16 Things We Are Officially Leaving In 2016 Where They Belong

by Sydney McBride

If there's one thing that most of us agree on, it's that 2016 was a year unlike any other.

From an unprecedented presidential election that divided our country to an Olympic Games that was US dominated with 43 gold medals, 2016 had plenty of highs and lows.

We watched Peyton Manning end his career on a high note with a Super Bowl championship, we celebrated the city of Chicago finally winning a World Series after 108 years of waiting and we chased around imaginary Pokemon in public.

We fought for justice through water crises and pipeline standoffs, we stood in line to donate blood for victims in the Nation's worst mass shooting in the Happiest Place on Earth and we held our loved ones a little tighter with the passing of so many celebrity greats we grew up watching.

We lost David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Prince, George Michael, Muhammad Ali, Gene Wilder, Arnold Palmer and most recently, Carrie Fisher.

If there is one thing 2016 wanted us to realize, it's that life is short and way too short to spend time on things that don't matter.

Before we start 2017, here are 16 things to leave behind with 2016:

1) Political debates. Right wing or left wing, we're all a part of the same bird. The election is over.

2) Perfection. When you think of the lives lost in 2016, do you think it mattered if those lives were lived perfectly? No. Aim to create a fulfilling life instead of a perfect one. Perfect is an illusion and there's no shame in making mistakes along this road called life.

3) Stuff. No one is going to show up at your funeral and say “She had great handbags and a really expensive couch.” Stop making life about things and learn to live with less. Less really is more.

4) Expectations. There's a lot of peace to be found in letting people be who they are, instead of holding them to an unrealistic expectation of who you think they should be.

5) Envy. Appreciate what you already have instead of continually chasing after something new or better. Someone else's success is NOT your failure.

6) Waiting. Stop waiting for the perfect time or the perfect moment, you'll never find it. There is no better time than the present. Take the chance, take the risk now; you're not promised a tomorrow to do it.

7) Comparison. With edited and filtered images constantly popping up across our social media outlets, it's hard not to compare ourselves to others.

Whether it's physical appearances, materialistic things, or a lifestyle that others portray on social media, always keep in mind that it's not real. Social media is an edited, perfected, filtered snapshot of someone's life, not the entire picture.

8) Negativity. Everyone has crappy days and you can't always choose how things are going to turn out, but you always have the power to choose how you want to react.

Choose to see the positive, choose to find the silver lining, and your feelings will start to reflect positivity instead of negative.

9) Fantasy. It's time to stop continually clinging to fantasies of what a situation could've been or what you could've had with someone. Closure is learning to accept that an apology you might never get. We're about to start a brand new year, and there's no better time than now to move on.

10) Knowing. No one knows what comes next and it's okay to stop pretending we all have it all together all the time. I would rather have coffee with a friend who openly talks about a tough time her relationship is going through, than a friend who pretends she has the perfect marriage.

It's OK to let people in, it's okay to tell people you're struggling, and really- it is okay to ask for help. People can only come in if you let them.

11) Excuses. No one owes you anything and yes, you actually do have time for the things you choose to make time for. It's not someone else's fault you failed out of school, can't keep a job, or can't return your mom's phone calls. You choose your priorities. Accountability is so 2017, excuses are not.

12) Hate. You get to decide how YOU want to live your life and that is your power. Understand that just because you don't agree with someone else's life choices isn't a reason to hate them.

Hate eats at you, hate makes you an angry person, and hate has no place in 2017.

13) Trends. It's OK to not pretend to like what everyone else loves. Start seeking your own approval first. We live in a society that makes a profit off of our insecurities.

Diets, weight loss, makeup, hair plugs, gyms, clothes… we all have vices, but you don't have to buy what they are selling. Getting comfortable with who you are and what you like is the greatest luxury you'll ever have.

14) Entitlement. It's really easy to complain about the generations younger than us and bash them for how out of control they are, but isn't it time to look in the mirror?

Start being the example of what you wish you had to look up to when you were younger and maybe we can create better role models inside of our own communities instead of having all of our little kids look up to reality TV stars.

Instead of complaining that celebrities are fake role models, live your life in a way that you can be a real one to someone.

15) Doubt. It's OK to embrace uncertainty, as long as you understand that life is much more a process of elimination rather than a game of pin the tail on the donkey. Start believing that what has come before will not be greater than what is yet to come.

16) Tomorrow. Start now, wherever you are, with whatever you have. All you have is today. Piece by piece and moment by moment, you have the power to create the life you want and earn what you really want, and the best part is, when you earn it, no one can ever say they gave it to you — but you've got to start today.

Happy New Year!