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10 Things to Stop Doing This Year

Updated: Feb 28, 2023

Out with the old and in with the new!

The only way to learn is to unlearn everything you’ve known before this. Throughout my young adult years, I’ve come to understand the world as just that; a constantly evolving contradiction. Things taught to us in grade school have been turned on their head. I’ve learned to question everything. This January I’m personally focusing on release. I’m letting go of expectations, guilt, anger, and all the negative energy that has built up from previous years.

Detachment is the art of accepting powerlessness and experiencing serenity, especially in difficult situations. By retraining your brain to fully dismiss a situation that no longer serves you, your mood and productivity increase with less stress.

Emotion Monitoring

Anticipation of others’ mental states is a trait shared by people with anxiety, empathy, and trauma. I’ve spent much of my life trying to analyze, assess, and anticipate someone’s emotional needs before even looking into my own.

If someone wants to communicate their needs to you, they will. As you grow up, you will learn new and different communication styles. That also doesn’t mean that other people’s emotional states are not your responsibility. It’s a balance between being sympathetic and letting their energy consume you.

  • A great way to detach from that mentality is to focus on what you can control in a situation. You can control the way you interact with others, but you can’t control the emotions of others, and that also shouldn’t be expected. I have had many experiences of that expectation being put on me due to being the eldest, Latina, and being a woman. I have consistently learned to take care of other people first due to cultural customs and societal pressures. No longer am I going to make this my top priority.

Over giving

Call it anxiety, call it overcompensating, a pattern I find myself in is giving way more than the other party does in an attempt to keep them closer.

Practice kindness and generosity while maintaining your sense of self. You can love people better when you’re taking care of yourself. You can’t pour from an empty cup, it leaves you feeling burnt out and used. If you’re the kind of person that has a hard time giving the same amount to yourself as you do other people,
  • Don’t give unsolicited advice to people! It can be so easy to offer solutions in an attempt to connect with the person or situation, but it can also create feelings of being unheard or misunderstood.

In letting go, you learn that you may lose some people but you will always find yourself.

Capitalist mindset

The United States has a really good way of making people think that in order to be a good, functional member of society you have to be more productive than anyone else. You can just do things to do things, they don’t have to make money. Your primary concern is NOT to be profitable. This mentality drains the working class and leaves people overworked and underpaid. Don’t play into this! Work hard, but remember to take time for yourself as well.
Solutions will emerge when the time is right, you have to put trust in the universe. Do some shadow work to get to the root of your own anxieties and insecurities. By alleviating some of your personal concerns, your financial issues will soon then disappear. Everything falls into place one way or another.
  • I have adopted the “Everybody Eats” mindset. When everyone has the priority of the group in mind, every individual will rise to the bar. The strong help the weak and the left help the right. The people I choose to trust also trust me with the same things. I’ve got my team behind me and they know I’ve got them 100%. Many hands always make light work.

It can be easy to convince yourself otherwise, but ultimately your worth is not based on your productivity.

Dressing Boring

“Style is a deeply personal expression of who you are, and every time you dress, you are asserting a part of yourself” -Nina Garcia

  • Dressing freely allows you to express yourself and your identity within the constructs of society. Logistically, clothing has no imposed threat, however, fashion can feel like a dangerous game. Style is an incredibly unique expression of character for everyone. From what kind of socks you match to what accessories top off the outfit, your clothing choices make a radical statement about who you are.

“I don’t do fashion, I am fashion” -Coco Chanel

As an artist, I should be giving myself more credit. As someone who has the creativity and skills to create pieces specific to my taste, I should. This year I am taking a nose-dive into refining my personal style and creating looks that reflect my personality and values.

  • Fast fashion is unfortunately a trap that all of us can easily and quickly fall into. Sites like SheIn and Romwe can be cheap and convenient for the consumer but have proven to have unsafe labor conditions, terrible working environments, and overall cheap products. In an attempt to boycott these brands, I’ve made it a priority to use what I have when I can. Thrift stores have always been my go-to. I've recently also tried out renting high-end fashion from apps like Rent the Runway.

Staying Silent

Set boundaries by clearly stating how people should treat you. Not everyone has learned how to love and take care of people like you have. Everyone’s giving and receiving love language requires a different way of communication. Fine-tune yourself to the communication styles of the people you love and speak up about the way you want to be treated. No one is a mind-reader, make high-stress situations easier by making your expectations clear. On the other hand, once you have expressed your concerns, listen to people’s actions. If they continually treat you in a way that you don’t like, stop hanging around. You should never have to put yourself down for someone else.

Having needs doesn’t make you needy. Having needs makes you a normal fucking human.

When the whole world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful. -Malala Yousafzai.

  • One statement can create a floodgate of support or hate. Choose your words carefully and promote the right messages. Speak up for the people who aren’t able to use their voices. Speak up against systems of injustice, there can only be change when something disrupts the system.

