7 Things for your Not-Do List

By: Kathy Gates

Have you ever noticed how easy it is to find
yourself reacting to life's daily busy-ness? You end
up accomplishing nothing of real value. Try this
"Not-Do" List, to see where you could cut out some
of the intrusions on your daily life, so that you can
find time to look at what's really important to you.

1. Don't answer the phone.
Isn't that why God made answering machines and
teenagers? Take the calls on YOUR schedule
instead of everyone else's. Ask friends and family
not to call during certain hours. Don't be rude; just
explain that you're trying to make your time work
for you instead of against you. We all have the
same 24 hours. You can either live it according to
everyone else's schedule, or you can decide when
and how you will use your own time. Put life on
YOUR schedule, instead of just reacting to the next
thing that catches your attention.

2. Don't accept an invitation to a party.
If it's the one Saturday you have free that month,
and you really want to spend it alone with your
spouse, or working on a personal project, say no
thank you with love and grace. By saying no to
others, you have said yes to your marriage and to
yourself. Remember that you always have options,
and you are always at choice. It's unrealistic to
think that everyone will hate you if you don't attend
a party. Don't lose sight of the big picture.

3. Don't make the bed.
No, this is not an invitation to become Mr&Ms.
Sloppy. While I'm a 100% advocate on how a
cluttered environment affects a cluttered mind, all
I'm really suggesting here is to dump the "good
girl/good guy" routine for a while.

And don't use
the excuse, "that's just the way I am." Try
retraining yourself to be a little looser. Does it
really matter if you leave dishes in the sink? Or
does it really matter that you spend the extra 5
minutes listening to your child's story. Realize that
you are still just as loveable even if you aren't

4. Don't watch the news.
You pay attention what you put into your body; pay
attention to what you put into your mind. I'm not
advocating that you become completely uninformed
about the world around you, but studies have shown
that people often experience heightened emotions,
anxiety, even anger when watching these programs.
Dr. Andrew Weil even suggests a total "news fast"
for one day -- don't read, watch, or listen to any
news for one day, then increase it as you feel
comfortable. If that's too drastic for you, perhaps
try a method that's a little less invasive, such as
print or online, where you have a bit more control
than the images being right in your living room.
Choose your news carefully.

5. Don't do what you "should" do.
The "shoulds" in our lives sometimes have a
tendency to masquerade as true responsibilities,
which they often really aren't. Take a good long
look at the "shoulds" in your life. Try replacing
them with "I want..". "I want to visit my Dad each
weekend, but sometimes I need to spend that extra
time with my children." "I want to cook a healthy
home-made meal for my family each night, but
sometimes it's just not practical." By taking the
"should" out of the sentence, you are now able to
see that you're not a bad person and aren't shirking
responsibility. You are simply making another
choice on occasion.

6. Don't try to hide what you perceive to be a
weakness. Life is hard enough without trying to be
somebody you aren't. Consider your weaknesses
AND your strengths, and work with them to make
the best person that you already are. The less you
try to hide hat you think is a fault, the less it will
actually be on stage. Accept who you are,
understand how it affects you and others around
you, and find a way to use it to your advantage. If
you can accept your own weaknesses, you'll also
have a lot easier time accepting other people's as

7. Don't procrastinate.
If you don't feel like you're making progress on
your goal, or you have that "stuck" feeling, do
something, anything that is in the direction you
want to go, no matter how small. One phone call,
one sit-up, one drawer. If you're truly feeling
overwhelmed by a project, concentrate on the next
few weeks, instead of the next few years. For
example, instead of thinking you need to lose 50
poundsFree Reprint Articles, think about your calories and exercise just
for this week


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