Today I went for my six month follow up after having eyelid surgery. The ophthalmologist told me in passing that he has decided not to do cataract surgery anymore. He didn’t describe how he had come to this decision but I congratulated him on the importance of knowing when it is time to stop doing something.
Many times I meet individuals who repeat the same negative behaviours over and over again while wondering what is wrong with the world. Let’s think about some of the things that a person can stop doing that will likely bring better results. Is it time to stop:
- Ingesting things that aren’t going to build your body. We all know that too much sugar, caffeine, alcohol and drugs break down rather than build up the systems. What do you put in your body that is hurting you?
- Trying to change other people. You can spend years and years trying to convince others to do things differently without success. Unfortunately, people only change when life isn’t working for them now matter how good your intentions.
- If you don’t like something, find a better way. Acting like a victim can quickly become very annoying and will likely drive away the very people who you want in your corner. Start thinking about and giving thanks for what you do have rather than looking for someone or something to blame for your problems.
- Living beyond your means. When you spend more than you earn, your financial state will just get worse and worse over time. Try living on 90% of your net income and put the extra 10% on your mortgage. You will knock years off your debt and likely not miss the luxuries that you now think are necessities.
- Trying to please other people. The renowned musician Roger Whittaker sings “I don’t believe in IF anymore. If’s an illusion”. When you actually think that sacrificing your needs and wants for others is necessary in life, you are living an illusion. In fact, you are just handing your emotions and power over to others who might actually hurt or take advantage of you because of this.
- Look around you and think about why you have so many things. Are you afraid of not having enough? Do you believe that your family will be thrilled to inherit everything or upset that they need to clean up the mess? Who can you share items with who will be happy to receive your gifting?
- Breaking the law. Speeding is not wise or legal. Going without a seatbelt is just asking for trouble. You didn’t buy your license or register your vehicle? Don’t be foolish.
- Missing deadlines. When you don’t pay your bills on time, you will be charged penalties and interest that increase the original cost. This is like flushing cash down the toilet.
- Showing up late. It is not “fashionable” to always be the last one in the door for a scheduled event. Everyone is busy and not managing your time well leads to loss of respect from others and extra stress for yourself.
- Telling lies. You can become really good at skirting the truth but it will eventually come back to bite you in the butt. First you tell one lie, then another to cover that up and another until finally you are labelled “liar”.
At the beginning of each new year, people usually make goals of things that they want to do. This year, try making goals involving things that you want to stop doing and I bet you will be glad you did!
And when you are tempted to revert to old habits try using some self-talk by firmly telling yourself “Just stop it!”