15 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself

In the words of Carl Bard, “Although no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.” This is a great truth that can be realized today. But sometimes to get to a fresh start, we’ve got to stop doing some things.

If you’re looking for some things to cut out and wondering what to stop doing, here’s a list to get you rolling:

Stop spending time with the wrong people.

Hanging out with people who suck the happiness out of you? Cut them loose. Do you often complain about the same people? Either you’re a trash-talker or you’re kicking it with the wrong people.

Remember it’s not the people who stand by you when you’re at your best that most loyal to you, but when you’re at your worst.

Stop eating foods that make you tired.

Find yourself having consistent energy dumps throughout the day? Check your diet. Stop eating super-high carbohydrizzle foods that are engorging your blood-sugar levels.

Stop moping over that girl who wronged you.

If you keep bumming yourself and your buddies out about a girl, it’s time to forgive and do your best to forget. Sure, that “scar” will need time to continue to fade, but you’ve got to make a decision to not devote so much time to being down in the dumps about her.

Stop not getting enough sleep.

If you’re consistently dragging at work, it may be depression. Depression might be because you’re not getting enough sleep. Or maybe it’s not depression. You’re just a tired sack of bones.

Stop working at a job that you hate.

Miserable at work? Stop whining. Find a job you like, even if it pays a little less.

I’m not encouraging you to drop the ball today. You’ve got to pay the bills. If you’re in debt, get out of debt. Don’t drop a job then start looking for a new one. But if you’re unhappy at your job, for reasons other than yourself, then start looking for a new job. Once you’ve been hired at said job, give at least two-weeks notice at the job you’re exiting.

Stop whining.

I really don’t have anything to add here…just stop doing it.

Stop spending money you don’t have.

Racking up credit card debt or borrowing too much from friends? Only spend money that you already have earned.

Stop doing that lying to yourself thing.

It really is possible. If you’ve been ignoring and running from your problems, stop pretending they’re not there. You’re not Aladdin’s Genie. You can’t shut your eyes and dream your problems away. The first step to moving forward is to be honest with yourself. Honest about what needs to change and improve.

Stop beating yourself up for old mistakes.

Wringing your hands over regrets can be a paralyzing circumstance. Don’t do it. Think through it. Identify and enter the pain. Go ahead and loath yourself for a moment. But once you’ve entered that pain and have processed it, you’ve got to let it go.

(Read more about how to identify and tackle those fears)

Stop looking to others for happiness.

Other’s can’t fulfill you. Not that relationships don’t breath life into us. But if you are looking for a specific one or two people for happiness, you’ll easily become unhappy when they don’t fulfill your expectations. And they will probably feel like you’ve become controlling or an overbearing burden in the process.

Stop fearing new relationships because of bad past experiences.

Ouch. We’ve all been hurt by family, friends, or that girl. But we can’t let that create an emotional and mental roadblock to try again. If you live life alone, you’re bound to die alone.

Stop letting others bring you down to their level.

Sick of people being immature or bringing drama into your life? Do you find yourself drawn into quarrels? Refuse to be sucked in. Step away and refuse to involve yourself.

Stop blaming others for your problems.

Do you know what the common denominator is between all of your drama, work problems, and unhappiness? You. You’re the person central to all that. If you keep experiencing the same ‘ol problem, the same ‘ol problem may be you.

Stop focusing on what you don’t have.

I met a guy that owned a real estate and mortgage company 10 years ago. He was making $2-3 million a year. He bought a Lamborghini. A friend called him and said, “So you’ve got your Lambo. You know that the only direction you can go now is down, right?” And after a month, that Lambo was just a car. What was he going to get next? Even a Bentley seemed like a step down.

If you continue to covet what you don’t have, you’re focusing on the wrong things. Because once you have those things, you won’t find yourself fulfilled. So, be grateful for what you do have…

Stop being ungrateful.

