As we prepare to end another year and transition into a new year many of us tell the same story about what we are going to do, "I'm going to START exercising, lose weight, eat better or you fill in the blank with your start and while you are at it, go ahead and fill in your excuse. Seriously, history tells us that by the time we are between January 17-21 aka Ditch Days (Ditch New Year's Resolutions Day) many of those starts never happened or ended before the outcome.
So, I would like for us to consider a few harsh truths and instead of making resolutions of false starts, and quick ends; resolve to make some STOPS in our lives. Make a commitment to stop doing those things that continue to hurt us, hold us, and hostage us, unto ourselves. Keeping us in the life of blame, woulda, coulda and let's not forget shoulda. We actually have more control over the stops than we give ourselves credit. The mind is a powerful tool but many of us are only using half of its functionality. When we become complacent and comfortable, instead of falling into the pit of stagnation, we should recharge, recalibrate, and realign our minds and our hearts for change.
So let's get started with these STOPS!
1. Stop being critical.
You think you are helping people when you pick them a part but you really are not. You are so unhappy with yourself that it makes you feel good to tear other people down and everyone knows it but you. STOP IT!
2. Stop making excuses.
The partner to procrastination. Every excuse delays your destiny.
3. Stop procrastinating.
The partner to excuses.
4. Stop lying to yourself.
It is that bad, it doesn't happen to everyone, you know you want something different, and you do deserve better!
5. Stop blaming others.
We all play a part, some bigger and smaller than others. Own your part and keep it moving.
6. Stop gossiping.
Someone actually told me that "gossip, is a harmless way of making conversation. I responded, that's a lie! It's the fastest way to create harm. Everyone wants to participate but no one was to own it. STOP IT!
7. Stop holding grudges.
They take years off your life, replace it with love and light for someone else if it can't be for the person you have a grudge against. You can be bitter or better, the difference is 1 letter. Choose better!
8. Stop being jealous of others good fortune.
The blessings others receive were designed for them. Maybe if you stop being jealous, hating, throwing shade, whatever you want to call it; maybe you will be ready when your time comes or you just might miss it.
9. Stop being negative.
Ask someone you trust how many negative statements you make a day, a week? Then commit to turning your words into positive affirmations. Negative energy does not produce positive outcomes.
10. Stop wasting your energy on things that do not concern you.
Everything is not about you nor does it require your involvement.
11. Stop hiding behind your defense mechanisms.
You are not THAT angry, selfish, churchy, or arrogant. Allow people to see the real you. Do you know the real you?
12. Stop letting fear control your steps.
We all have things that make us nervous and they are kinda scary but we cannot allow those scary feelings of fear to keep us bound. We cannot have faith and fear at the same time. We must learn to reconfigure fear and use it as motivation and energy to conquer those things we desire.
13. Stop beating yourself up on past mistakes.
So you are perfect, huh? You aren't supposed to make mistakes, huh? Really? John Maxwell says, sometimes you win, sometimes you learn. What did you learn?
14. Stop wasting time - you aren't getting any youngerrrrr.
Americans spend more time wasting time and here is a clue... you can't get time back! Success is determined by your daily agenda. Fill it with useful things that will help you soar!
15. Stop being controlled by your past.
They died, she left you, he took your money, they talked about you, you didn't get the promotion, you never got the apology, or closure (rolling my eyes), you didn't get the pony. SO WHAT?!?! Take control of your life and follow the yellow brick road to your future.
16. Stop delaying your happiness.
Happiness is a destination and YOU are in the driver’s seat. Go there quickly.
17. Stop trying to live up to the expectations of others.
Set YOUR intention for each day based on YOUR plan.
18. Stop competing with others.
I challenge YOU to compete with YOU and you will get those things that are meant for YOU!
19. Stop waiting!
If you want to do it, do it already! Even if you do it alone, you will have done it and will have no regrets.
20. Stop spending time with energy zappers.
Be cautious of people and situations that ZAP your energy. They are what kryptonite is to Superman. You know who and what they are, create an exit strategy and exit stage left. Jump off the balcony if you must but preserve your energy at all cost.
21. Stop being a victim.
Yes it happened but guess what? You can't change the past but you can write your future. Imagine what your life would be like if "it" hadn't happened? Take charge and write your future.
22. Stop holding on.
There are some things that we need to let go; it may not look like it, feel like it, and you may not even want to do it but need too. When we hold on to people, places, and things that no longer benefit us or take us to the next level spiritually, physically, emotionally; it is imperative that we let it go! Let them go. Let her go. Let him go. Let it go… and prepare for a new beginning!
23. Stop deferring your dream.
Life is short and then you really do die! Do it today, do it NOW. Do it shaking in your boots if you must but do it!
24. Stop using food, drugs and alcohol to escape!
Get a passport and take a trip, now that’s a real escape. Food, drugs and alcohol addictions are real and there is a thin line between self-medicating and addiction. You cross the line so quickly and before you know it you are 300 pounds with 5 DUIs. Find some healthy alternatives to dealing with life on life's terms. Shifts happen!
25. STOP creating barriers for yourself.
So how do you STOP? Make the decision that you want to and then do it. It doesn't have to be as difficult as we make it. Now, the reality is, someone may need a therapist and someone may need a life coach but many only need the secret recipe and that's: Commitment + Affirmation + Action / STOP= Change.
As you review this list, for every STOP that applies to you, think about what will replace that STOP. My book Wanna Start a Riot? Change. Is full of affirmations, confirmations, and prayers to support you through your STOPS so that you can begin the most important STARTS in your life. Join the riot starter movement; let us help you create your riot starter plan.
Dr. Taunya A. Lowe is the CEO of a human services and leadership development consulting firm located outside Atlanta, GA. Dr. Lowe is a speaker, trainer, strategist, success coach, professor and entrepreneur. She is a skilled change agent with a focus on developing people and organizations. She enjoys combining her photography and writing to motivate, inspire and lead people toward transformation. To contact Dr. Lowe, email her firstname.lastname@example.org or call her office (855) 873-4445.