So many people are talking but no one is SAYING anything. The only people who are mad at you for speaking the truth are people who are living a lie. Know your truth and stand for it, whatever that means to you.

Entertaining Stagnent Relationships

Grow with or without me. I’ve unapologetically decided where in life I’m headed. Once I became locked into that mentality, the people who were not meant to be in my life found their way out of it. This is constantly an ongoing process and as I continue down this path, like-minded individuals have appeared in everyday situations. Positive creative energy surrounds my social circle and growth is the mindset.

It can be easy to fall into the patterns of stagnant relationships. One moment you’re both going in the same direction and soon enough you both feel distant. You want so badly to go back to how things were before, but you’re not in that place anymore. When a person is repeatedly acting a certain way that you have previously talked about, there’s a red flag. An apology without changing behavior is just manipulation. These are words to provide you with comfort that you can trust; but what are words if not followed by action? As my mama says “when someone shows you who they are, believe them or they will continue showing you.”

“Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose” -Yoda

Being Dehydrated

Maybe it was entering 2023 by violently vomiting over a handful of drinks, but I will be WELL hydrated this year. Not only do I have an incredible collection of water bottles for different situations, but I also invested in a Britta recently that has changed my life.
  • I’m also a big fan of those flavor water additives like Mio and Liquid IV. When I’m drinking a lot of water, it can mentally be exhausting to drink the same thing. I’ll spice it up with a couple of squirts of those flavor drops and drinking water has never been so easy. They’re so easy to throw into a purse or backpack and there are so many flavors. You can even get some that have caffeine or electrolytes for a boost in your beverage.

Skin, gut, and overall health improve with more water. Many major organs are made mostly of H2O. When the body gets dehydrated, these organs cannot function to their highest capability, leaving you weak, slow, and lethargic.

Sugary drinks, alcohol, and caffeine can all be hydration zappers. I can especially feel the effects when I have sodium-heavy foods. Working a late-night job, it’s tempting to grab energy drinks and a good-ol’ can of Spaghetti-Os. By choosing raw fruits and veggies as my grab-and-go snack, I am able to retain more water in my body.

Playing into Negativity

There has been an overwhelming amount of shitty global situations, personal issues, and community matters. Everyone is stressed out. Why play into those negative feelings and ideas and make them worse?
It can be a silly social game to gently compare how terrible life is and honestly, it started because everyone needs to vent a little bit. But what’s better than filling conversations with love and excitement for the other party? It’s so fulfilling to have genuine relationships that are focused on uplifting each other and working towards a common goal.

In order to shift my focus, I’ll be actively practicing a lot of gratitude. By highlighting the best parts of my day, I can outweigh the negatives that were thrown at me with the positives instead. This is a perfect example of how to rewrite your brain with a better mindset.

Self-deprecating Jokes

“The root of suffering is attachment” the Buddha
It’s this gray area between wanting to talk about things that excite you and not wanting to bore the other person. It’s feeling like you're boasting but wanting to come across as humble. Navigating this emotional turmoil can be exhausting. To brush off those feelings, it can be easy to make a joke out of your situation. Know the difference between laughing at the situation and putting yourself down. Are you “a failure” or do you have some areas for improvement? Are you “dumb”, or were you not prepared for an exam? Take yourself out of the equation and focus on actions. How could you have better prepared or what variables were out of your control? Remember that we all are just human.


  • Being financially independent can be a double-edged sword. No one is in charge of your personal finances, and it should stay personal! As someone who has been (mostly) financially independent for a couple of years, I have experience with credit cards, debit cards, savings accounts, invested stocks, bills, and fees. It’s overwhelming at first; having the freedom to do the things you want to do, facing the consequences of the things you forgot.

Being financially responsible means that your financial priorities are in line with how you want your lifestyle to be


  • Investing in yourself is just that, an investment. Take the time, energy, and money to do the correct research on anything you want to do. If certain equipment is going to help get you where you need to go, by all means, get what you need. Also, understand that investing in yourself can mean getting a library card to research more about a specific topic. It can mean going on a run or maintaining a workout throughout the week. Not all investments have or should be made with money. Investing in yourself means working toward better results, it’s putting something in to get something out. Invest in the right things to get your desired results.

You are allowed to grieve the loss of anything; a person, a situation, a place, an item, a feeling. Detachment is a big change, both emotionally and physically. It’ 's something that might hurt quite a bit but ultimately will continue your growth in the long run.

So this year I’m giving up. I’m giving up on trying so hard; instead, I’m reveling in what I have worked hard for. I’m enjoying the present and supporting the people closest to me. I’m working on simply enjoying life for the hell of it and not worrying about if I am “profitable”. Every day is a step closer to the person I want to be. We’re starting out the year by releasing what no longer serves us.

What are you giving up on to become your best self? Comment below and join the conversation on Instagram and Twitter!


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