For those of you who are constantly looking to improve your life and develop habits that are both sustainable and life-changing, you absolutely need to make a Quit List.
Making a Quit List will guarantee you fast-track yourself to happiness and fulfillment and might just be the most important thing you can do.
Think about it this way. At the start of each year, most of us put together a list of our new years’ resolutions, either in our heads or for the organized and focussed, we write them down.
These are the type of things we’d like to accomplish or focus on;
- start going to the gym.
- exercise more
- quit smoking
- run a marathon
- learn a new skill
- get a new job
- lose weight
Focus On What You Need To Stop Doing
But, in order to accomplish these goals, there are things we need to stop doing. For e.g If we are going to start exercising more, we need to stop doing something else, i.e watching t.v. If we want to lose weight, we need to stop eating crappy food. You get the point.
You need to replace a behavior or action with a new one.
What I’ve come to realize is we’re not so great at focusing on what we need to Stop doing, in order for us to focus on what we need to Start doing.
This year I’ve wanted to focus more on writing. This has been one of my new year’s resolutions.
At the halfway point of the year, I decided to review how I was going, and let me tell you, I failed miserably. I had hardly completed any writing, and for someone who’s writing a couple of books, together with this blog, that wasn’t ideal.
But, my friends, what I’m absolutely awesome at doing, is watching TV! Oooh yeah.
As of this post, I’ve reviewed over 815 movies and have watched, wait for it…7045 tv episodes! That takes the total time spent watching t.v to 6693 hours or 837 continual 8 hour days. Ah, that’s nearly 2 and a half years of 8 hour days watching tv.
Not only is this highlight how much time I could have spent on other, shall we say, more constructive undertakings, but is there That much worth watching!??
So, I say that to say this. What I’ve added to my Quit List is TV. Now having said that, I’m not totally going cold turkey, but to allow myself time to write, I’m putting TV on my Quit List.
The purpose of making a Quit List is to identify what things you can do without. More importantly, what things you need to remove from your life in order to become the person you want to become. Identifying the things you need to stop doing can drastically improve your life and catapult you towards success.
Make a Quit List
So, what does a Quit List look like? It can take many forms, but the simplest is a basic list. I have a large Quit List, but it starts off looking like this;
- Quit eating sugar and carbs
- Quit TV
- Quit my negative self-talk
- Quit getting narky at my wife
- Quit neglecting my children
- Quit making excuses to not exercise
- Quit judging people
..and so on and so on.
I list my most important action at the top, and least important at the bottom.
What To Do Next
Start as I have done, by writing down all the things that you’d like to quit. It will most probably be a large list and could be quite overwhelming at first, but don’t worry, it doesn’t need to be.
What we need to do now is highlight only one or two things on your list that you really need to be focused on each day. Your Quit List might be quite sizeable at first, but focussing on 1 or 2 areas at a time will mean you can achieve results quicker and easier.
The one or two things don’t even necessarily need to be your top two.
How I approach this, is start with one on the bottom and one from the middle of my list.
This will ensure you actually get some results and more importantly, some momentum.
How Making a Quit List Will Improve Your Life
I’m here to show you that making a Quit List will change your life, but to be fair, dependent on how ingrained your habits are, this approach can take time.
For me, this approach has been a lifesaver and has helped me to focus on the areas of my life that I need improvement on.
It’s so easy to focus on where you need to get to, without much thought on what you need to do to get there.
By making a Quit List, it clearly shows what you need to focus on, in order to achieve the results you need.
The Importance Of Focus
Developing a list enables your brain to;
- Know what is the priority you need to focus on
- Work out the steps needed to achieve a result, and
- Stop focussing on the longer ‘big picture’ strategy.
If you’re like me and want to continually aim for daily improvement, this approach really works.
Now you might say, but Ebbo, every time I try and quit watching tv i just end up back on the couch. And I’d say to you, you seem like an intelligent person and you surely know that there is a lot more to breaking bad habits than simply ‘making a Quit List’.
Whist this approach really works, you need to dig a bit deeper.
We are complicated beings and often have a lifetime of patterns we revisit that undermine our good intentions.
Identify the Trigger
For you to really understand why you’re doing ‘the thing that you want to stop doing’ you need to be conscious of what triggers ‘drive’ you to participate in that activity.
Understanding these triggers is crucial in starting to break those patterns. Think about how you can detach yourself from the feelings you feel when you’re doing the thing that you don’t want to do.
Environmental factors can be a major influence on your behavior.
Determine if you need to change your environment, in my case, removing my TV would remove any temptation to sit on the couch and watch endless mind-numbing (albeit somewhat enjoyable) TV.
Once you determine what behaviors and actions you need to quit, put some effort into understanding why you participate in these and what you can do to ‘interrupt’ that routine pattern of behavior.
Develop an understanding of why you do what you do.
Change your connection to the feeling it gives you, change your environment, and substitute that behavior/action with an alternative behavior or action.
Detrimental behaviors and actions are the largest force that restricts your growth as a person and interrupts your path to success.
If your goal is to improve your life, you need to make a Quit List of all the behaviors and actions that you need to remove in order to start attacking the goals that will launch you to a life full of success and satisfaction.
Clearly focusing on what you need to quit is one sure-fire way to reach your life goals a whole lot quicker.
Remember, this approach isn’t passive, it’s very much aggressive.
If you really want to improve your life, you can’t be passive.
Action is required.
So, if you want to change your life, make a Quit List and remember, for now, start small and start getting some momentum.
Now, spend a few minutes writing down what you need to stop doing and start attacking!
If you need someone to be accountable to, find them. Having someone hold you to account can really help you progress in this area.
If you don’t have that person in your life, feel free to let me know what’s on your list and I’ll do my best to hold you to account. Email me
If you don’t have that person in your life, feel free to let me know what’s on your list and I’ll do my best to hold you to account.
Email me here, or share in the facebook group.
Stay well my friends, and remember, that you’re loved and you’re awesome!