7 Harmful Things to Finally Stop Doing This Year: Make It Your Best Year Ever

Happy New Year everyone!

Trust you had a wonderful festive time and New Year celebration with your loved ones.

As we now get into this New Year, here’s possibly the most important question you can answer this year:-

Just HOW will you make this New Year a Happy Year?

The key word we use to greet each other at this time of the year is “Happy”. As we move away from the old and bring in the new, we expect things to somehow magically be different and better on the other side of the New Year fireworks.

As you know, life is not like that!

You and I have to consciously make it happen so that things are magically different and better in the New Year. The MAGIC comes from us – through our clear intentions, effort and focus.

And the important question is this – how will YOU make this year your best year ever?

Assuming of course that you want to make it your best year. No pressure!

If you don’t want to make it your best year ever, that’s fine too.

Maybe the rest of us have got it wrong – and there’s a lot to be said about just accepting the status quo and being at peace and harmony with where you are now in life.

Too much of a good thing can be wonderful!” – Mae West

However, I really believe that we are here to grow and experience life in its fullness and eternal richness. That growth is ultimately “spiritual” but why not make the most of each day and really push your own boundaries?

When you look back on your life, what if one day you have lots of regrets about the type of human being you never became? About things you never tried or places you never visited?

Don’t die with your music still in you” – Wayne Dyer.

As we get into the New Year, I am clear that I am here to make the most of my life and I want to help others do the same. And that’s my music.

What’s YOUR music? And when will you begin to play it?

Remember, you make the rules in your life – so it’s time to forget all your old rules this year!

The golden rule is there are no rules” – George Bernard Shaw

Rather than lamenting the loss of time, focus instead on the lessons you learnt last year.

And rather than pondering what you didn’t achieve last year, reflect on how much you learnt from the things you did, how you did them and also most importantly, what you didn’t do.

By seriously looking back on last year, you will see just what it is that you must stop doing from now onwards in all areas of your life this year.

To help you do just that, here are my 7 things for you to finally stop doing this year:-

1. Stop Being Miserable!

Do you laugh easily or do you take life so seriously that you hardly ever smile anymore?

Take a moment right now, look back on the last year and see if you can remember when it was that you truly laughed deeply.

Life is too short to be miserable.

It is a crime to go around with a miserable face.

Remember, laugh and the world laughs with you. Cry and no one cries with you!

So what will it take for you to be happy? To start with, check out my 17 Tips to become Happy Right now.

A lot of people talk about finding your passion but this could well become a lifelong pursuit and you may never find it. Instead of looking for your passion, why not just find your joy?

And when you look for joy, it will show up in so many ways. For example, in my case, in the first 2 hours of 2013, I met an amazingly talented singer called Joy at a New Year’s party!

Do also check out this wonderful post for the New Year from my friend Joy Holland (Yes, JOY is her real name):-

Cultivating a Conscious Conversation: Intentions, Resolutions, and Theme Words

In this article, I talk briefly  about finding more joy for myself and others every day.

Learn to be happy and joyous no matter what your life situation currently is.

Make the coming year, the year you embrace joy as a moral obligation!

And learn to become exuberant!

Joyous Sadhguru!

2. Stop Abusing Your Body

You only have one body for this life. And yet, just look around and you will see so many people simply abusing their bodies.

There is so much you can do immediately to improve your health. If you been very unfit, even if you start by simply walking 10 minutes a day, that will be a great start to a healthier and fitter you this year.

Over the next few days, review just what your health is like and decide on ways of how you can finally stop abusing your body.

For this New Year, apply my 14 tips to take total self-care of yourself.

3. Stop Wasting Your Time

Last year has gone, and try as much as you can, you will never get back the time that has gone, along with all its opportunities and gifts.

So from this year and beyond, make the most of your time. Focus on one thing at a time

This is not necessarily about doing less, but about becoming simply productive.

Stop working so hard and stop working all hours. Of course your particular job and career may dictate that you work long hours, but even then look at ways of becoming more effective and efficient.

For example, stop checking your email inbox every few minutes and spending working time on social networking websites such as Facebook and Twitter. Though these websites are now clearly a part of our lives it is up to you to be sensible about how you use them.

The point is that whatever you do, see how you can bring more leisure time into your life. And of course, remember to always stop to listen to the music.

Always stop to listen to the music around us

4. Stop Collecting and Hoarding Clutter

Do you collect hoard stuff and hang on to things just because one day they may be useful?

I cannot emphasis enough just how much your life will improve the moment you stop hoarding and start de0cluttering.

To start with take my clutter quiz today.

You may even want to use the first couple of weeks of this year to go around your home and clear out stuff. Why not start the New Year in a de-cluttered home?

For this year, adopt a minimalist life. Though there are lots of resources on the net to help you do just that, I suggest you check out Leo Babauta’s minimalist website.

5. Stop Wasting Money

By adopting a minimalist approach to life, you will begin to stop wasting money. Do you really need to buy the latest gizmos and gadgets?

The media is so relentless in hammering into you messages about spending your cash – make this year, THE year you fight back.

To stop wasting money, simply stop buying more stuff. Cut back on your purchases and ask yourself every time if you really need to make that purchase.

Check out the Simple Dollar for umpteen ideas to save money

At the same time stop being wasteful with what you already have. It is shocking how so much of the food we buy in the Western world gets thrown away – estimated at least 20%!

So by being more careful with our food purchasing and eating leftovers in creative ways, we could easily cut our food bill by 20%.

