“On the path to defining your own version of success, what you stop doing is just as important as the things you start doing.” -Danielle Laporte
Danielle Laporte’s words simply resonate so much with me. I’ve always had the tendency to be a procrastinator, finding silly and useless ways to not do what I should be doing, or even what I want to be doing deep down. Some would call it self sabotaging, others would call it laziness. The things I do to avoid doing the important stuff rob my time, my energy, and ultimately my self esteem, as they make me feel like I’m getting nowhere. They also greatly decrease my chances of making the kind of impact I want to have in the world…and that.is.not.cool.
Do you feel this happens to you as well?
Let me introduce you to the Stop Doing List concept.
I wrote about this one year ago, but today I felt like bringing this idea back to life and refreshing my list. I got the concept from my friend Ana Flores. Before I talk about it, let me say that Ana is one of the most inspiring and productive people I know. She’s a wonderful mother, an uber successful business woman, and was listed by One.org as one of 10 change makers in social media you should follow alongside Chelsea Clinton, Maria Shriver, and Lauren Bush Lauren. On top of this she also finds the time to write inspiring blog posts about her own journey of growth, give interviews, and be a great friend who always gives thoughtful replies to your emails. So if Ana is making a “stop doing list”, I for sure want to be making one too.
The instructions to make your own stop doing list are simple. All you have to do is think of those things you do on a regular basis that don’t spark up your inner fire, and promptly get rid of them to make more space for things that actually matter.
I will stop:
1. Starting my work day until I’ve made my bed and changed my clothes. Working at home can be a quick road to spending your life in pijamas, which make you feel uninspired and like your day never even got started.
2. Watching movies or doing things in my computer until late at night, because waking up energized and ready to meditate, exercise, and have a healthy breakfast before 10am feels much better than not doing it.
3. Making up excuses to cancel plans with friends or going to events I’m excited about. Being an introvert, I’ve always preferred staying home with a book than going out to see people. Whenever cancels got planned, I’ve always felt secretly happy. But in the recent months I’ve really learned to appreciate the importance of connection and of showing up, so my goal is to stop making up excuses and only cancel when it’s absolutely necessary.
4. Taking my dog to the curb to pee and then running right back to my apartment in the middle of the day, when what I really want and what would really energize and nourish me (and her) the most would be to take a longer walk, breathe some fresh air, move my body, and soak some sunshine in.
I would like to add more things to this list, but as a health coach I’ve learned that the best way to make real lasting changes in my life (or anyone’s life) is to take just a few tiny steps at a time. Too many steps all at once can be overwhelming and are too hard to keep up with. Better to be effective at changing a few things, than to be ineffective at changing a lot of things.
So now it’s your turn. What are 3 to 5 things you can STOP doing right away that will make you feel better about yourself and about your life, or that will give you more time and energy for for the things that are important? Tell me in the comments!
Wishing you health & happiness,
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Photo by Madflow Studio