Personal Growth | Things to Leave Behind in 2020 for 2021

I don’t “do” New years resolutions. Instead, I’m choosing themes for 2021 and focusing on things to leave behind in 2020 for my own personal growth.

Resolutions are like an instant fast track to failure in my mind. It’s like the minute you put it out there in the universe, you’re destined to let yourself down.

how to have personal growth in 2021 and leave 2020 behind

And here’s the thing: I don’t want to let myself down anymore. There’s a whole world out there that can disappoint you if you let it, but I refuse to continue to be the source of my own downfall anymore!

I’ve compiled a list of things to leave behind in 2020 and how to move forward with 2021. What are your personal growth affirmations?

how to achieve Personal growth in 2021

Comparison

We all know it’s the thief of joy, and the grass isn’t always greener on the other side (fact: the grass is greener where you water it).

The thing is, comparison does no one any good; Especially when it is to strangers on the internet. It won’t make you feel, be or do better to compare yourself to someone else, so why waste your energy?

Making mountains out of molehills

Sometimes you have to pick and choose your battles, and often for me, those battles are with myself.

My anxieties often have me over analyzing worse case scenarios and projecting what might happen. And if 2020 taught us anything, its that anything can happen!

It’s a new year and the perfect time to work on taking things for what they are, and not assuming what they might be. So I am going to try not to take everything so personally, or to make a big deal out of something that doesn’t deserve your efforts. You’ll feel better about it, and I know I will to. 

 Learning to Let Go | What to Leave Behind in 2020

Living without balance

I’m a chronic “do it all” type. If I want it right, I need to do it myself, right? Wrong.

Overextending yourself is a recipe for crashing and burning, and yet so many don’t know when it’s ok to say ‘no’. The answer is: It’s always ok to say no. Period. 

Learning to politely decline, to let someone else take the reigns, and to redistribute your life load is the key to thriving in our busy lives.

On what is hopefully the beginning of the end of a global pandemic, we could all use a little letting go. We’ve homeschooled, worked remotely, been out of work, or worked in an essential industry. That is more than enough for any one person and pushing yourself harder and harder to best yourself often wont make circumstances change.

“Nurture good relationships in your life, and don’t assume they will always thrive without mutual effort on your part.”

Carrying guilt

Ahh guilt, it’s easily one of the most wicked, yet normalized emotions.

I thought I knew guilt until I became a mother, after which it managed to manifest into most aspects of my life.

Suddenly it creeps into every decision you make, like whether or not to get a haircut because that money could be better spent on new clothes for your kid. Or skipping a trip to the park with the family because you feel like you haven’t had an hour to yourself in days. 

Consider dropping needless guilt as the ultimate self-care. You’re worth investing in when it comes to your time, your emotions and even your hair. 

how to achieve Personal growth in 2021

Holding on to toxic relationships

One of the best pieces of advice I ever got was to cut loose bad friends. In fact, not long ago I wrote my How to Break Up With a Friend blog post, and it’s one of my most read of 2020.

It’s something I’ve carried with me, and gotten significantly better at now that I’m into my thirties.

Life is simply too short for crappy relationships that leave you drained and less than your worth. After spending most of the last year in a pandemic, it’s been even more challenging to hold on to good relationships, let alone crappy ones.

Here’s a little cheat sheet for how to tell if you have a toxic relationship in your life:

  1. They gaslight you, always managing to turn conflict and confrontation around to aim the blame at you, even when they are in the wrong.
  2. You’re emotionally drained just being around them.
  3. You play second fiddle to their needs over any of yours.
  4. You actively avoid them.
  5. You have a better time, or are able to stay more positive when they aren’t around.

Always remember, popularity by numbers doesn’t define you. More friends don’t equal a better, happier or more successful version of yourself. Something worth keeping with you is that you have the ability to curate many of your relationships in life.

Not practising mindfulness

Being mindful of those around you is something I really focused on for 2019 and 2020, and plan on continuing to carry with me into 2021.

I’m trying to accept people for who they are, and consider how their feelings might be about something. This doesn’t mean agreeing with everyone, but rather entering into more thoughtful, balanced conversations, and opening my mind up continuously.

Some takeaways to remember when practising mindfulness: 

  1. Feelings are valid. If you’ve hurt someone, you don’t get the right to put them on a timeline for accepting your apology. Only they can process their feelings.
  2. Listen to others opinions and counter with yours… respectfully. A two-way conversation is so much more thought-provoking!
  3. Nurture good relationships in your life, and don’t assume they will always thrive without mutual effort on your part.
  4. Consider the struggles, lifestyle and challenges those around you bare before making decisions that affect them, or could put them in a challenging situation.
  5. Advocate for others when they need it. 
Waiting for the perfect time

Something I learned when I became a parent, is that there is never the perfect time.

Putting things off because the ‘timing isn’t right’ or you’re just ‘waiting for the right moment’ is perfect if you want to procrastinate.

There are things we just can’t prepare for in our lives. Life moves fast, and opportunities are often fleeting so remember that the perfect time is when you make it. 

 
Welcome to 2021

I hope it brings prosperity, goodwill and kindness with it to you all. Let’s live with more compassion, less criticism, better (mutual) relationships and steadying balance in 2021!


Let me know what you’re hoping to leave behind in 2020, the life lessons you’ve valued learning and what you plan on taking forward into 2021.

how to achieve Personal growth in 2021

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