that will add value to your life, not things that will take up space and gather dust.

Let go of buyer’s remorse that you have from purchases you regret in the past year and make a commitment to learning how to stop buying stuff you’ll regret this year.

READ MORE: 50 Wasteful Things I Stopped Buying After 5 Years of Minimalism

15. Limiting beliefs

Limiting beliefs are those intrusive and negative thoughts that pop up in your mind and hold you back from becoming the best version of yourself.

This type of mindset will have to change if you want your life to get better, so let go of limiting beliefs that prevent positivity and start believing things can be different for yourself this year.

“Believe. Achieve. Receive.”

FIND OUT MORE: 10 Powerful Vision Board Ideas to Manifest like a Boss in 2023

16. Grudges

Resentment and grudges will prevent you from growing and progressing in your life.

Most of the time, the person we hold a grudge against isn’t affected by our feelings in the slightest, so the person who ends up holding onto the hurt ends up with the shorter end of the stick.

Don’t let those negative feelings eat away your happiness and mental health!

While you don’t have to forgive someone who hurt you, you CAN decide to let go of wrath, anger, and hate and choose to move forward and heal instead.

17. Unexpressed feelings

Bottling up your feelings can lead to all sorts of problems, like anxiety, depression, and even physical health issues.

If you’re not in a position to talk about how you feel with the person involved, find someone you trust who will be able to listen without judgment – or even consider therapy! It makes life so much easier when you don’t keep things bottled up.

 18. Negative definitions of success

So many of us have been brainwashed into thinking that success is defined by money, power, and status.

But what if we decided to redefine success on our terms? What would that look like for you?

You might need to do some soul-searching and redefine what success means to you – maybe for you, success means making a difference in a child’s life or helping save the environment.

Whatever it is, make sure that your definition of success isn’t based on someone else’s approval or standards – it’s okay to want a simple life!

READ MORE: 70 Simple Living Quotes to Embrace the Joy of Slowing Down

19. Too much time on your smartphone

Would it shock you to hear that the average person spends 5-6 hours on their smartphone each day, not including work-related smartphone usage?

Think about all the things you could do with your life with all those extra hours. You could learn a new language, write a book, get in shape – so many possibilities!

See if you can reduce your smartphone usage and put that time and energy towards other activities and goals that actually make a difference in your life satisfaction.

20. Toxic fantasy self items

A fantasy self is an idealized image you hold of yourself that exists separate from logic or reality.

Common fantasy self items include:

  • too-small pants in a “goal” size or weight
  • hobby and craft supplies we don’t have time for
  • books we don’t enjoy reading
  • kitchen appliances we never use
  • ingredients that we don’t know how to cook with
  • and so much more…

It’s time to get in touch with the real, authentic you and let go of fantasy self items.

They don’t serve you anymore, and they only keep you from living a joyful life. Focusing on finding ways to be who you are, not chasing an image of who you want to be.

BE INSPIRED: Top 20 Be Yourself Quotes to Embrace the Skin You’re In!

Final thoughts on things to let go of this year

These are just a few things to let go of in 2023, but they’re essential things that can hold you back from living your best life.

These things are only weighing you down and keeping you from being happy when it comes down to it. So, let go of them and be free – are you ready to get started? If you’re still struggling, you might enjoy this list of affirmations for letting go to gently guide you in this pursuit.

You can also grab the free printable below if you have clutter you’re looking to get rid of in your home.

Grab this FREE 10-page decluttering printable!

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A woman celebrating letting go of the past

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