One of the greatest cures I’ve found to my emotional ills is to be thankful for what I do have. If I continually concentrate on wants and what I think are my “needs,” I’ll stay down in the gutters. It’s time to be grateful and thankful for what’s going right in life.

Know what to stop doing, and think about what to start doing.

This post isn’t meant to be a drag. But to inspire you to think about what as men we really do need to stop doing. Once you’ve started cutting out some “fat” in life, keep moving forward with what you know you’re doing right.

The chief beauty about time is that you cannot waste it in advance. The next year, the next day, the next hour are lying ready for you, as perfect, as unspoiled, as if you had never wasted or misapplied a single moment in all your life. You can turn over a new leaf every hour if you choose. -Arnold Bennett

About Todd Mayfield

He's a lover, not a fighter. But he's also a fighter, so don't get any ideas.

He works for a series of private schools to advance innovative education to combat ballooning classroom sizes and challenge the status quo of the current public and private education format.


  1. How did it take me so long to find this site? Awesome stuff, dude! This list is great, it really pulls the air out of all our dumb excuses and stuff. Figure out what the isses are, put up, and then do it!

    Compeltely agree about stopping working at the job you hate. It’s a great one because (A) it’s true, and (B) you caution against just quitting. You’ve got to find a new job first! And then quit!

    • Todd Mayfield says:

      Yeah, come’on, how did it take you so long?? Ha, but seriously how did you find us? Like the title of your place “Blue Collar Workman.”

      Thanks for the feedback on the above point.

  2. I think we’re definitely products of what we think about, and we think about topics that we see all the time. That means that who we surround ourselves with (as you suggest) is a HUGE part of your success. I had a hard time running until I started hanging out with runners. Then I did 5 marathons in 400 days. …it was totally about who I was surrounding myself with.

    • Todd Mayfield says:

      It’s true, we reap what we sow and we are what we “eat.” “Sow” into yourself the wrong input, whether it be people, information, etc, that’s what eventually comes out.

      On the fitness side, I’ve seen changes in me physically when I’ve had housemates that are really fit, or have poor eating habits. One set of people will criticize what I eat and beg me to go play lacrosse, another set will want me to go to Chili’s every day and eat my way to death!

  3. Awesome post Todd! Everyone really needs to read this advice and actually implement it in their lives. Our minds can lead us down the wrong path if we are not more conscious about our decisions. It is the easy route to just blame your circumstances or say things are just out fo control. Really though it is usually only that way because of the choices that we make. A lot of times it is a series of bad decisions that brings us down. The trick is identifying what those things are and learn how to prevent it in the future.

    • Todd Mayfield says:

      What you say is true=we will become a product of our thinking and our decisions. I love that you say it’s easy to blame your circumstances. Our circumstances shouldn’t dictate our character!

  4. great tips, todd.. all of them.

    i should probably incorporate more of them in my life.. starting with “getting more sleep”, considering that it is 12:38 right now, and i need to work in the morning :)

    • Todd Mayfield says:

      Ha, too true! I’m still up…getting ready for work for tomorrow morning…
      But that’s only b/c I was trying hard to win the King of Procrastination prize.

  5. Great post and some fantastic tips. I especially like the one ‘Stop focusing on what you don’t have’. This would make the world a much happier place if everyone could stick to this!

    • Todd Mayfield says:

      I think at every level of “wealth” this is important. If you don’t have much money, don’t let your happiness be dictated by possessions. Those that have all the possessions they could ever want, well, I assume they’ve already found it unfulfilling.

  6. This wasn’t a drag, just that brutally honest shaking we all need to remind us to make positive state of mind choices constantly. All of these are subject to freedom of choice and can alter our life, great list

  7. Wow -old guy here – just stumbled across your site and I am LOVING it! Seriously loving it! I was beginning to think that the only real men were from my generation or my dad’s or grandpa’s. Great to see that I was wrong. You go guys! Yeah – rock that!

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