30 Things We're Letting Go Of Before 2017

Photographed by Alexandra Gavillet.
New Year's resolutions are more a source of dread than they are a helpful tool for self-improvement. That's why, as 2016 comes to a close, we're taking a different approach to the clean slate that comes with a new year. Rather than ask our readers to commit to some ambitious and complicated plan, we asked them something simpler: "What do you want to let go of before 2017?"

From those who wish to distance themselves from sources of negativity to those who plan on showing themselves more love and acceptance, the responses we received were overwhelmingly positive. This actually reflects how people in general feel about the coming year, too. In an Associated Press-Times Square Alliance poll, more than half of Americans said they believe things will get better in 2017.

Whether you're pro- or anti-resolutions, there are always smaller things you can leave behind to make next year better than the last. If you're hoping to make a fresh start but want some inspiration, we've rounded up 30 of our favorite readers' responses.

Click through to find out what our readers want to leave behind in 2016. Feel free to share your own plans for 2017 in the comments.
Advertisement
1 of 30
"My ex-boyfriend. He always decides to randomly come back in and out of my life and screw with my head. Goodbye, pal."

— Anonymous, 17
2 of 30
"A habit of self-sabotage and the belief that I don't deserve all the great things that come my way. Because honestly, f*ck that."

— Willow, 19
Advertisement
3 of 30
"Looking backwards and repeating the same mistakes."

— Sam, 25
4 of 30
"My ego. Nerves around looking foolish or not impressing others have made me less empathetic and more anxious, and if I can eliminate that small bit of my struggle, I have to."

— Kelsey, 20
5 of 30
"I plan to let go of a lot of emotional baggage from 2016. I started 2016 in a psychiatric facility that I had been in since July. Since I was 13, I'd been in and out of psychiatric facilities. In February, I decided on my own that I wanted to take life into my own hands and that I wanted to change. So, I changed. I left that hospital in April, and now I am home. I am hoping with this new year I can welcome the rest of my life as a healthy and happy individual."

— Emily, 16
6 of 30
"Men! They're stupid and useless."

— Lucy, 23
7 of 30
"I'm leaving behind my gravitation toward abuse to validate myself. I deserve better, because I can't be okay with the constant abandonment or ridicule just because they will occasionally treat me right when it benefited them. I am not going to let myself be emotionally abused anymore, for I want to be around people who actually love and care for me."

— Anisha, 16
Advertisement
8 of 30
"My mother. Finally moving out of my house. SO EXCITED."

— Margaret, 26
9 of 30
"Being worried about everything and not taking chances. Life is short, and some people take failure, rejection, etc. too seriously, but if you never make any risks, you're never going to live."

— Frank, 20
10 of 30
"Bronzer."

— Anonymous
11 of 30
"I want to stop holding myself back from finding love and happiness."

— Kira, 21
12 of 30
"2016."

— Anonymous
Advertisement
13 of 30
"Negative thoughts about myself. I can't continue blaming and hating myself for everything. Especially because these thoughts lead me to punish myself by restricting and depriving myself of food. I cannot continue to believe that just because I make a small mistake, that means I don't deserve to eat, be happy, and live my life in a healthy and prosperous way. Overall, I plan to let go of my self-hatred."

— Sierra, 19

If you are struggling with an eating disorder and are in need of support, please call the National Eating Disorders Association Helpline at 1-800-931-2237. For a 24-hour crisis line, text “NEDA” to 741741.
14 of 30
"My current bf. We've been together for about 2.5 years, but this year was absolutely draining. I'm ready to be free and focus on myself for a bit instead of pouring everything I have into a relationship that isn't being respected the way I need it to be. I'm scared, but ready."

— Liana, 28
15 of 30
"Letting go of my depression and eating disorder, because it's ruined my life. It's been impeached and leaving the cranial office."

— Jihae, 22

If you are experiencing depression and need support, please call the National Depressive/Manic-Depressive Association Hotline at 1-800-826-3632 or the Crisis Call Center’s 24-hour hotline at 1-775-784-8090.
16 of 30
"All of the fake/poor/lousy friends, who've proven time and time again that they are not worth it. I want to have friendships that show that I can rely on them, just as they can rely on me. I'm done with putting myself out there to help and getting walked all over."

— Megan, 17
17 of 30
"Self-hatred."

— Kathryn, 26
Advertisement
18 of 30
"My complacency. I'm never going to lay down and let someone walk over me again. If they want to, they can walk over my cold, dead body."

— Joan, 15
19 of 30
"Negativity."

— Sarah, 18
20 of 30
"A toxic job. It was reasonably well-paid, but my mental health suffered greatly. I'm glad I left it, was given time to reassess my life, wants, and needs, and find something that makes me happy and feel like I have an impact on the world."

— Erin, 28
21 of 30
"I plan to let go of my doubts. All my worries and insecurities, all the unspoken fears about the future are not going to hold me back in the new year. This will be the year I let it all out, stop worrying what others think, be more outspoken, embrace my sexual orientation (I recently came out to a select few as bisexual), and start thinking even farther into the future than just 2017. Like the rooster the year 2017 represents, I will proudly stand in the sun and let all around me hear my voice. I'm hopeful for the future."

— Anonymous, 13
22 of 30
"Regret for a relationship that began and ended. He wasn't worth my time, but I was lonely. It's in the past, and I learned from it, so I don't need to agonize over the stupid lines I fell for. In 2017, I can give myself grace to embrace new relationships without questioning if he'll be like my ex."

— M, 23
Advertisement
23 of 30
"Funerals. I had the first deaths in my family that I can remember, and honestly, I don't want to forget about the people I loved and lost, but the funerals were...well, funerals suck. They're not fun."

— Celestial, 16
24 of 30
"Toxic people. Y'know, those people who suck the life out of you or who you talk bad about or give you bad vibes, yet you're still somehow friends with them? You don't need that. They don't need that. Say goodbye and meet people who will help you flourish and you can help flourish them. Let it go and let magic happen."

— Leah, 24
25 of 30
"Acceptance. I'm gonna try to stop being like, Oh, that's not gonna happen, so why bother trying, ’cause who the frickity-frackity knows? It may happen."

— Rae, 17
26 of 30
"Heartbreak and suspicion. I haven't had many romantic relationships and I don't need to, but I'm ready to be less closed off to the possibility."

— Rebecca, 27
27 of 30
"I'm leaving all the depressing, miserable thoughts behind. I'm leaving behind my antisocial self. I'm leaving behind every overthinking thought I have. I'm leaving every negative person behind who wanted my company in their misery. I'm welcoming every invite to a social occasion. I'm going to do things I like, even if no one wants to try it with me. I'm going to learn to be alone and not hate it. I'm going to start crossing off my bucket list. This year, things will be different."

— Nayza, 21
Advertisement
28 of 30
"All these men I keep dating that look the same."

— Anonymous
29 of 30
"Bad financial habits."

— Karla, 24
30 of 30
"EVERYTHING."

— Alice, 15
Advertisement

More from Wellness

Watch

R29 Original Series