Lifestyle self-growth

10 Things to let go of in 2020


10 Things to let go of in 2020

How do you feel about this past year? Has 2019 been good to you? I hope that it’s been a great year, filled with beautiful memories.

Personally, I have mixed feelings about this past year. There have been many wonderful moments, amazing people I’ve met, friends I’ve made, things I’ve learned. But I’ve also experienced loss, once again, and feel like it’s been a bit of a dumpster fire of a year.

Actually, I cannot wait to watch it burn and just go away.

I mean that quite literally, too. I’ll be burning a few things, from the safety of my fireplace, of course; like a bunch of those hospital ID wristlets you get when you’re being admitted, and other things I’m letting go of. I wrote each of them down on a piece of paper and will let go of them one at a time.

I’ve always believed that any time is a good time for a change. There’s no need to wait for the new year, next month, next week. How many times have you told yourself “starting Monday I will ____” and didn’t live up to that promise?

If you really want change, there’s no better time to start than right now. The start of the New Year, however, will forever symbolize a fresh start and most of us find making that change more inspiring.


Things to let go of in 2020

And now we welcome the new year, full of things that have never been” ~ Rainer Maria Rilke
I don’t like the term “resolutions.” Probably because it reminds me of all those years that I’ve failed at reaching them. Did you know that only about 8% of people reach their New Year’s resolutions?

I think that “goals” is a much better way to look at things you want to let go of in 2020.

With the New Year, there’s this fresh energy in the air and it’s a great opportunity to make both small and bigger changes in your life. And, when working on making a change, there are some things you have to let go of.


If you keep putting things off until that “perfect moment” comes, you can end up waiting for a very long time. Of course, it’s smart to wait with certain serious decisions or commitments. But, if there are things you know you’ve been putting off for years, and you’re still telling yourself you’ll get to them when the “time is right,”  that time might never come.

Trust me on this one.

So many of us spend the majority of our time waiting. People spend their entire lives… waiting. We say: “I have to wait to get a better job, the timing isn’t right,”  “I will be happy when I get a bigger house” or “I will be happy when I’ll meet the one,” “I will start when I feel ready.” You can spend your entire life, saying these things to yourself; putting things off because the timing isn’t perfect. You can spend the rest of your life waiting to start living. Don’t fall into this trap.


No, this is not an easy thing to let go of. It’s also something we all feel- whether it’s once in a while or every single day. I think that Marianne Williamson put it beautifully when she wrote “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be?”  You don’t always have to pay attention to that that voice inside that creates doubt and holds you captive. We’re all unique and different, we all have something special to share with the world.


Judging is part of being human and letting go of it completely is nearly impossible. Both when judging ourselves and other people. We tend to play out different scenarios, compare and replay specific situations, beat ourselves up over stupid, insignificant things, constantly judging others and ourselves. Most of the time, we judge others through measures, values, which are important to us. We tend to forget that it is not up to us to dictate values and rules by which other people should live. The less we judge ourselves, the less we judge others. The goal isn’t to try to force-stop judging altogether- it is to learn to recognize the moment when judgment takes place, and learn to let it go.


This is something that I truly believe becomes less of a problem for us as we get older. Still, there are so many occasions during which we jump into that “grass is always greener on the other side of the fence” mentality. No. The grass is greener where you water it. Instead of wasting time comparing yourself, your life and accomplishments to others, focus on yourself. Take care of your own lawn. Comparing yourself to others won’t make things any easier or better for you. The only thing that will make your life better is if you put in the work and effort to making it better. So, focus on your own shit and water your own grass.


Your unexpressed emotions will weigh you down. This is one of the most important things to let go of in 2020. Sometimes we don’t have the energy, or simply don’t want to deal with some of the things we feel, think, and we compartmentalize them. We put them away in a box. As a defense mechanism, we also avoid situations that trigger those emotions to surface.

Sooner or later, all those intense feelings will come pouring out in a messy, uncontrolled way. Don’t keep your emotions bottled up. Talk to a friend, find a therapist. If you’re suppressing negative feelings about one of your relationships, talk to the other person in a kind, non-judgmental way. When you’re unable or don’t feel ready to talk to someone else, write. Express your emotions by journaling, or simply write them out in the form of a letter to the person who hurt you, maybe write a letter to yourself. Doing this will not only help with the emotional toll but working through your feelings will also help you understand them better.


