One way we short-circuit our dreams is to by doing things that impede our success. For example, if I want to lose weight, but I’m filling the cupboard with chips and cookies (darn Girl Scouts) I’m making it harder to eat healthier.
The best way to make tracks toward my goal then, isn’t to simply do more, but to stop doing the things that keep me from it.
When we stop doing the things that threaten our forward motion life becomes easier, we gain a little momentum, and are more likely to persist toward what we want most and even feel better while doing it.
So, instead of doing more to achieve your goals, today, I’m going to suggest you do less. Less of the things that sap your self-control. Less of the things that drain you physically and emotionally and hinder your success.
Eight Things You Can Quit
Leaving things laying around. If you are holding it, picking it up, taking it out, put it away when you are done. No need to lay it on the counter or drop it on the floor only to have to pick it up later.
Trying to be all Food Networky. I am so over feeling bad because I’m making the same stuff week in and week out. My fam would eat peanut butter and tacos (though peanut butter tacos has not been tried – yet) every day without complaint, but I felt bad about not coming up with new dinner menus each week. I am so over that.
When I have time to try a new recipe or cook special meals, I’m all over it. I enjoy the process. But when things are a crazy mix of piano-basketball-need-to-buy-a-birthday-present-for-the-party-in-20-minutes, I’m lucky to get anything on the table. On these days, I’m grateful to have a go-to meal.
Apologizing for a dirty house. Seriously, if you can live with it, who gives a rip what others think? You are not failing because your windows haven’t been cleaned, in say, well over a year, or so, hypothetically. If it really bugs you, clean it, but if it isn’t a priority, move on. No need to give it another thought.
Volunteering for things you don’t care about. You can do lots of good in the world, make a positive difference and help out others and have a good time doing. It’s OK to feel good while giving back. So, stop doing those things you think you should do, but don’t care all that much about.
This is an energy-sucking, emotionally taxing way to live. Instead, throw yourself into the things that matter to you and you’ll feel enthused and inspired. That good energy will rev you up for everything else.
Weekly grocery shopping. Now you can’t get away with this for too long, but if you pull food from the pantry you’ll free up a big ol chunk of time for more of the things that excite you. Get creative with the food you have (or not, remember the value of a weekly pasta night) and give yourself a break from the grocery store aisles a couple of times a month.
Saying “I’ll give you a call” or “we should get together.” No you shouldn’t and you probably won’t. You are already texting, talking, drinking with the people you want to connect with. It’s hard enough to find quality time to spend with the people you really care about. If you want to start a new relationship that is great and healthy and fun. But don’t say it unless you mean it. Every time you make a promise you can’t or don’t want to keep, it drains a little energy from your personal authenticity account. Stop doing it. Be sincere, say “so nice to see you.” But don’t make promises you don’t intend to keep.
Buying things you may have to return. If you aren’t sure, don’t buy. Try on what you can in the store. No matter what you think it will be much easier and save you a ton of time if you do it now rather than running back to the store later. Plus, many people forget to make the returns which in the long run costs some serious cash.
Technology. No, not forever. Don’t freak. But turn it off for a while – after you read this article, of course. It is so easy to get sucked into the newest show, a Facebook chat, Smartphone apps (Words with Friend anyone?). Sure, I do it too and a certain amount of technology time might be a way to unwind.
Anything else is a brain drain and takes you off track toward the other things that would actually make you feel better like exercise, interacting with real, live people, reading a book, getting outside or making progress toward the goals that add meaning to your life. Turn it off. Have a technology moratorium each day – an hour or two or more. At first it may seem tough. Then you’ll just get creative.
When find ways to give up the little things that drain you emotionally and physically during your day, you’ll have more time and energy to put toward the things that add meaning to your life.