The "Stop Doing" List
We’ve all got those wonderful “To Do” lists. I happen to carry a small notebook with me that holds my lists for both home and work. I’ve even got these lists broken down into daily, weekly, and monthly. A little over the top? Maybe. Ultra organized? Hardly. Most of the time, I leave the stupid thing at home in my office! Some good it does me there!
The one I have for my hubby is called the “Honey Do” list. There are enough different projects on that list to keep him busy for the next five or six years! I’ve got that list broken down into different categories as well. Short term projects like finally getting the new garage door opener up is something on my “This Month” list, whereas restoring my 1973 VW Beetle convertible is on the “Please Get it Done Before You Die” list. As you can see, I’m not too optimistic about that one!
Another favorite is my “Gratitude” list. I keep this one in a journal beside my bed. Every night before shutting my eyes, I write down three things in my life that I truly appreciate. It could be the extremely soft Egyptian cotton sheets my mom gave me that I get to sleep on every night. (Yes, I do take them off to wash them!) Maybe it’s a great conversation I had that day with one of my kids. It might even be the fact that my kitchen island stayed clutter-free for more than one hour! It doesn’t take much to make me happy!
Recently, I’ve started a new list. This one is called the “Stop Doing” list. I know it sounds quite counter-productive, but it’s really quite amazing. On this list you will only find things that I need to stop doing in order to live a more joy-filled life. And that’s why we’re here, right? Let me give you some examples. I’ve listed quite a few things in a new little notebook. I am going to stop spending time with people who drain my energy. I’m going to stop freaking out that my youngest son’s room smells like a locker room. He’s heading off to college next year and without that smell I’ll be reminded that he’s not around. (That doesn’t sound right, but I’m sure you know what I mean!) I even have one entry in all capital letters that reminds me to stop worrying about what other people think of me. Who really cares?
What’s great about the “Stop Doing” list is that I never cross anything off. I actually add to it anytime I fancy. I use this list as a constant reminder of doing, or actually "not" doing, anything that doesn’t bring me joy or inspiration. I only wish I could add laundry and grocery shopping to this list! I suppose I’ll need to find something to appreciate about these chores so I can add them to my “Gratitude” list. Ha!
How about starting a “Stop Doing” list of your own? I dare you! What’s the first thing you’d add? I’d love for you to post a comment below!
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