I always find the New Year to be inspiring. It may be cliche, but it’s hard not to think of it as a fresh start, a new beginning, another chance to be better.

And sometimes “being better” means ditching something or someone from your life.

So, 2018, you’re my year to weed through the unnecessary. To be present in the now. To let go of the past. To work toward my goals and let my future shine bright.

2017, you’re almost over. And that’s okay. I’m ready to bid you adieu. Oh, and don't forget to take these five things with you. Because 2018 is my year for peace and happiness.

1. Negative self talk ?

Isn’t it terrible when you hear someone you love talk badly about themselves? I don’t see this ‘bad stuff’ they see—I see their best qualities. So I wonder why I do it to myself. If I don’t want my sister talking badly about herself, why is it okay for me to?

Well, spoiler alert: It’s not! And 2018 me is going to put an end to this. No more comparison, no more “I wish I was more…” Because, really—what’s the point?

I’m not ever going to be somebody else’s perfect, and that’s okay. But me—and my life—can be my perfect. The chaos, the extra pounds, the not-exactly-Pinterest worthy-house, the tantrums—they’re all part of who I am. This life is beautiful, crazy, wild and fun. And that’s good enough. That’s perfect to me.

2. Things that don’t fit ?

I have a decent chunk of clothing that I’m hanging on to for when “I lose the weight.” Sure, I may “lose the weight”—I hope to, because I always strive to feel healthy and strong—but I don’t need to see a size 8 dress mocking me in my closet when I know that will probably never fit me again. And that’s okay—I don’t need it to. So, bye!

My house can sometimes feel cluttered to me because I have decorations I purchased or that have been gifted to me out on display. Or because of my children’s toys and stuffed animals. But 2018 me is going to be okay with getting rid of things that don’t fit my style anymore. If I don’t like it, it’s okay to give it away. If my kids don’t play with it anymore, it’s okay to pass it along to someone who might.

I want to make room for things that matter to us. For things that are beautiful and inspiring to us.

3. Anger over little things ?

I can be so angry sometimes. And I’m not proud of it. I let the little things bother me. I let my anxiety take over and snap at silly things. I don’t always remember to stop and look around at all the love and joy that’s in my life when anger strikes.

I don’t want to be like this. I don’t want “Why are you mad, Mommy?” to be a question my preschooler gets used to asking me. I don’t want my toddler to say, “Mommy, take a deep breath,” when I’m the one that’s supposed to be using these prompts with her.

This year I want to stop and see myself through their eyes. I’m their mommy! Fun, happy, kind mommy! And that’s what I want them to see.

Sure, mommy will get upset sometimes or feel frustrated—but, I believe these feelings can be present without getting angry. And I’m going to figure that out for myself. Maybe my mantra for 2018 will be, “Patience is a virtue. One I want to harness.”

4. Unnecessary guilt ?

I have the uncanny ability to make myself feel guilty for a wide range of things—anything from dropping my girls off at their babysitter’s house so I can get work done to telling my husband I don’t want to watch Ironman again.

Sometimes I feel guilty for wearing yoga pants too much (even though they are real pants!) or choosing rest instead of tackling an item on my to-do list.

I’m going to stop with the guilt.

I lose sleep over things that are in the past. I worry over whether I said the right thing. Or about that time I got embarrassed in 2013. I second guess decisions I make. But no more. Not in 2018.

Because I am a good person who puts kindness first and never means to offend. I am going to make mistakes and I’ll own up to them and I’ll never be afraid to apologize. But then I’m going to leave these worries and mistakes where they belong—in the past.

5. Saying ‘sorry’ all the time ?

While on the topic of apologizing, I’m going to tell you something—I’m going to stop apologizing for so much. I say sorry all the time, for all the things. Sorry for the delay. Sorry I am late. Sorry, I can’t make it. Sorry, I don’t think that’s a good idea. Sorry, that won’t work for me. Sorry, that’s a hard no.

I definitely am sorry when I am in the wrong. When I’ve messed up something at work, or when I’ve hurt my husband's feelings, or when I’ve raised my voice at my daughter—these are things I didn’t mean to happen, didn’t want to happen, and felt true remorse for happening. So I’ve apologized.

Suffice it to say—you can still expect an apology from me if I do something I’m truly sorry for. But the little things? I’m going to take a cue from Ms. Demi Lovato and embrace that #SorryNotSorry mentality.

Because I’ll never be sorry for speaking up for myself or what I believe in. I’ll never be sorry for doing what’s right for my family. And I’ll never be sorry for trying my best.

Bring it on, 2018. ?