I’m all about the lists- I have a big ole planner and it’s full of lists. Every morning, I journal a list of things I’m grateful for and at work, I make lists to prioritize things. Most of us who make lists are making lists of things to do. But the most game changing list I ever made was a stop doing list.
A few years ago, at some meeting or something, somebody was speaking and said just that- what if instead of a to do list we made a stop doing list? I really hadn’t been paying much attention on the whole, but that really resonated with me. I felt so much pressure at that time of my life to do and be everything. I’d find myself adding and adding things to my list.
So I went home that day and I literally sat down and looked at my vision board and then I looked at my planner and thought, what on these is incongruent? What is on my daily to do lists that really doesn’t align with the life I want to live?
This was one of the greatest moments. I started writing down all the extra things in my life. Things that seemed like they needed to be there but which didn’t really align with who or what I wanted my life to be. Of course, we all have responsibilities and obligations. But how many of those are actually necessary when you stop to think about it? When I started to weed things out, everything got better. I stopped agreeing to do things that I really didn’t want to do or couldn’t do. I stopped dreading things. I stopped feeling as guilty and stressed- this has a huge impact on one’s health and well-being.
Then I started feeling really, really stressed in November. Everything was coming to a head. I realized that I had let things get out of control again. I was adding way more to my to do list than my stop doing list. I have to keep those in balance. I don’t have infinite time, wisdom, patience, etc as much as I’d like to believe that I do. Something’s gotta give, go, get, whatever I have to do to keep things in check! So I revisited my stop doing list. Stuff had crept back into my life. And so, I intentionally moved into this holiday season, with the help of my boyfriend, saying, if it’s not already on the calendar, it’s not going to be added.
This has absolutely changed my holiday season! We have lots of have to do’s- how often are we looking at the get to do’s? I am enjoying the holiday season so much more now, that all of those to do’s feel like get to do’s this year!
Are there things in your life that don’t align with the life you’re dreaming of? I would encourage everybody to pause, consider how much of your time you’re just “getting through,” and eliminate anything that’s getting in the way of living your life on your terms.