Let’s jump right in. You’re going to do a STOP DOING list. I do this two or three times a year for myself and I always feel like I’ve just taken a cold plunge (or had a good colonic — is that TMI?).
In terms of being successful (meaning YOUR definition of personal “success”), what you stop doing is just as important as what you start doing. Full stop. I know this to be true in my own life, over and over again.
FOR STOPPING, LETTING GO and ENLIGHTENED QUITTING:
I asked Seth Godin what he’d put on his Stop Doing List. As ever, he was profound and…clear:
- Keeping score in games I don’t need to win.
- Keeping score in games I can’t win.
- Wasting time on people I can’t please.
- Ignoring the side effects of my personal choices.
- Giving into the resistance without realizing, I was.
- Reading my Amazon reviews.
- Letting other people decide if I was doing a good job.
- Trying so hard when it came to persuading other people to change their minds.
- Making lists like this one. Except now.
- Cleaning industrial dough mixers.
- Walking into glass doors.
- Biking without a helmet.
- Cutting large blocks of Styrofoam while barefoot.
- Working for jerks.
FOR STOPPING, LETTING GO and ENLIGHTENED QUITTING:
- No new age sugar-coating. Letting go can be tough. (The range: from mildly inconvenient to nerve wrackingly brutal.) Just face it and you’ll free up some energy to do what needs to be done. Fewer illusions = more courage.
- Stopping can be so easy. I’ve always loved this perspective from Ralph Blum (he wrote a great book on The Runes) “We are not doer’s we are deciders. And once we decide, the doing becomes easy.” Boom.
- Close your eyes and imagine this: A kind of liberation that borders on orgasmic. Yep, letting go of what’s been weighing you down can be that good.
- Letting go and/or quitting can radically increase your odds for being happier. Out of, say, 334 people* I’ve talked to about letting go — of both material and emotional things, 97% of them have no regrets, 88% of them wished they’d done it sooner, and only a mere 3% are still confused. (*Random, intuitive and inconclusive data, but still immensely inspiring, don’t you think?)
- Dramatic decisions don’t have to be high-drama. You may need a good cry in the bathtub when you decide to call it quits on something big, but the resolve and the relief that pours into your nervous system will help you steer steady.
- The future is always more exciting than the past.
Enter: THE STOP DOING LIST. Prepare for massive relief. I tend to stay away from big self-help claims, but this is potentially life changing. Or at least sanity-saving. I’m excited for you.
Get out your journal to do the exercises below. Or download your STOP DOING worksheet HERE.
This is the time to re-group. The other Free & Clear exercises have been building on one another, to get you to this point. So, recall: Your year’s retrospective (the highlights) + Letting go of expectations + What you want to change. So then…
What are you going to Stop Doing? In that beautiful heap of highlights and lowlights and pain points and desires…what do you need to knock off for you to be free & clear? The courage will come. For now: Get clear. Be sane. Tell yourself that you will Love and protect yourself at all times. And…stop it.
This concept could change everything for you — if you let it. The STOP DOING LIST is one of my favourite things to do for myself every year. It’s a total rush. Prepare for liberation.
Stopping what’s distracting, draining, or aggravating doesn’t require any heavy lifting or extra stamina — just love and self-respect.
Before you go…
More+: I’ve written a lot about stopping, quitting, saying good-bye. May it be of service in your own STOP DOING declarations:
- Stop giving 100% to what you don’t really want.
- Eventually, you have to stop blaming your parents.
- Super hero syndrome + the practical response to crazy ambition.
Tunes: Some tunes for clearing it OUT…
- Shake It Out, Florence
- Shake Me Down, Cage The Elephant
- Shake It Up, The Cars
- Shake Your Body (Down To The Ground), The Jacksons
- Shake Shake Shake, Majid Jordan
- Shake It Off, Mariah Carey
- Shake It Off, Ryan Adams
- Shake It On, Jamiroquai
- Shake Your Groove Thing, Peaches & Herb
LISTEN ON SPOTIFY HERE: STOP AND SHAKE IT OUT.
Danielle LaPorte is an invited member of Oprah’s SuperSoul 100, a group who, in Oprah Winfrey’s words, “is uniquely connecting the world together with a spiritual energy that matters.” She is author of White Hot Truth: Clarity for keeping it real on your spiritual path—from one seeker to another. The Fire Starter Sessions, and The Desire Map: A Guide To Creating Goals With Soul—the book that has been translated into 8 languages, evolved into a yearly day planner system, a top 10 iTunes app, and an international workshop program with licensed facilitators in 15 countries.
Named one of the “Top 100 Websites for Women” by Forbes, millions of visitors go to DanielleLaPorte.com every month for her daily #Truthbombs and what’s been called “the best place online for kickass spirituality.” A speaker, a poet, a painter, and a former business strategist and Washington-DC think tank exec, Entrepreneur Magazine calls Danielle, “equal parts poet and entrepreneurial badass…edgy, contrarian…loving and inspired.” Her charities of choice are Eve Ensler’s VDay: a global movement to end violence against women and girls, and charity: water, setting out to bring safe drinking water to everyone in the world. She lives in Vancouver, BC with her favourite philosopher, her son. You can find her @daniellelaporte and just about everywhere on social media.