12/31/2013 11:16 am ET Updated Mar 02, 2014

Forget About Resolutions! 5 Things to Remove Instead of Resolve

Ready for a Change?

Everyone talks about resolutions this time of year. Making changes, setting goals, remembering dreams we once had, and wanting to live better. But the only thing I see happening with resolutions is "adding" to the already secret mess that is my life. Secret because only I know the truth about my life and only you know the truth about yours -- and we work very hard to cover up those truths, in an attempt to appear normal. Not one of us is normal -- there is no such thing.

I am a twice-divorced mother of four who works her ass off every day -- not only because I need the money, but because I am compelled to do so. True that two of my children have flown the coop -- it is more of a coop than a nest, and my two remaining at home are stretching and testing their wings, steadying themselves for their own solo flights. I have survived foreclosure and poverty. I even survived a self-imposed exile from love to find love again. My life is less than perfect. And I am not alone in that proclamation. No matter how many jokes or creative memes I post to Facebook or uplifting messages I try to tweet out, there will always be havoc -- or chaos, as many call it -- in my life. I have come to realize that "this" is my normal.

In a lifelong recognition of my normal, instead of adding resolutions to my already frenzied new year, I have decided to let go. Letting go will be my mantra for 2014.

5 Reminders of How You Can Let Go to Create a Better Life

1. I will let go of the hurt from my past. We all have painful memories from our past. When we do not let them go, they continue to hurt. The searing pain is felt over and over again and the wounds of past hurt are never allowed to heal. I am the one, not the person or incident from my past which hurt me -- I am the one hurting me now. Let go of old pain.

2. I will forgive. While similar, forgiveness is not the same as letting go of past pain. Forgiveness is for me -- I am not forgiving to help my transgressor to feel better about their transgression. I am forgiving so nothing is still held in my heart and head. Forgiveness can be as real as forgetting -- if you let it. Let forgiveness into your heart and head.

3. Devise a new dream. Life changes and crap happens that makes past dreams no longer feasible. You can dream a new dream, or you can create a new path to reach a former dream. It's not only ok to change your dream, it's okay to change how you get there.

4. Let go of weakness. Weaknesses are not things to keep you from achieving what you want, view them instead as ways for you to grow. Tackle them! Let tackling a personal liability be the riskiest risk you take in 2014. And while I have carried Sun Tzu's advice of "turn your liabilities into assets" with me for years, I don't always do it. This year is my year to let go of the thought that a liability weakens me, it will instead be my teacher.

5. Remove negativity from your day, your year, your life. The hardest thing in the world is to remain positive and upbeat during times of trial or adversity. It has been proven over and over again that the power of positivity is greater than any medicine or counsel. When a crisis or situation occurs that seems to be drowning with negativity, work around it -- find the silver lining. If there is an individual, friend or foe, who rains negativity on your already difficult life parade, remove them, let them wash away. Their presence is not helpful nor should it be welcome and allowed to continue.

Life is Never Easy

Of course, life is not a bed of roses, weed and worry free. But it can be with just a little addition of nourishment and continual removal of pests and weeds. There is no easy life -- there is only life and it is a long and winding road, full of unexpected twists and worrisome turns. Control what you can by letting go of what doesn't and shouldn't have control over you. Make this the year to lose the chains that bind you.

"I will break these chains that bind me. Happiness will find me. Leave the past behind me. Today my life begins..." Bruno Mars -- Today My Life Begins