A new year — a new challenge! Stop Doing!
What do you not have time for because you have too much on your plate? What new habits have crept in? Let the following list inspire you to change it up. Before you ask others to give something up, reflect on your own actions and reconsider what doesn’t serve you. And as you implement these, marvel at what opportunities present themselves along the way.
Stop: Challenges 1 – 30
1. Don’t spend so much time indoors. Establish a baseline to go outside and then up your game.
2. Cease traveling unconsciously, whether it’s five minutes, five hours, five days. Be mindful when you are walking, driving, riding a bicycle, taking a train or flying. What impact is your travel having on future generations?
3. Stop bottling up everything. Write, sketch, tell someone, whatever it takes. All of the information you are consuming needs to go somewhere. Find a way to release it.
4. Break your habit of sitting and start moving. We all sit too much, which is bad for our health. Familiar with the 7-minute workout? Don’t tell me you don’t have time.
5. End ignoring signs of unethical behavior on your part. Be honest with yourself and listen to what others are trying to tell you.
6. Stop believing that anyone owes you anything. Your parents, your kids, your boss — none of them owes you anything. Take responsibility instead.
7. Halt just going through the motions, 9-to-5, or paying the bills! You have a gift which requires you to do your work. What is it? Contribute it daily.
8. Let go of something — stuff, relationships, beliefs, maybe a habit?
9. Do something for the last time. Maybe on your birthday? Acknowledge it. Let it go. Make room for something new.
10. Spend money on behalf of others. Give something meaningful.
11. Stop being in someone’s way. Who might that be?
12. Stop taking care of others without taking care of yourself first. You deserve better.
13. Stop sleeping with any electronic devices. Charge them overnight in a different room. They need to refuel their batteries, and so do you. Give it a rest!
14. Stop using your cell phone as your alarm clock. Get an old-fashioned alarm and start sleeping restfully again.
15. Stop allowing yourself to live with clutter. Enough of the mess.
16. Stop neglecting yourself, your health, mental and physical. What do you need to feel better?
17. Stop lying to yourself. Check out how you might be self-deceiving and take actions to stop.
18. Stop multi-tasking. Just listen to music. Just walk. Just listen. You might be amazed what you discover.
19. Stop binge watching. Start reading instead.
20. Stop ignoring history. What are you curious about? What insights might you be able to glean from past experience, your own or others?
21. Stop worrying about what your ancestors thought or might want you to do. Let the past be the past.
22. Give away clothes. Make someone else’s day.
23. Change your hairstyle. Grow it longer or cut it shorter.
24. Let go of something that is not good for you: alcohol, cigarettes, vaping, sugar, binging whatever, etc.
25. Cease eating added sugar. Perhaps try a Whole 30 days without sugar altogether?
26. Eat less processed foods. Vegetables, anyone?
27. Stop eating out so much. It naturally leads to better health.
28. Stop going for convenience. Enjoy quality instead. For example, wash your own lettuce, and in the process reduce plastic packaging and experience more mindful food prep.
29. End holding yourself back and allow yourself to spend money on something that will truly give you joy.
30. Stop procrastinating about having an emergency plan. What emergency are you not prepared for? Do it now! Stop ignoring the five P’s of evacuation: People, Prescriptions, Papers, Personal Needs, Priceless Items
Reconsider: Challenges 31 – 60
31. Cease pretending you won’t die. What can you do today to prepare for it?
32. End being unkind or rude. Is it time to make amends with someone? Who would you hate to run into right now?
33. Let go of unreasonable expectations. People can’t read your mind. Are you asking too much, too little?
34. Rearrange, beautify, clear the air. Stop ignoring your environment.
35. Shift your mindset that it’s all about you. It’s not!
36. Stop following. Be a leader.
37. Stop role modeling bad behavior. It’s contagious.
38. Find your voice. What are you here to do? Stop holding yourself back and start speaking up. Your voice matters and is needed.
39. Stop being greedy. Pay it forward instead. Always.
40. Stop mindlessly rushing. Take a deep breath instead.
41. Stop not living up to your word. If you promise something, follow through or else stop promising when you doubt you can live up to it.
42. Let go of a few minutes of sleep to allow yourself a good start to the day. What morning routine will work for you?
43. Let go of taking the easy road. Challenge yourself. Learn something new or follow through with a commitment.
44. Think about others and reach out to them. Even if they don’t. Stop thinking about yourself without considering what impact your actions have on others.