Not everything is about you. Don’t overthink it if someone is being a little short with you, isn’t very friendly, doesn’t laugh at your joke- whatever. Learn to let these things go and stop jumping into conclusions. I used to feel this way a lot when I started my first “big girl” job and had to deal with the court system on a daily basis. If a court clerk or an administrator was rude to me, I’d think that it must have been because I wasn’t being clear enough, or maybe I was asking the obvious or annoying questions. I couldn’t stand people being rude to me when I was simply doing my job, nothing else.

Truth is, not everyone is a perfectly pleasant and kind person. Some people can’t help but act like they’re doing you a favor even when just doing what they’re supposed to. At the same time, not everyone is always having a great day or feels well, or is in a great mood. People go through their own things and we can’t think that everything is about us.


Striving for perfectionism is like having an all-or-nothing attitude, where unless you get 100%, you get nothing. It’s you, spending more time worrying about failing or not doing well enough than you do focusing on what it is you’re actually trying to accomplish. Things will not always go as planned and the sooner you accept that, the less time you’ll waste trying to get things to be “perfect.”


Toxic relationships are very destructive- especially romantic relationships. They tend to feel almost like an addiction. You can’t help but answer every text, every phone call, even when you know you will end up getting hurt. To let go of a toxic relationship, or negative people in your life, you have to be fully committed to walking away. You have to remember that as much as you like the other person, you cannot change people.


Focus on one at a time, one that bothers you the most. Is it overindulging in food or alcohol? Is it not getting enough sleep, not exercising? Don’t make a “resolution” but make a plan instead. How exactly are you going to change things? What tools will you use to make the change easier for yourself? Don’t try to change everything at once- focus on one habit at a time.


The thing we all struggled with at some point in life. One of the easiest ways for me to let go of the fear of failure is to tell myself that at some point, it will happen. So what?  What’s the worst that can happen if I do fail? How else will I learn, if not by doing, trying, by making mistakes? As long as you keep trying, keep learning and keep getting up, you’re winning.

There are many things to let go of in 2020. Maybe you say “yes” to too much; you try to do too many things at once. Perhaps you hold on to your past just a little too hard, you’re holding a grudge and don’t know how to let go and forgive. Don’t be afraid of change. Let go of anything and anyone that doesn’t make you happy.

And, no matter how small, do not forget to give yourself credit for the things you’ve accomplished. 

So what if it takes a bit longer than planned? So what, if you fail miserably, time and time again? Every single time you fail, you learn something new about yourself. Every single time you fail, you still get closer to getting where you want to be because you get to carry those lessons with you.

My wish for you is that this coming year is good to you; that it’s a year filled with love, health, laughter, new adventures, and lessons, and that you let go of everything that limits you or holds you back. 

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  • Reply
    December 31, 2019 at 7:57 pm

    Happy New Year, Paula. I adore all of your insight. Thank you for sharing

    • Reply
      January 7, 2020 at 12:13 pm

      Thank you so much, Jamie, you are so kind! Happy New Year!! x

  • Reply
    December 31, 2019 at 10:02 pm

    Thank you for this post, Paula! Definitely something to look forward to in the new year & I hope you heal with your losses!

    • Reply
      January 7, 2020 at 12:12 pm

      Thank YOU for reading and for your kind words, Kayla. Wishing you all the best in the New Year. xx

  • Reply
    January 1, 2020 at 7:56 am

    PERFECT post needed this for the new year!!!!! I exercised for 120 minutes and ate VERY healthily!!!!! 1 egg, tuna and then brown rice and vegetable soup to start the year off and log my meals with NOOM so I reach my fitness goals….. I love how you’re a goal getter Paula!!!!! Your posts ALWAYS inspire me!!!! And I remember you said when I was in Scarborough JUST BREATHE and that’s ALL I have been doing when I get stressed or annoyed hahahahaha you have the best online advice ALWAYS!!!!!!!!

