Two weeks ago I said I was going to create a Mindful Monday post centered around Danielle LaPorte’s idea of a Stop Doing List. I meant to do it immediately, but that didn’t quite happen. I suppose that there is no time like the present, though, huh?
A “stop doing” list is all about not giving your energy to things that you don’t want to do, and instead giving your energy to the things that give you joy and pleasure. It is not lost on me that when I follow this edict, when I quit giving my energy to the things I do not want or that do not serve me, and instead concentrate on the things that I wish to bring into my life, I get those things that I want. When I focus on all of the negativity, I am rewarded with negativity. It is difficult, though, when you are in the trenches to remember that you are desirous of those positive, bountiful things. It is much easier to be mired in the muck, than it is to reach for the beauty of a new horizon.
With a goal of eliminating the things that no longer serve me, the following things are on my Stop Doing List:
- Biting my tongue when I want to speak up. It doesn’t serve me, and it doesn’t serve the person that I want to speak to. It doesn’t mean that I get to be rude. It just means that I don’t hold things back for the fear of hurting someone else’s feelings. If something needs to be said, then it needs to be said.
- Collecting random junk. While I don’t want live a minimalist life, I do want to live a life less cluttered. That means saying no to other people’s things. I realize that it is usually well-meaning, but our home can’t be a repository for the things that other people don’t want. Now, there are exceptions. There are things that Sweet Husband and I need to complete our home, but we really are at the point in our lives that we don’t have to take things simply because we must have them. If they don’t fit what we are trying to do, then we don’t need them. Period.
- Procrastinating. I almost feel like this might be something that is so deeply ingrained in my psyche that I might be unable to stop doing it, but I want to try. I want to live a life that is more efficient and not so last minute. If it’s last minute, I want it to be so because it is something fabulous – not because I decided to waste my time playing Candy Crush.
- Speaking of which…wasting time on the internet. It sucks up way too much of my time. I could conquer the world with all the time I waste on stuff that ultimately doesn’t matter one little bit.
- Doubting myself. I’m really not all that confident in my abilities to do anything, which is strange because I’ve accomplished a whole lot. We’ve been working through something called Efficacy with our students lately and one of the things we tell students is not to ask if they can do something but how they can do something. Well alrighty then. It’s not if I can do something. It’s how can I do something. Who do I need to seek out to support me? What resources do I need to be successful?
- Waiting. It seems that I’ve spent a great deal of my life waiting on something – graduation, a career, a relationship, the weekend. Waiting for your life is a terrible way to live.
- Being continually plugged in. I’m one of those hyper-connected people. My phone is almost always in my hand. If I’m not checking it, I’m thinking about checking it. It’s nice to not be worried about what’s going on in the world some times.
If I stop doing the things that are my Stop Doing List, then I create space for the things that I want – like creating (writing, photography, maybe painting, sewing, crocheting), taking care of myself, spending time with friends and family, resting, cooking, making my home more inviting. Those are the things that are most important to me. Those are the things that I want to allow more space for and to welcome into my life.
What things are are on your Stop Doing List? And what does that allow you to create space for instead?