5 Things on my STOP List Help me Clarify Life
What kind of life are you living?
Busy . . . Distracted . . . Purposeful . . . Fractured . . . Joy-filled . . . Motivated . . . Lonely . . . Fill in your word here____________.
- Are you living YOUR life or one dictated by others?
- Are you living by goals that bring (internal as well as external) good to yourself and our world or by goals that improve only the status of your physical world?
Do you even KNOW the answer to these questions? I know that when I don’t take time to reflect on my life (schedule, thoughts, actions), I tend to rush through life without making meaningful connections. I usually reflect with the aid of to-do lists, journaling, and bucket lists.
This year I am also writing a To-Don’t List (AKA Stop Doing List). “What you decide not to do is probably more important than what you decide to do,” (Tom Peters).
My life, like most of you, is busy. But I want it to be a busy that is characterized by discipline, joy, purpose, holiness, and God’s goals for my life. I want my busy life to be one that impacts (well and for eternity) the lives of others, our world, and me.
I will write about this topic again after I have lived with my to-don’t list for awhile. I brainstormed a list of 25 items. Here are the five that made the final version of what I am choosing to STOP doing in 2014. (In no particular order)
I Choose to STOP . . .
- Stop showcasing my stuff. I have lots of possessions.I have more than I need. I don’t love all of them equally. Because of this excess it is easy for me to get overwhelmed and distracted with maintaining my stuff. The following two quotes give me direction and freedom in my decluttering efforts. (a) “It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly,” Bertrand Russell. (b) “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful,” William Morris.
- Stop writing massive to-do lists. Each list is so lengthy that I couldn’t get them all done in ONE week. I am not being fair to myself. And by authoring such a list, I start out feeling defeated and behind. I also need to differentiate between Most-Important-Tasks to accomplish each day, and items that belong on my morning routine, evening routine, or daily chores lists.
- Stop playing spider solitaire. I play a round of games one to two times a day. I do this when I need to veg or I have something to think about. There are better ways for me to accomplish those things. Once I am on the computer, internet surfing or Facebooking are not far behind. Crafting is one such way that allows my mind space to veg and problem-solve without getting on the computer.
- Stop choosing other books and activities over reading my Bible. It is easy for me to study the Bible. It is harder for me to make the time to read it devotionally. That’s why I am thrilled when I am accountable to someone to read through the Bible with me. Not only do I read and benefit, but I also get the joy of hearing how the other person(s) benefited.
- Stop relegating health issues to the bottom of the list. Things like daily exercise, nutrition-rich foods, and good sleep hygiene deserve my full attention because they will impact my ability to live a healthy and long life.
It would be sooooo easy for me to write and write and write. But I am going to go with #2 and stop this list BEFORE it becomes massive.
Your Turn . . .
- What word(s) describe your life?
- How do you get a handle on the direction your life is heading?
- Do you resonate with any of the items on my “STOP” list?
- What would you add and why?
Related Posts . . .
- Read this one first. I LOVE Jean’s To Don’t List. I wish I had thought of these. (Jean wise at Healthy Spirituality)
- 9 Ways Chronically Ill/Injured People Benefit from a To-Do List (Fruitfulwords)
- Does Making a List Really Make a Difference? (Fruitfulwords)
- How Realistic is Your To-Do List? Are You Doing What’s on God’s To-do List? (Fruitfulwords)
- Think Tank: Why We All need a ‘To Don’t’ List, Just Like Moses by Daniel H Pink. I am indebted to this article because it got me thinking about a Stop List.