Tina Lewis Rowe

Insights, Information & Inspiration

Make A Do-Not-Do List

The usual advice for many problems is to confront them and deal with them swiftly and surely. That is certainly true for many issues we face in life. But, there are times when the best way to deal with a problem is to avoid putting ourselves in potentially problematic situations or in situations that create temptations we know we will have trouble resisting.

• If you know there are some places you go, or some people you go with, that you end up regretting time after time, don’t do it again.

• If you know there are activities that have some “fellow travelers” that create problems for you, don’t engage in those activities. For example, if you know having a drink makes you want to smoke or vice versa, don’t do the first thing so you don’t do the second thing.

• If your experience shows you there are some people, situations or activities that bring out the worst in you or that make you upset, and you have not yet learned to control your reactions, do what you can to avoid them. You don’t need to make a big deal of it, just leave or don’t go in the first place.

• If you do not have enough self-discipline, will power or resistance to limit your time, money or appetite about something you enjoy, don’t try to do it just a little bit–don’t do it at all. You won’t stop at a little bit this time, any better than you have stopped the last dozen times.

Make a Do-Not-Do List: Write a list of the habits you would like to break, the repetitive things you do that you regret, or the activities or people that keep you from forming good habits, having peace of mind and feeling positive.

Next, consider if there are actions or people that seem to lead you to those negative aspects of your life. Consider how you can adjust, change, reschedule or eliminate contact with each of them. Or, perhaps it is a stand-alone problem with which you simply need to stop being involved. Remember that it is easier to eliminate temptation than it is to gain will power.

Create an Instead list: It may be helpful for you to make a list of what you will do instead of the thing you want to stop doing. I suppose you could call it a To-Do List, but I like the idea of understanding that you are replacing a bad thing with a good thing–and you will be much  happier as a result.

The opposite of “Just do it.” There are some things about which we should say, “Just do it!” There are some things about which we must say, “Just don’t do it!” You know which is which in your life and work.

Best wishes this week, as you make your Do-Not-Do-List. You can do it–and you can stop doing it, too!

November 15th, 2008 Posted by | Personal and Professional Development | 6 comments