Sunday, March 6, 2011

What's a To-Stop List?

As we move further into March, I have to remember its only the third month of the year. That means it's time to review my 2011 goals and reset them if I need to. While I am always talking about setting goals, accountability, taking action and creating to-do lists, a Twitter friend whom I've never met, Daniel Foisy(@wisdomalacarte), recently tweeted about creating a "to-stop" list. This concept has been around in weight loss circles for a few years. The basic idea is to identify factors distracting you or holding you back from reaching your goals, write them down and then make a concious effort to STOP doing them! For some reason this caused me "to stop" in my tracks. It inspired me to think about my lists differently. As I thought about the idea of a "to-stop" list, I reflected on my own constant state of busyness.

There's great power in that idea for me because I am a person who has a high level of physical and mental stamina. This drives my desire to see things get done with a high degree of excellence, create, innovate and help others grow. This sometimes causes my "to-do" list to become longer than what can get "to-done" in a normal week or work day. I want to give more of my time and energy to those things that matter and make an eternal difference. Yet, I have to take responsbility for my actions, my preparation and the decisions I make. Besides reaching my goals, I want to respond to people and situations in a refreshing, sincere way. After thinking about that, I realize I need to stop doing some things. When I stop doing or even thinking about certain things it allows blessings to flow more freely and my peaceful mind to be sharp.

Whether you want to lose weight, find a job, grow spiritually or be a better parent, there are things in your life you need to stop doing. What are they for you? They may be large or small, but they are connected. Stop procrastinating. Stop worrying about things you can't control. Stop allowing clutter in your physical surroundings. Yep, it all matters. So join me today in creating your own specific "to-stop" list. In the interest of self-disclosure and accountability, here's my personal list of what I need to stop doing over the next three months:

Karen's To-Stop List:
1) Complaining about something but not being willing to step up and change it.
2) Being critical of my appearance and weight and not just thankful for good health.
3) Insulting God by worrying.
4) Trying to help people who won't even try to help themselves.
5) Constantly wondering if I am making difference in my work and with my team.
6) Fearing the outcome my upcoming's not until October!
7) Avoiding tough workouts and long runs.
8) Allowing clean clothes to pile up in the laundry room.
9) Eating lunch alone at my desk.
10) Taking even the smallest blessing for granted.

If I just stop doing any five of these things listed, I am convinced I could get closer to greater joy. Besides, I can't do anything effectively when my mind and spirit are in a state of clutter, distraction or negativity. I always choose to have a longer term vision, no matter what the circumstance. I know that when I spend more time looking through a telescope rather than a microscope, I am a better person. God really does have a plan for each and every one of us. Sometimes our microscopic busyness and negativity gets in the way of His plan. Your life, your legacy and these lessons matter. Let's stop blaming others and take a look at ourselves. What's on your "to-stop" list? Share a few with me here. Big or small. Talk to me by checking a box below or leaving a matter to me!