This time of year, around December most people start thinking about their New Year’s Resolutions and what they want to achieve in the coming year. They make list or set goals of what they want to do. I do something a little different every December.
Yes I do make plans for my personal and business life for the year… only I do it with a unique little twist. (It messes with my analytical mind so it seems much easier to accomplish!)
I begin with what I’m going to stop doing
I like the idea of having to stop doing something as compared to a To-Do-List, where I have to do it. I know it may sound silly, but stay with me and I think you’ll get the power in this technique.
Before I go to bed at night I turn off all of my “can’t live without” electronics like my iPhone, iPad and computer. I discovered by doing this I wake up more relaxed and I’m not tempted to grab my phone or sit down at the computer when they are turned off. Instead I relax with a smoothie for breakfast and go over my intentions for the day and what I want to accomplish. It’s more refreshing and relaxing this way instead of answering emails first thing. (Did you ever notice that no matter how many emails you answer, your inbox never seems to get empty?
For me, there is more power in a Stop-Doing-List than in a To-Do-List
Let me explain…
Instead of making a list of all the things I want and what I have to do, I make a list of what I’m going to stop doing. This step is powerful as it helps to quiet the monkey mind, which is reminding that I’ll never achieve all that stuff on my To-Do-List for the New Year. My mind doesn’t know what to say about a Stop-Doing-List!
Another benefit of the Stop-Doing-List is to stop working around the clock. Now days with all of our technology it is so easy to stay connected and be working all day and into the evening. You really aren’t relaxing when you are at home sitting with your family in the evening, and you’re on your laptop or phone answering and checking your emails or on Facebook. Sorry, that’s not quality family time, nor is it relaxing. ☺
You may think you can’t afford to take time off on the weekends because you are so busy. Sometimes just a few days off (mini-breaks) can make all the difference in the world. And, longer vacations can be even better for your mental and physical well-being.
Studies show that breaks from the office reboot your intellectual energy to solve big problems with the mental sharpness they deserve. Our minds and bodies need to take breaks. Just a couple of days off can refresh your mind and body as if you’ve been away for a week. Say hello to mini-breaks.
Mini-breaks are only effective if you follow a few simple steps
1) You can’t stay at home and call it a mini-break. You must leave your home and leave your laptop, iPad and phones at home. I’ve tried taking a break at home and it just doesn’t work, no matter how hard you try.
2) More hours don’t always mean better work. Get out of the office and go for a walk during the day — even if it’s only for a short period of time. We need breaks between our work sessions.
3) It may be impossible for you to take time off every month or two, but it should be your intention to plan a longer vacation every three months with mini-breaks in-between. Our world is moving faster and constantly getting busier and more hectic. You need to take time out for yourself and slow down and relax, your body and brain needs to come back to their natural pace and rhythm. Reconnect with nature and spend more time outdoors. This will help balance your body and mind.
The only way to do this is by starting your Stop-Doing-List.
Keep your list simple and don’t over complicate it.
1 – Start by writing down what you are going to stop doing from now on.
2 – Plan your vacations and breaks well in advance and put them on your calendar. Schedule time off for yourself and then stick with it.
So what’s the learning?
Here are a few important learnings:
Change your focus. By changing your focus from having to do the things on your To-Do-List you can now stop doing things that have long-term benefits. As you can see with turning off your phone, iPad and computer it soon becomes a habit to turn everything off before going to bed. That way you aren’t tempted to use them first thing in the morning.
Stop working all the time. By taking the time to schedule and plan your day, week, month and year you are creating a space where you can actually get more work done with less effort.
Mini-breaks and vacations. There are ways to schedule your mini-breaks and vacations that have huge benefits on your well-being, work and family. Remember your mini-breaks don’t need to be expensive to have benefits. It’s the time away from work that is important.
Some people often make fun of me when I say I’m taking a break…
However, the way I see it is that I need to take care of myself so I can serve others better. After taking a mini-break or vacation I come back more refreshed and energized. My head is clear and I’m ready for whatever awaits me at work with a new sense of confidence and can-do-attitude.
I choose to take care of myself by taking time off and go hiking and biking in the mountains and exploring more of Colorado with my family and friends. Follow your heart and have more fun.
Next Step: Links you should visit:
1) Are you interested in new possibilities and opportunities in your life? Then you will want to take a look at this article about trying new things.
2) Do you often wish you could find a car dealer that still operated on old fashion values? You must see this article about Old Fashion Values and A 4 Letter Word You Should Know.
Don’t forget: If you have any questions about how to get a good vehicle at a price that will fit your budget, contact me by email or call 720-266-4941 and I’d be more than happy to help you.
That’s it for me today. See you real soon. 🙂