How to let go like a drop of water releasing the leaf's edge.

How to Let Go of the Past and Move Forward Into the New Year

[Shed What’s Holding You Back and Step Forward Lightly Into 2021]

What comes to mind when you hear the words “New Years?” Probably something like “fresh start”, “clean slate”, “resolutions” (maybe also “party”, “countdown”, “kiss”). But what about “reflect”, “release”, and “let go”? In order to make the most of the transition from one year to the next, we have to learn how to let go of the past so that we can grow and move forward. The transition to a new year every December is the perfect time to review the past year and release everything that we don’t want to carry forward with us. Let go of the past year and anything that’s still weighing you down and holding you back!

How to let go of the past and move forward into the new year

Check‌ ‌Out‌ ‌the‌ ‌Whole‌ ‌Series!‌

This‌ ‌is‌ ‌the‌ second ‌week‌ ‌of‌ ‌our‌ ‌8-week‌ ‌series‌ ‌on‌ ‌getting‌ ‌ready‌ ‌for‌ ‌the‌ ‌new‌ ‌year.‌ ‌This‌ ‌week‌ ‌is‌ ‌all‌ ‌about‌ ‌reflecting‌ ‌on‌ ‌the‌ ‌year‌ ‌that‌ ‌has‌ ‌passed and moving forward intentionally into the new year.‌ ‌You‌ ‌can‌ ‌check‌ ‌out‌ ‌the‌ ‌other‌ ‌posts‌ ‌here:‌ ‌

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As The Year Turns: A Year-End Reflection + Planning Workbook.

Make peace with 2020 and move into 2021 with grace and clarity! Transition mindfully from the old year to the new with this workbook designed to take you from frazzled in December to peaceful and focused in January! This workbook will help you dig deep, look mindfully at your journey over the past year, think about where you’re heading, and start the new year in alignment with your dream life!

Year-End Reflection + Planning Workbook

Let Go of the Past So You Can Move Forward in Freedom

When you are in the process of moving from one thing to another, you are in an in-between space. In this space, there isn’t a clear cut line between the end of one thing and the start of another. There is a gradual transition process. This transitional space is a special time, the moment between two things, when the known melts into the unknown, and when everything is still possible and open before you. 

Obviously, on the calendar, there is a clear and sudden switch from one year to another – one second it’s 2020 and then BAM it’s 2021. 

But humans are not calendars and it’s better to let things progress naturally. 

An important part of the transition process is shedding off everything that doesn’t fit you anymore, just like a snake shedding its skin.

If you have done a year-end reflection (or even if you haven’t), you’ve probably noticed a lot of things about the last year that felt heavy or uncomfortable. 

A lot of those things (especially in 2020) were external and circumstantial and there’s not really anything you can do about them. But what about the rest? You can to cast off the things that are constraining you and holding you back from growing and moving in a positive direction with your life.

Make space in your life for things that are good for you NOW, that work for you and fit you NOW! Some of these things you will outgrow in time. Some will even grow WITH you! And you will know the difference as you learn to honor your own pace and feelings and energy.

Honor your own pace and timing

Knowing When to Let Go

You are not the same person you were a year ago. It stands to reason that some of the things that worked for you a year ago don’t fit you anymore. And even more, you are probably STILL carrying things that you had already outgrown LAST year. That’s a lot of extra baggage!

Change is constant in life. Learn to work with it! Holding on to things long past their time is not making your life any easier. Refusing to acknowledge that some things need to be dropped isn’t going to magically make them fit. When it’s time, it’s time.

Lots of different things – people, situations, relationships, jobs, homes, struggles, etc – come into our lives and most of them leave again, sooner or later. This is normal. This is natural. 

But we tend to hold on to things longer than we should. That’s why it’s so important to reflect on your whole last year and then identify the things that need to be released. Becoming aware of what you have outgrown is half the battle.

Change is normal

Why Is It So Hard to Let Go of the Past?

We like to cling to the familiar because it feels safe and it seems easier than facing what lies in the murky unknown. 

Just because something worked for you once, doesn’t mean it’s going to work for you forever. But sometimes, we’ve become so used to things being the way they are that we hold on and hold on until it’s not-right-ness becomes so glaringly obvious and painful that we have to let go. And SOMETIMES we still refuse to let go and wait until it gets ripped away – and then we’re left with this raw angry wound. 

I know it’s not always so simple. But there is a lot of power in laying something out in the open and saying “I am releasing this. This is no longer mine. I will not carry this any longer.”

Take the time to acknowledge all of these things that have been a part of your life this last year and have touched you in some way – and then let them go. It’s ok. 

Write it out, dance it out, run it out – whatever you need to do – and then LET THEM GO. Wish them godspeed and then turn your face forward because you have so much more coming for you. 

“The past is a stepping stone, not a millstone.” – Robert Plant

Use the past as a stepping stone

A Short Ritual to Let Go of the Past

Set aside time to acknowledge your change. Let yourself sit for a bit in that moment of tension. It’s ok to mourn the loss of things. It’s ok to feel sad that things have changed. Acknowledge the impact that these things have had on you and on your life and how it changed you. And then you say goodbye.

You can let go of what isn’t working anymore. You are allowed to start fresh. You can choose again when you feel in your heart that it’s the next right step. It’s ok to change your mind about things!

Give yourself permission to leave it all behind.

List out all of the things you want to release, let go, and leave behind. 

Grab a piece of paper and write them all down.

  • Habits + patterns
  • Repeating thoughts
  • Attachments
  • Relationships
  • Old goals
  • Guilt + shame
  • Feelings of lack
  • Fears

Thank these things for coming into your life and serving their purpose. Now let them go! Rip up the paper into tiny bits and throw it out or burn it. Feel the weight lift from your shoulders. YOU ARE FREE!

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What are you leaving behind in 2020? Share this post and tell me in the comments below!

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