So many shoulds! Are you plagued by nagging thoughts about all the things you could be doing? Should be doing?
Maybe there’s only a short window of opportunity to tackle lots of to-dos on your list because Covid is on a lower summer simmer and we can spend more time outside. Maybe it will gain a head of steam and end up in a full out rolling boil during the upcoming fall and winter that will most likely sabotage our best laid plans.
I know I can count on plenty of unbidden thoughts to rise up and nag me — I should be doing this thing, that thing or this other thing. For sure, there are plenty of projects to tackle. Family business to manage. Blog posts to write. Expanded concepts to teach in my weight loss program. And what about the gardening, reading, decluttering and organizing I’ve got on my calendar?
Of course, I can also easily imagine myself floating serenely on a raft in azure waters. One by one letting go of all my shoulds.
Although I’m planning actual time to relax later this summer, I don’t want to wait until then to let go of all the shoulds.
I want to relax now and savor my summer days before they become distant memories. I want to stop my should thoughts from draining my brain.
The good news is that I know exactly how to do it.
I can create a stop doing list.
Create your stop doing list.
A stop doing list is simply a list of either tasks, activities, habits, and/or behaviors that you are no longer going to do.
It focuses on tasks or activities that might contain things you are currently doing that you thought would help you achieve a goal. But in reality, they’re are not having any measurable or the desired effect.
A stop doing list can focus on habits you want to curb like buying take-out because you’ve run out of time to prepare meals at home.
It can address behaviors that might look like people pleasing, like saying yes when you really want to say no.
It can free up time for those activities and goals that mean the most to you.
We each have only 24 hours in a day.
At its most practical, a stop doing list focuses on those things you physically do that you are not going to do any more.
Because if you do all the things, you’re not going to be able to give 100% those things you want most.
Too many of us are operating at maximum capacity most of the time. Our schedules are full to the brim.
That is why it’s so easy to explode into overwhelm when that one thing happens that throws a monkey wrench into our well-planned day, week or month. That one extra thing that we don’t have the space for so it tips us over the edge and into into frustration. Annoyance. Anger. Resentment.
The trick is to create some white space in your life – a buffer.
Then, when life happens and those extra demands on your time and capacity come calling, you have the ability to take them on without exploding.
Your stop doing list is your ticket to better control over your life and satisfaction with its pace.
Are the things you’re doing in alignment with your core values?
You might also need a stop doing list because some of the things you’re doing, or the way you’re behaving, conflicts with your core values.
For example, a core value might be the importance of eating whole food sustainably grown, but you’re too busy to frequent your local Farmer’s market.
Or, you’ve been doing things for others that sap your time and your energy so you order take-out instead of prepping and cooking the foods on your food plan.
How to create your stop doing list.
To create your stop doing list, you can work through any or all of the following questions.
The first few are the BIG questions. They help you take a 360 review of your whole life and how you’re managing the various aspects.
- What are your core values? You can find a list of core values here as well as some suggestions for how to ascertain what yours are. Write them down.
- What are your life categories? For the sake of this discussion, let’s define a life category as an area of your life with its own specific expectations, goals, dreams and requirements. To start, you can use these categories: Marriage / Family and friends /Personal development / Physical environment / Finances / Health and fitness / Career / Spirituality /Giving and contributing / Fun and recreation. Feel free to add or subtract from this list.
- What are your goals? What are you working towards right now? What are you trying to achieve? Think about your goals and your core values list or create goals in line with your values and life categories.
- Make a list of what you do in a week. This is where the rubber meets the road. Make a list of everything you do in a week according to the life categories. This is where the categories can also help you think through how each one impacts on your time.
- Decide what to cut. Remember that life is always 50/50. We’re not after perfection or a stress free life. That’s not realistic. Assess the activities you’re prioritizing now against your values and your goals. Make decisions about what things you will stop doing. Add them to your stop doing list. Don’t over think this. The next questions to ask will help you refine this even further.
- How might this activity or commitment be holding you back? Is there anything that you are doing right now that might seem necessary and important, but could, in fact, be holding you back? Maybe you’re doing things a particular way because that’s how you’ve always done then. Given a chance to think twice about those things, maybe they aren’t as necessary as you think? Or maybe the way you’re doing them can be revised to free up more time for relaxation and fun.
- What is my return on this investment of my time and energy? What are you getting back in return for the effort you’re putting in? As you ssess what you’re doing, see if it’s helping you stay true to yourself. If it’s helping you work towards your most precious goals and values or if it’s stopping you from doing something more meaningful and vital to your success.
What good can you let go of to make way for great?
There are things that are good ways to spend your time. Things that will help you move and progress towards your goals – or simply help create a better, happier and healthier environment.
But what if some of those good things could be postponed, revised or even eliminated to make way for something GREAT?
Let’s do a deep dive together and see what might fit into this category and whether these activities or tasks are worth adding to your stop doing list.
Create a stop doing list to make weight loss easier.
We can create this list inspired by your BIG life goal to improve your relationship with food, your body and your weight.
So, please take me up on my offer for your FREE Strategy Call. Then you can see for yourself how it’s possible to jump start weight loss by intentionally narrowing your focus to what matters most.
This exploration can help you reach your weight loss goals with a lot less stress and drama.
It’s totally possible to make 2022 your year to create the healthiest you. No matter your age, stage or past disappointments.
Jump start your fresh start. A year from now you will thank yourself you reached out to me today.
I’m looking forward to meeting you soon.
It’s Never Too Late to make your weight loss journey easier. Let’s go!