13 Things to Stop Doing in 2013


Each new year, we hope to be better and do better than the previous year. Unfortunately, as we fret over our resolutions and sign up for classes and workshops we have no intention of attending, we forget what really gets in our way. The problem isn’t  that we aren’t motivated enough or lazy,  it’s that most of us refuse to admit our true flaws even to ourselves. We rather deal with the superficial and easy stuff, because the big stuff can be overwhelming.

I can relate. However, I’ve learned (the hard way) that I don’t make any progress unless I start being real about what gets in the way of my happiness, success and overall well-being. I’ve also learned that my sons watch how I deal with the nuisances  and challenges in my life. If anything, I want to set the right example of how to persevere as well as recover from failures and disappointments with grace.

1. Stop Being Afraid

If you’re living in fear of what may come, what can happen, what might be, you are denying yourself the opportunity to enjoy life. Think of the last unpleasant and unexpected event that happened in your life; did staying in your comfort zone and trying to play it safe change the outcome?

2. Stop Living in the “Waiting Place”

In Dr. SeussOh the Places You’ll Go, he mentions the Waiting Place, a place where people get stuck waiting for things to happen.  Saying things like “When I get…. I’ll do …” means you’re stuck in the waiting place. It’s time to get a new address. Get moving by doing one thing a day that will bring you closer to your “Thriving Place”.

3. Stop Holding on to People You’ve Outgrown

Not to sound callous, but there are probably people in your life that are holding you back because you have outgrown their way of thinking, behaving and living. It does nothing for you to continue pursuing friendships and relationships that hinder your progress. Some people  in your life have passed their season.

4. Stop Looking for Answers From Others

If you have doubts about what moves to make in life, the answer lies within. You can ask people for advice, but you know what you need to do. Sometimes, we ask others because we need confirmation or reassurance but the truth is we already know the answer.

5. Stop Being An Approval Whore

Yes, it’s a strong word but what else would you call it? Ask yourself why it’s important to get people to like you. Isn’t it more important to have meaningful relationships than it is to try to win the approval of people who don’t matter? More importantly, you need to ask yourself: “Why do I care what people think?” We tell our kids to “be yourself and people will like you. Maybe we need to follow our own advice.

6. Stop Doing Things That Hold You Back

What are you wasting your time on the most right now? If you have a teen at home, you’re probably amazed at how much time they could spend, texting or playing games on the internet. Yet, how many hours do you waste on something that is getting you nowhere in life? It’s time to reassess the things in your life that are stunting your personal and professional development.

7. Stop Playing the Blame Game

Maybe you grew up in a dysfunctional home but at some point, you’ve played a part in how your life has turned out. By adulthood, we are responsible for our actions and the consequences. You have to be accountable for what you do and say. Don’t forget that your kids are watching you and are learning how to play the game better than you.

8. Stop Complaining

When was the last time you solved a problem or made a difference by complaining? That’s all I have to say.

9. Stop Your Mental Time Travel

Unless you are working on a time machine, you can not undo the past or leap into the future. It would be great if life allowed us a remote control to rewind, pause and fast forward but since we don’t get one, there’s nothing you can do but live in the moment. There’s so much you’ll miss today if you choose to think about yesterday or worry about tomorrow.

10. Stop Waiting for Someone to Save You

No point in waiting for Superman, he’s not coming! You have to take action to change your life. You need to take charge of your life and develop a strategy that will get you where you want to be.

11. Stop Saying “Yes” When You Want to Say “No”

You’re not doing anyone any favors by committing to things you don’t want to do. Be honest with yourself and others about how you want to invest your time and energy.

12. Stop Being Mean

We’ve become a society of mean girls and bullies. Maybe you’re not intentionally being mean, but sometimes what we say, especially online, may not be what we’d say to someone in person. If we want our kids to be more compassionate and empathetic, we need to set the example by being mindful of how we treat others.

13. Stop Trying to Change People

People change because they want to, not because you want them to change. People have to be intrinsically motivated to change. If you want to inspire someone, let them see you in action.

How are you planning to improve your life this year?

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2 Responses to 13 Things to Stop Doing in 2013

  1. Nichole says:

    thank you for this – what a great reminder and fantastic goals to strive for. Could you imagine the peace we would have if we could apply these to our everyday life??!! And…what a better place this world would be!

  2. mroker says:

    Thank you Nicole! It’s easier said than done, right? It helps to start small and work on one at a time.

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