45. Change up your information sources. How can you stay informed in a different way?
46. Watch less TV/movies/streaming YouTube videos, etc. Keep a log of your video/streaming consumption first. Then let go of what doesn’t serve you.
47. Turn your smart phone off once a day, every day.
48. Before you check out at the grocery store, put one item back. You know you don’t need it.
49. End ignoring your teeth. Floss daily. Dental health is a great indicator of your entire health.
50. Recycle something and research where it ends up. Stop throwing items in the trash when they could be recycled. Even better: Don’t purchase what can’t be recycled or reused.
51. Before recycling an item, consider if it could be reused.
52. Repurpose something rather than throwing it into the trash. Make it fun!
53. Stop ignoring an animal that could use your help.
54. Stop wasting water. Turn off the faucet. Capture water. For example, water plants with the run-off from rinsing your salad. (Consider charity:water. )
55. Stop thinking you don’t deserve beauty around you — art, music, flowers.
56. Stop thinking you can’t draw. Try it. Just for fun.
57. Stop ignoring new art and artists that could inspire you.
58. Stop ignoring the gems in your community. Is there a museum, a lecture, a concert that would make you feel alive? Take action.
59. Stop ignoring what is repelling you in your community. The homeless, poor public transportation, poor water quality? What action can you take that will improve your community?
60. Keep the car parked and walk or ride your bike to your destination.
Think again: Challenges 61 – 90
61. Take an old picture down and replace it with a new one.
62. Let go of trying to change someone. This is BIG!
63. Stop hanging out only with like-minded people and get to know someone with a different view. Almost everyone qualifies.
64. Let go of the notion of not enough. There is enough time, money, love.
65. Stop talking and start listening more.
66. Instead of giving your energy to others, claim some for yourself first. What would change it up?
67. Ask someone to sponsor you. Who might that be? And for what?
68. Take a different way to work by choosing an alternate route or form of transportation. Go for a walk before heading to your home office.
69. Play a different game.
70. Unlearn something. Just because you have always done it this way doesn’t mean there couldn’t be a better way.
71. Don’t buy something. Make it yourself instead. Grow something. Build something. Repurpose something.
72. Stop checking email/social media 24/7. Set some boundaries around your communication.
73. Turn your computer off every day.
74. Close all of your applications once a day.
75. Put an end to the noise. Treat yourself to silence.
76. Do a different form of exercise. Mix it up.
77. Stop being attached to the outcome. Enjoy the journey instead.
78. Let go of a habit. Just stop.
79. Prune/cut something. A plant. Hair. Expenses.
80. Avoid going for the next shiny object. Nurture something instead.
81. Expose yourself to a different genre – poem, novel, podcast, library.
82. Delete. Something. A lot of things.
83. Step out of your comfort zone. If you are naturally creative, plan something. If you are an engineer, create something. If you are a nurturer, be nurtured.
84. Curious about something? Do something unpleasant first.
85. Let go of comfort for a night: Sleep on the floor/ground and see a different perspective.
86. Break the gossip. Yours and others.
87. Stop overthinking everything. KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid)
88. Go for a week without putting on a watch or looking at a clock. Time is plentiful.
89. End your addictions to substances, screens, work, being needed, obsessions.
90. Stop abusing your body. You only have one.
Don’t: Challenges 91 – 101
91. Let go of a fear by working through it. Do it!
92. Sit in the dark and listen. What do you hear, feel, smell?
93. Next time you want to purchase something online, leave it in the shopping cart for 24 hours. Do you still need it?
94. Put an end to wasting food. Period.
95. Put a stop to all of the ‘shoulds’ in your head. They are only there to please others.
96. Stop resisting. Hmmm. What might that be?
97. Give away material possessions. You can’t take them with you where you are headed. Be a steward instead.
98. Stop BMW. Bitch – Moan – Whine. Sometimes needed, but unbecoming.
99. Stop taking yourself so seriously.
100. Stop procrastinating.
101. Ignore your EGO. It’s just there to sabotage you.
A few more thoughts. Don’t just read about what to let go of – actually let go. Challenge yourself to pick one, 30, or all 101 and keep track of them. Remember last year is over. You’re starting this list from scratch now. Keep track on your calendar or in a notebook. Most importantly, let me know what inspired you to let go of something. By making the declaration, you are committing, and only with commitment will you let go of what doesn’t serve you any longer. And while you are at it, be a role model for others.