5 things to let go of in 2024

5 things to let go of in 2024

“We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” E. M. Forster

There’s something about the beginning of a new year that feels motivating. It’s a time that we can invite new things into our life. But before we do, we need to let go of limiting beliefs, thoughts, and behaviours that are no longer serving us.

There are so many things we might choose to let go of: our fear of the future; the illusion of control; saying yes to everything; last year’s goals; worry about what others think of us; perfectionism; unexpressed feelings; limiting definitions of success; worrying about the future; living according to other peoples’ expectations; neglecting our own needs while giving too much to others; wanting change but not doing anything to achieve it; making excuses; past mistakes; our comfort zone; desperation to fit in; putting things off until the perfect moment; negative self-talk; negative body image; fear of not being enough; self-doubt; fear of failure; fear of success; thinking you’re not ready; expecting the worse; and so much more.

“If you let go of your story, you get to live your life.” Neil Strauss

This year I’ve chosen to let go of five things as they relate to being an artist:

  1. Perfectionism. Like so many people, perfectionism has held me back from stepping into my power as a person (and an artist). But, it’s important to get comfortable with all the messy bits and those things that don’t go right because it’s the imperfections and mistakes that make us human and show us that we’re all in this together.
  2. Fear of stepping into my power. It’s easier to be small. When we’re small we’re invisible and protected. When we step into our power, we risk vulnerability.
  3. Belief that my art isn’t good enough. This little self-doubt gremlin visits many artists, even when we’re proud of what we do, even when our art is good, even when others give us positive feedback. The voice of self-doubt lurks in our dark recesses and comes out when things don’t quite go as we hoped.
  4. Body image issues and not wanting to show myself on camera. It’s hard to be comfortable with our body when we’ve grown up not feeling good enough because of how we look. It’s time to be brave and show my enthusiasm for art journaling on camera.
  5. Fear of stepping out of my comfort zone and trying something new. If we don’t step beyond what we’re comfortable with, we can’t learn and grow. This year I need to stretch my boundaries and step into being a bigger version of the artist I current am.




What would you like to let go of?

What about you? What would you like to let go of in 2024? Here’s how I use art journaling to explore this question:

  1. Find a quiet corner where you can clear your mind and find some peace. A small ritual might help, like making a cup of tea, lighting a candle or burning some incense. These small actions signal that this time is sacred and helps you to set your journaling intention.
  2. In your notebook, reflect on the question: What do I need to let go of to be the best person I can be? Make a list of everything that comes to mind. From this list, choose the five items that are most troubling you.
  3. Once you have your list, spend some time looking through magazines for images that represent letting go to you. Work quickly and allow your intuition to guide you. Look though your collage fodder and choose additional papers that have the right feel or colour combinations.
  4. Lay out and glue down your images and other papers in your art journal. Glue down any quotes or phrases that speak to you. Make additional marks with paint pens and other mixed media supplies.
  5. In your notebook, use stream of consciousness writing to explore what this journal page means to you. Consider the images you’ve chosen: how do these relate to the things you’d like to let go of? Do they give you any new insights that you hadn’t previously thought about.
  6. Add your journaling into the background of your page. You may not be able to read this in the final page but that’s okay as this process embeds your thoughts and intentions into the page. In visible text, list the five things that you wish to let go of and add any words or phrases that will inspire you on this journey.
  7. Finish the page with additional colour washes and mark making.

I’d love to see the journal spread you create around the five things you’ll let go of in 2024; share your page on Instagram using #journalwithstorypieces.

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