    • Reply
      January 7, 2020 at 12:11 pm

      Nawww don’t make me tear up now!!!! You are such a kind soul, Love. Can’t thank you enough for your kind words and for putting a smile on my face- it’s really everyone who reads, comments and visits my blog that inspires me, and that includes you! Good luck with your goals, sounds like you’re ready to crush them! :) Happy New Year my Love, and yes- remember to just breathe. :) :) Sending my love your way!! xx

  • Reply
    January 1, 2020 at 4:51 pm

    Happy New Year! This is beautiful!

    • Reply
      January 7, 2020 at 12:07 pm

      Thank you so much, Love. Happy New Year!! xx

  • Reply
    Karin Hardman
    January 2, 2020 at 8:48 pm


    • Reply
      January 7, 2020 at 12:07 pm

      Thank you, Karin! x Happy New Year!

  • Reply
    January 3, 2020 at 8:03 pm

    Loved this post and I really enjoy your blog – been reading for a while and I really like your content. This post is especially useful at this time of year where we’re looking at things we can change. Not waiting for the perfect moment is such a big one – it’s really easy due to self doubt to want to wait for another time and getting past that initial fear can be hard, but is so worth it 💖 Happy New Year!

    • Reply
      January 7, 2020 at 12:06 pm

      Aww that is so kind of you to say, Estrella! Those words truly mean so much to me. Working on making a change can be very tough, but you are right in saying that pushing past the fear is very much worth it. Happy New Year, Love, wishing you lots of health and joy. Thank you for reading!. x

  • Reply
    January 5, 2020 at 9:23 am

    There are so many things on this list I am still guilty of, and that I need to stop doing this year. The biggest one may be letting small things get to me – I do this all the time, so I need to work on that.
    I hope 2020 will be a better year for you and that you will thrive – sending you all the good and happy vibes that I can Paula!

    Julia x
    Last Post: The Life Lessons I Learned in 2019 |

    • Reply
      January 7, 2020 at 12:03 pm

      Letting go of those small things is one of my biggest issues too. It definitely takes work and effort.

      Thank you so much for your kind words, Julia. I wish you all the best in the New Year and hope that all your dreams and goals come true. Sending my love your way! xxxx

  • Reply
    January 9, 2020 at 10:58 am

    YES YES YES to letting go of fear of failure! Love this blog post and the great reminders!

    -Emily |

  • Reply
    January 13, 2020 at 3:20 pm

    I’m so sorry for you having to deal with health issues on top of your losses. I truly hope you’re on the mend. This is such a SO good, love!!! Mine is getting enough sleep and the second is sort of on this list…fear of success. Working on it though. First step is to admit it and face what you know you need to fix! By the way, I LOVED this line, “To let go of a toxic relationship, or negative people in your life, you have to be fully committed to walking away.” I’m passing this on whenever I get the chance with anyone who’s hurting. Another great post! x

    She Sweats Diamonds

  • Reply
    January 18, 2020 at 12:00 pm

    Dear Paula, thank you for reminding us of all the harmful habits that we can work on breaking down. I registered for the blog writing course, as a start to growing in 2020! 📝😊

  • Reply
    January 29, 2020 at 12:56 am

    Thank you so much for sharing this. To be honest, I really feel down during this month. After reading your blog it gets me more motivated in my life and you are right we should move forward. Again thank you for sharing this! :)

  • Reply
    Alexandra Udinov
    January 30, 2020 at 10:34 pm

    You’re always be my inspiration, dear!

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  • Reply
    January 31, 2020 at 11:40 am

    Yes to all of these, especially self-doubt.

  • Reply
    Elizabeth Walker
    February 5, 2020 at 3:15 am

    Thanks for your post!

  • Reply
    Gata Collins
    March 7, 2020 at 9:35 am

    Been reading your posts for so long and I never get sick of it. Love your posts!
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  • Reply
    August 4, 2020 at 10:54 am

    While there’s certainly nothing wrong with aiming high and believing in yourself, setting goals that are too unrealistic only set you up for failure and disappointment. The more you pressure yourself to succeed and live up to your perfect ideals, the more frustrated you will feel when things don’t work out. Success isn’t a checklist, and life isn’t a race to see who lands the best job, lives in the nicest house, or has the happiest marriage. Stop thinking that you need to have certain things or be in certain places just for you to feel good about yourself.

  • Reply
    Luis Murphy
    June 6, 2021 at 1:36 pm

    Thinking about becoming perfect is the worst thing in life and need to let go of it as soon as possible.

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