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2006: Issue 12

Just Stop

Many of us are gearing up for our summer vacations, often difficult to sustain our excitement about our destination(s), yet often not as excited about the trip there and back.  Whether by plane, train or automobile, it’s the close quarters that often bring out words such as “Billy, stop bugging your sister. ” Or “Honey, can you stop smacking your gum in my ear.” Or the terser, “Stop it!”  Seems we find ourselves freely telling others to stop doing something, and miss the many opportunities to tell ourselves the same…

One of the popular coaching tools is the creating of a “stop doing list”.  We are all familiar with the common “to do” list with some of us using it quite effectively; others avoiding it all together; and still others who keep a running list, rarely able to check off item # 1, let alone item #54.  The idea behind the “stop doing list” is to create the space — mental, physical, and emotional — to accomplish the items on your “to do” list. 

My clients often tell me, “I don’t/didn’t have time….”  The first thing I do is encourage them to rephrase their response to “I didn’t make the time” to make the point that they truly are always in choice as to how they spend their time.  Then, we work on finding the time which usually means they must identify what they can stop doing in order to fit something else in. 

I have realized, both personally and professionally, that to stop doing most things is as difficult as beginning to do new things.  Clients frequently push back, “Oh, I could never stop doing that.”  Or exhibit unbridled enthusiasm with “that’s easy to do” only to report back a week or so later, sheepishly saying it wasn’t as easy as they thought. Yet, once the momentum kicks in and they realize the benefit of stopping “it”, watch out.  They become unstoppable with stopping.      

In his book, The One Thing You Need to Know, Marcus Buckingham claims that his research has shown him that the difference between the “twenty percenters” and the rest of us, can be found in what they choose not to do rather than what they choose to do, defining the twenty percenters as those few who manage “to experience extraordinary, repeated, and sustained success.”  He contends that the one thing we all need to know to sustain our success is to:
“Discover What You Don’t Like Doing and Stop Doing It.”

Many things that we do throughout our day we do unconsciously or habitually.  We all have many habits that have taken hold, and firmly rooted themselves in our day-to-day lives — for better or for worse.  The result is often no room for more, whether for doing something new or doing the same thing a new way.  That is, until we just stop.

There are some things that both personally and professionally we cannot stop doing without endangering the lives of those around us. Yet, to dismiss the concept outright for that reason is to miss opportunities, possibilities and unrealized rewards.  Creating a stop doing list is a powerful tool for creating space in your life to realize your dreams.


  1. Create a stop doing list—don’t limit yourself, write freely, as many or as few as you want.
  2. Select three things from your list and begin the process of stopping them. 
  3. Identify the potential hurdles that will keep you from succeeding in stopping; name them and claim them so that when they appear, you can jump over them.
  4. Relish the rewards. 
  5. Repeat, steps 1 – 4 until you have stopped doing all that you safely can. 

Janet Crawford, MHA, MBA
Professional Certified Coach

David Scheiderer, MD, MBA
Executive Coach

Tiberius Rx ... written for professionals who defy the law of average and want to explore, experience and excel in all aspects of their life.

"Habit and routine have an unbelievable power to waste and destroy."
– Henri de Lubac,

"You may delay, but time will not."
– Benjamin Franklin


On June 15, Janet will be facilitating a teambuilding workshop utilizing the 6th sense of the horse. Intrigued? Contact her for more information.