My 2020 Stop Doing List

I want to take a different approach to the way I engage with the upcoming new year. In previous years I did the usual thing; I set new goals, added new items to my “do these things to be successful” list and set an ideal weight to strive towards. Although it’s been semi successful, I’m kind of over it. I’m over the updated list of new things to track and maybe accomplish that simply leave me feeling overwhelmed and disappointed if it doesn’t work out.

My new approach? A list of things I want to stop doing in 2020. As far as my life goes, I’m doing pretty okay. My overall goals are well on their way to being accomplished and to be honest, I don’t need any new ones right now. What I do need to start doing, is making time and saving energy for the things in my life that matter and bring me joy. In order to do that I need to stop doing things that simply fill up time and take up energy without adding to my life. That brings us to my 2020 stop doing list. The purpose of this list is simply to look at my life and look at the things that leave me feeling miserable and discouraged and the things that keep me from living my life authentically and acknowledge them. The hope is that with the acknowledgment of these things, I can become aware of a) why they occur and b) stop doing them.

Why is a stop doing list important? Well, because we all do way too many things in our lives that simply stop us from actually living our lives. With a stop doing list, you are looking at the way you live your life now, and taking note of the bad habits, and negative behaviors that prevent you from being the best version of you. With that knowledge, you are able to evaluate and potentially answer the question of “what would my life look like if I no longer did these things”. Chances are, with those changes your life would be less stressful and you may actually start to feel freer in the process.

My stop doing list currently contains 5 items that I’ve labeled as being unhelpful habits of mine. Unhelpful to my current goals and who I want to be. My hope is that by making myself aware of these habits I can notice when I’m doing them and redirect myself. Here’s my list:

5 Things to Stop Doing in 2020

Using time as an excuse – Here’s the truth. We make time for what we count as important. Instead of using time as an excuse, I will acknowledge that I mis-prioritized and make changes accordingly. When we hold ourselves accountable for our actions, we are more likely to change them. When we shift the blame on something else (time for instance) it suddenly becomes time’s fault, not ours. I have plenty of time in a day. I just need to use my time wisely.

Allowing my mood to dictate my progress- I was just discussing this the other evening with my boyfriend. I am the worst at this. I can be motivated and excited about something, and then my mom snaps at me, I have a stressful conversation, or I simply wake up feeling like crap and boom. Productivity down the drain. This year I’d like to push through those moments.

Listening to others definitions of me People have a lot to say and they always will. I lived my life caring (but pretending not to) about peoples impression of me, believing that if someone believed something about me that wasn’t desirable it was my responsibility to change their perspective. I know where this comes from but that’s an entire blog post in itself…we won’t go there today. Regardless of where it comes from, I don’t enjoy it. It creates stress and I’m releasing this in 2020

Waiting on others to enjoy my life – There are things in my life I wish I had done. I’ve reached that age where I actually have regrets about things I didn’t do when it would have been easier to do so. Now, I’m content with where I am, don’t get me wrong. But I there are things that I wish I had done when I was younger, with no bills or real responsibilities that will be more difficult for me to do now. Why didn’t I do them? Many reasons, but the main reasons were that I was worried about who I would be leaving behind. I’ve already started changing this part of me with smaller things so I’m pleased with that. I don’t want to see 2030 with the same regrets about experiences I didn’t have because of who wouldn’t come alongside me.

Seeking Validation- This is a big one for me. As humans I believe we naturally crave validation. As babies we learn to walk while being praised for taking steps. We learn how to properly use a toilet because we are rewarded and celebrated. We receive gifts every year for simply being alive. Validation is a part of the human experience. But the dependence on validation can leave people totally bound, unable to move without someone being in support of what they are doing. I’ve seen it. I used to be pretty close to that and even tho I’m not anymore, I’m still way more dependent on the validation of others than I’d like to be. This out of all the others I’ve listed will be the most emotionally strenuous of them all.

This list will not be easy. It’s not supposed to be. But if I am able to hold myself accountable with these 5 things I want to stop doing I know the results will be worth the effort. There are other little things I’d love to stop doing…actually there are quite a few, but I figure that if I hit these psychological/emotional items first the other things like stop snoozing your alarm and go for your run will be easier. At least thats the hope.

Anyways, cheers to 2019. It was one heck of a growing year. It stretched me. Beat me up a little and I’m still recovering from it. But in the process I somehow feel healthier. More open. Softer. And more excited than ever to see who I blossom into in this new year.

Want to learn more about stop doing lists? Check out these links below:

Forbes Article; Saying yes to no

Friday Forward article; The power of a stop doing list

Emotionally resilient living blog post; the power of a stop doing list

Alrightie friends, until next time!

Stay Lovely,

Nicole