6. Stop Ignoring the Key People in Your Life

Your life is made rich not by the things you have and spend money on, but by the people in your life.

From now onwards, get clear about just what and who is important in your life. Make your family and friends the focus of your life and spend more time with them.

It could be as simple as creating a special occasion once a week or more. Simply stop ignoring your loved ones.

Especially spend more time with your parents and learn what you can, whilst you still can.

Also regularly create a special occasion with your friends.

7. Stop Being Socially Irresponsible

Personal Social Responsibility is the way forward

More than ever before, the world needs you to be socially responsible. Learn and accept that how you live your life has an impact on everything and everyone around you, both locally and globally.

Everything you do matters and make’s either a positive or a negative impact on the world.

This year learn more about how you can become personally social responsible.

By cutting down on your purchases, making sensible purchasing choices and recycling your stuff, you will have already started to become more socially responsible.

However, you can begin to do a lot more by becoming much more aware of how your behaviour affects the people around you and how your lifestyle makes a lasting impact on the world.

A socially responsible person will endeavour to have a positive effect on others and enrich his environment. He will strive to make a positive contribution, and will not pollute the atmosphere, both physically and metaphorically.

“Be the Change you wish to see in the world” – Gandhi

Ultimately we are all one. Earlier on, I talked about finding your song. But ultimately we are all one and we all have the SAME song.

At the edge of the cornfield a bird will sing with them in the oneness of their happiness. 

And the bird song, and the people’s song, and the song of life will become one.” – Song of the Long Hair Kachinas, Hopi

All our songs will one day be one and ultimately it all comes down to Love.

Which brings me on to my key message again for this year and beyond – Love is all that matters.

Please check out this key post from my archives – Why Love is all That Matters Beyond 21.12.12

What Things Will You Start Doing This Year?

Once you have stopped doing the 7 things above, you naturally get drawn to doing the opposite.

So make this year the year in which you:-

  • Live a Life of Joy and Laughter
  • Become Truly Fit and Healthy
  • Use your Time Wisely
  • Adopt a Minimalist Lifestyle
  • Become Prudent with your Money
  • Spend Quality Time with your Loved ones
  • Adopt Personal Social Responsibility

Please add below in the comments section your own ideas of what you will stop and instead start doing instead this year.

And to end, here are my final words for you for the New Year:-

May you walk in beauty, live in peace and be surrounded with love.

May the force be with you today and ever day this year!

Comments

  1. Dave Rowley | a small field says:

    Hi Arvind!

    I really enjoyed this post. The highlight for me was “Make the coming year, the year you embrace joy as a moral obligation! And learn to become exuberant!”

    What a wonderful challenge, that’s one I want to work with!

    So many useful insights, and I appreciate the list of positive actions at the end.

    May this New Year be exuberant for you, too 🙂

  2. Ultimately Arvind I think love is all that matters, and by following your lead we’re loving ourself, our world and everyone in it. Yay you!

    Love Elle
    xoxo

  3. Hi Arvind,
    I already do all the suggestions in our post but thanks for reminding me. 🙂

    Have a prosperous and abundant New Year. 🙂

  4. Definately some good things to stop to enjoy your life more Arvind. 🙂

    My biggest one out of your list is becoming more productive. Learning to focus more and don’t let other things distract me anymore.

    -Ben

  5. I love this post Arvind! And I love how you took resolutions and make them what not to do! These are all things I’m working on, too. I’m going to check out some of your links, too.

    Happy New Year and thanks for a great post!

    • Betsy, happy New Year!

      The New Year allows us the opportunity to start new things, but more importantly, also to stop doing things which no longer work for us.

      Have an amazing 2013:-)

  6. Like Dave, this phrase jumped out at me– embrace joy as a moral obligation. I believe that so completely. I believe that this is HOW we become the change we want to see in the world. It is the single most helpful thing we can do for ourselves, for our families, for our communities, and for our world. And you have set out a perfect recipe for doing this. In fact, this might be the best new year’s post I’ve read anywhere. I’m going to print it out and have it close by as a reminder all year!

    • Galen, happy New Year!

      Thanks for judging my post to be the best post for the New Year

      “Embrace Joy as a moral obligation” – what would the world be like if more of us were to follow such a philosophy:-).

      Have an amazing 2013:-)

  7. Definitely need to start wasting time. I am going to make this my best year ever!

  8. Very thoughtful points. Short, informative, and practical. Thanks for putting them together… and the challenge as well!

    Have a blessed New Year,

    Lee

  9. Hi Arvind,

    When I read “stop” I stopped reading. It’s in my nature to affirm, which I see now, that you are. When we choose to celebrate life, that resonance brings abundant joy and love, that gratitude invites *more celebration* and each step is buoyant and full of abundance. Love that!

    Thank you for your participation in my collaborative article…my 2013 theme is to collaborate with love…sometimes a bit scary as I am stepping into new territory and feeling a but vulnerable, but an absolute joy when inspirational people such as yourself step alongside me a bit!

  10. Arvind- a beautiful post for the New Year. There are so many jewels – the phrase that spoke to me the most is ‘always stop to listen to the music’ ….it’s all over the place -even in silence – we just need to learn to stay open and listen.

    Always wonderful to read your inspirational thoughts. 🙂 fran

  11. Nice post Arvind. It is good to take the time to appreciate the people that are in our lives. I also think it is prudent to watch how much money I can waste. I have been adopting a more minimalist approach in recent years and I feel that when there is less clutter in my house my mind also feels a little bit freer to me.