Since the new year started, I've been thinking about what changes I need to make in order to keep improving at an individual level.
In order to do this, I think it's crucial to recognize what kinds of things you don't need in your life in 2017.
Whether it's behaviors, habits, thought patterns or half of your wardrobe, letting go is imperative to moving forward in a positive direction.
Here are four negative things that shouldn't be in your life anymore:
1. Toxic relationships
Nothing can weigh you down more than negative people in your everyday life.
The people who put you down, put you last and have no real conception of your feelings or how their actions affect you need to go.
Trust me, letting go may be hard, but holding on to this relationship will have much more adverse effects.
Surround yourself with people who have similar goals and values, who actually care about you and who are able to show it.
2. Negative self-talk
If you are someone who has formed the habit of talking down to yourself, try your hardest to put an end to it.
In a world where there are thousands of people who will jump at an opportunity to see you fail, you need to be on your side.
If you make a mistake, no, you are not stupid or dumb. If you go up a size in jeans, no, you are not fat and ugly.
Be kind to yourself and realize that you are human and have the right to be imperfect in your own way.
3. Your ego
On the flip side, some people seem to be so self-obsessed and vain that it is somewhat painful to witness.
With Instagram and Snapchat, we all know those people whose accounts are a sea of selfies, butt pics and an explosion of "me, me, me."
It could be useful to take a step outside of the Instagram world, put down your phone and just enjoy a simple moment.
Eat a meal without taking a picture of it. Go to the gym without announcing it. LIVE IN THE MOMENT.
Our society has placed so much emphasis on showcasing our lives in the most perfect, Valenica-filtered light that some have forgotten what is truly important.
4. Worrying about the future
It is easy to get wrapped up in what your next step is going to be and to obsess about your end goals, but this can cause a huge amount of anxiety.
We will never have the answer we want because it hasn't happened yet.
I've struggled with this concept time and time again. I just want to know what is going to happen, if I will be OK, if I'll be happy, etc.
But, the truth is hard and simple: Nobody knows, and no one can tell you.
You have to let things fall the way they are meant to, and you only have control of the present moment.
Trying to figure out what is going to happen in five years or even two years is generally pointless.
Have faith that things are going to work out and that you are strong enough to handle whatever comes your way.
This year is another one to look forward to, another one to grow and learn. Think about what you would like to change in 2017, and identify what you need to get rid of in order to start fresh.
Everyone has different goals, motivations and aspirations, so try not to compare your progress to that of others.
Focus on yourself, and make 2017 the start of a happier life.
This article was originally published on Unwritten.