For anyone with a daughter under the age of 10, “Let It Go” is synonymous with the Frozen, the hit Disney film. However, it’s also a useful mantra for adults concerning New Year’s resolutions.

We make all kinds of New Year’s resolutions. We may say that we’ll start exercising or lose weight. Maybe we’ll spend less or read more. Sometimes these resolutions are tucked into memory before the end of January, but sometimes they can help us make lasting and meaningful changes.

This year, I want you to add one resolution to your list: identifying and letting go of one self-destructive behavior or way of thinking. Consider the heaviness that you carry from being self-critical or holding a grudge. While it can’t be measured on a scale, it’s a burden that weighs you down every day. Let it go! Turning away from those negative thoughts can be as helpful to you as shedding a couple of extra pounds or saving money. Here are some things to consider:  

  • Do you criticize yourself? Do you put yourself down for little things or past mistakes? If so, the energy you spend for that is not available for self-care, positive relationships and meaningful goals. If you have deep regret over a past mistake, try to learn something from that experience and have empathy for your younger self. Think about this. What could you do if you channeled the time and energy you spend beating yourself up into making a positive change in your life, your family or the world? Imagine the possibilities!
  • Do you hold onto grudges? Forgiving someone is not the same as forgetting what they did to hurt you or trusting them. Spending time and energy hating someone who may not even be in your life hinders you from investing in positive relationships. To move into the present and create the future you want for yourself, you have to let go of the anchors of the past. If a prior hurt has overwhelmed you, seek professional help to work through the trauma so you aren’t stuck in the same place.

For 2015, reflect on what is holding you back. Look inward to the messages you send yourself or the way you ruminate on past hurts. Ask yourself if it’s time to let it go and use that energy to create the life you want instead.