“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
This just resonates so much with me. I’m a professional procrastinator and always find 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 a failure and 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.
Last week my friend Ana Flores shared a blog post on Facebook that she wrote a long time ago on this topic. Before I talk about it, let me say that Ana is one of the most awesome and productive people I know. She’s a wonderful mother, an uber successful business woman, and was just 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 in her blog, Madre Vida, and that is where she wrote about her “personal stop doing list”. So if Ana is making a “stop doing list”, I for sure want to be making one too.
Ana got the idea for this list from Danielle Laporte, whose website you should check out if you want a regular dose of “sermons on life, love, consciousness, some cash, and liberation”, as she eloquently puts it. Danielle’s specialty is to share deep insights on how to make life more meaningful and enjoyable in a very bold way. She rightly calls these lessons #truthbombs.
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. Working at home all day instead of going to the countless cute cafes with high speed internet in New York City. Doing this just gives me an excuse to stay in my pijamas all day, be less productive, and feel like my day never really started.
2. Hitting the buzzer even though I’m not THAT sleepy, and even though getting up, meditating, exercising, and having a green juice early will result in me having much more time left throughout the day both for work and play, and will make me feel better about myself.
3. Nurturing my online/distance friendships much more than my real life/local friendships. Doesn’t mean I have to forget about my far away or virtual friends, but my real life deserves at least an equal amount of attention so that I can feel truly connected and fulfilled.
4. Starting my work day by focusing on social media, instead of leaving that for last. Yes, social media is important in my business, but it also takes me down a rabbit hole that I’m better off not going into before at least 5pm.
5. 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 the most would be to take a longer walk with her, breathe some fresh air, clear my head, 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,
Photo by Madflow Studio