How to create your first burn list

Ready to let go of stress, anxiety, and things holding you back from happiness? It’s time to create your very first burn list.

How to create your first burn list
You know the iconic movie scenes when the hero walks away from a burning scene and doesn’t look back at the burning fire behind them? Well that’s similar to the idea of a burn list. You write a list of all the things you want to let go of - then set it alight and don’t look back.
Burning letters or lists is an empowering ritual that can help you move on from things that are limiting your potential to feel the best you can feel. The physical action of setting the letter alight can give you a sense of release and freedom to move on from stresses from the previous year.
Write a list or letter of things you want to let go of for the year ahead
Write a list or letter of things you want to let go of for the year ahead

What is a burn list?

A burn list is a letter (or list) of things you want to let go of. You then set the list alight to personify the emotion of setting yourself free from them. Writing a burn letter is a way to say goodbye, forgive, and let go of whatever you feel is holding you back. You can use it as a way to release negative emotions by writing them down on paper, rather than keeping those feelings inside.
Burning letters is actually an ancient practice that has been used for centuries in different cultures around the world. It's a way for us to connect with our emotions, and release them from our bodies and minds so that we can move on from them.
If you want to write your own burn letter, try and keep these things in mind:

1. Write freely, but with intent

Identify the most impactful experiences you want to burn, so you can focus on just a few points rather than a long list.
You don't need to write in readable prose—this isn't going to be read by anyone else or published anywhere. It can be in note form, bullet points, on one page or across several. What matters is getting everything down on paper, in whatever form works, so your brain can process everything. Creating a burn list is highly personal, so don't overthink the process.

2. Be honest

One of the most important things to keep in mind when creating your burn list is honesty. This is your opportunity to get every stressful situation and anxiety down on paper, so don't hold back. You can be blunt and direct with your words, safe in the knowledge they'll never be read by anyone else, or yourself ever again.
It's important that in your burn letter you're reminding yourself how great you are too. Reinforce how much value and potential you have as a human being with every sentence—it will help you put things into perspective before burning.

3. Be specific

You should be clear and concise in your burn letter, in a way that makes complete sense to you. Don't be overly general or vague, such as 'I feel alienated at work'. Try to pinpoint exactly what made you feel that way, so you can work on letting it go.
This letter is a way to be forgiving, upset, accepting, or all 3 at once—whatever feelings come up, just know you're doing the work to analyse your feelings and give yourself some much-needed closure.

4. Dig deep

The goal of a burn list is not simply to write down what you think you should be feeling, but an opportunity for self-reflection so you can get at the root of what you actually feel in your heart and your mind. What matters is digging deep and really feeling the emotions behind the words you write.
If you're struggling to find the right words, try writing a list of things that you'd want to forget or move past. Identify anything that's lingering in your mind and contributing to anxious thoughts and feelings.

5. Be kind

When creating your burn list, the most important thing to remember is to be kind to yourself. This isn't an opportunity to beat yourself up, it's a way to let go of negative feelings and find peace. Take an honest look at what's holding you back from feeling good, and what you can let go of to make you feel the best you can.
No good comes from being unkind to yourself—your burn list should be seen as an opportunity to love yourself, forgive, forget, and give yourself the space to move on.
Throw the list on the fire to feel a sense of freedom and power in moving on
Throw the list on the fire to feel a sense of freedom and power in moving on

Once your done, burn or rip up your list

You'll know when you're done with your list. You should feel cleansed, and a bit lighter. Then it's time to set it alight or shred it. If you’re burning the letter, we recommend throwing it onto a log burner or fire pit or doing it outside to burn it safely. You should feel a sense of release and power in being able to let stressful situations go.
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