The To-Don't List Is the New To-Do List

Most of us make a to-do list every now and then, and everyone has made a checklist at one point in his or her life. Some of us live by the to-do list on a daily basis, writing down each thing we need to accomplish before the day is up, and maybe even becoming slightly obsessive and losing sleep until we do so. (Not me, of course…I sleep like a baby.)

But have you ever made a to-don’t list? If you haven’t, maybe you should. There are times when we need that more than the task list. Sometimes, to get to the next level, we have to focus on what not to do. There are times when we need that more than the task list.

Sometimes, to get to the next level, we have to focus on what not to do.

We can all agree that having goals is great. That’s why taking the necessary steps in order to reach those goals should be at the center of our focus. Whether your goals are personal, educational, or business related, big or small, I can guarantee there are things in your life that you shouldn’t be doing in order to reach those heights.

In a favorite book of mine, The ONE Thing by Gary W. Keller and Jay Papasan, the question is raised, “What's the ONE thing you can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?” For this exercise, let’s flip that and ask ourselves: What is one thing that I should not be doing so that I am not hindering or distracting myself from what I want to accomplish?

For example, if you have a dream of getting out of debt, then your to-don’t might be: Don’t open up another credit card if you haven’t paid off the others.

What if you’re set on having a better relationship with your spouse or significant other?  A big to-don’t might be: Don’t participate in conversations with friends or co-workers that involve tearing down significant others or complaining about everything they say and do. 

This one may be easier for others, but not me… Want to lose a few (or a lot of) pounds? A pretty obvious to-don’t would be: Don’t eat a Klondike Bar three nights in a row. Oops! That one’s now on my list.

Here are a few more quick to-don’ts for your everyday list if you want to live your dream life:

Don’t Complain

Complaining invites the negative. Instead, be the one to invite change and find solutions. Complaining just for the sake of complaining is absolutely fruitless, and you’re better than that.

Don’t Worry

Let me preface this by saying that concern is different than worry. Be diligent, pay attention, and look for answers, but don’t worry. It takes up too much brain space and leaves no room for possibilities.

Don’t Be Late

Just don’t, okay? Other people’s time is just as valuable as your own, and when you are habitually late, you are conveying to others that you and your time are more important. Before you freak out, relax… I said habitually late. We all have things that come up once in awhile that prevent us from being where we need to be on time, just don’t forget to check yourself. (Hey, there’s another to-don’t!)

Don’t Hate

Hate takes up so much time and energy, and it will absolutely take over everything that you are if you don’t address it. Stay vigilant to finding peace and loving other people and their differences.

Don’t Envy

There are times when a thought, like, “Why do they have that and I don’t?” or “I wish I had that advantage in business” creeps its way in. Be honest… You’ve had those thoughts. We all have. It’s what comes next that’s crucial...Do you let it fester for the rest of your life or until you get what you want? Or do you remind yourself of all the things you do have and remain grateful for all the advantages you possess?


So, what’s on your to-don’t list? Let me know in the comments, and let’s start inspiring each other!

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