We are all driven by how we see ourselves, as well as our perception of how other people see us. Often we seek to stop habits that clash with our own self-image. You’ve come to the right place to learn all about how to stop doing stuff!
You’ll begin with a self-assessment of your best and worst qualities. Then, you’re going to learn to draw on strengths you didn’t even know you had. Yes, it’s possible to break old habits and form new ones.
Each of us is a creature of many habits. You begin each day with routines-habits-that you developed years ago. Do you shower at night, or in the morning? How long do you spend brushing your teeth? Have you already chosen your outfit for the day?
Some people believe you can change superficial habits just by replacing them. Others are stymied when they try to change habits because they are controlled by deeply ingrained thoughts-habitual thoughts. Other things that we do in our daily routines happen because we were taught a specific behavior or belief by parents or other adults who affected our development.
You’re going to learn steps to make changes when you want to. First let’s look at things that people most often want to change about themselves:
- They want to change their appearance. Some people want to gain or lose weight. Others hope to find a new hairstyle, but they’ve worn the same one for years. Many people just want to stop annoying habits such as nail biting or hair twisting.
- Others long to learn how to stop doing stuff such as eating junk food, laying about too much, and avoiding responsibility for their physical well-being.
- Some people spend too much money. Other people are happy with how much money they’re spending, but they lie to their partner about it.
- Excessive television, use of videogames, or even too much internet disrupts many people’s lives.
- Consider whether you commit habits of inconsideration: lying, procrastinating, tardiness, cursing, or interrupting others and not being a good listener.
- Some habits are truly self-destructive: alcoholism, drug abuse, gambling, sex addiction, or nicotine addiction.
- Habitual thoughts or ingrained behaviors lead to problems like domestic violence, eating disorders, or cutting.
How to stop doing stuff begins with an assessment of your goals. First, take a piece of paper and make five columns. Label them as Habit, Reason to Keep Habit, Reason to Change Habit, Positives, and Negatives.
Next, list the habits you want to change in the “Habit” column. Fill out the other columns with the thoughts that each brings to mind. When you’re finished, you will have a clear idea of what habits you want to change and whether it’s worthwhile to change them. This is important because you have to be selective. You can’t change everything! Don’t be too hard on yourself-that can be a bad habit, too. Just pick a couple things.
Writing down this kind of self-analysis will prove beneficial as you learn how to stop doing stuff. For example, an alcoholic in treatment learns to draw a timeline of his life. At what age does the addiction begin? How does it progress? He also creates a uses-consequences-secrets model. What drugs is he using? What are the consequences? Does this force him to keep secrets? You can adapt these exercises to other areas.
Whether you seek to overcome a serious addiction or if you just hope to stop biting your nails, you will begin to form a new mindset. Right now, you are at the stage where you are thinking about the possibility of stopping a habit. Soon you will move to a stage at which you’re ready to stop. Only then can you begin to learn how to stop doing stuff that weighs heavy on your mind and in your life. You can succeed!