It’s that time of year again – the end of the year freakout about everything you did wrong or didn’t do at all in 2016.

You set amazing resolutions. Or maybe you skipped the resolutions and mapped out your desire or created a feel your best list. And then you forgot all about it and resumed your previous ways.

It’s okay. Seriously. It is so completely okay. It doesn’t matter if you stuck to your resolutions, core desired feelings, or goals or did the exact opposite.

What matters is how you FEEL about it. If you are spending the final weeks of the year beating yourself up over “failing” at 2016 then you are likely to end 2017 the exact same way. Your energy is some powerful stuff and what you focus on grows. The more you focus on your perceived “failures” the more you’ll strengthen this perception of yourself.

It’s time to let yourself off the hook. It’s time to forgive yourself. It’s time to let it go.

We’re so afraid that if we let ourselves off the hook everything will go to hell. We’ll lose all motivation. We’ll run from all responsibility. We’ll make bad decisions. We’ll be selfish. And we think that forgiving ourselves is really just giving ourselves permission to do the same things again.

But here’s the thing – NOT letting yourself off the hook literally just keeps you on the hook. And when you’re on the hook you can’t move forward. You can’t do things differently. You are stuck.

Letting yourself off the hook frees you from living your life on replay.

let yourself off the hook

Here are 3 steps for letting yourself off the hook

1. Write out everything that you are holding against yourself from the past year.

Get it all out on paper. Now burn it or tear the paper to shreds. Recite this affirmation, “I let the past go and forgive myself. I was doing the best that I could.”

2. Now write out everything that you’ve accomplished this year.

Nothing is too small to include. Keep writing until you can’t think of anything else. And then come up with 5 more things. This should be a long list. Read it out loud and smile. You did good.

3. Say you’re sorry. (Even just to yourself.)

A huge reason that we can’t let ourselves off the hook is the guilt that we hurt or wronged someone else (or ourselves). That our actions caused pain. And the guilt keeps us stuck in that moment. So apologize. You can write a letter to the other person and never send it. You can call them up and apologize. You can talk it through with your cat. Just apologize. Acknowledge that you would have done things differently if you could but that you are forgiving yourself. It’s done. It’s over. All of the regret and self-loathing in the world can’t change the past. But it does actually change your future. So apologize and release yourself from the shackles of guilt.

Ready to let yourself off the hook? Schedule your free coaching session now.