With anything in life—fitness, health, dream-chasing, work, pursuing your passions—you have to make goals. And these goals have to be realistic, reasonable and measurable. But as you create your next to-do list and push yourself to cross off the next item, have you ever thought about what you need to STOP doing?

So often when it comes to goal-making, we’re so focused on the things we need to do: We need to get to the gym more times per week. We need to add more vegetables to our diet. We need to drink more water, and the list goes on.

But what about the things we need to STOP doing?

what to stop doing if you want to meet your goals

1. You need to stop fighting yourself.

One day you’re super positive about your goals, the next you’re beating yourself up because you missed a workout. Stop. It’s not productive and you’re only human. You’re not going to always do the right thing, and that’s okay. Rather than fighting yourself with every mistake, embrace that messing up is a part of the process and keep going!

2. You need to stop messing up your sleep schedule.

SLEEP. IS. SO. IMPORTANT. Seriously, if you’re trying to meet a weight loss goal or recover your sore muscles to get back into lifting again, sleep is so restorative and essential in that process. Not to mention it helps with concentration and focus (which applies to everything from your personal life and relationships to your work!)

We like to pretend that we can run on three hours of sleep, but it’s just not realistic. Don’t be apologetic for wanting to sleep. And if you’ve been blowing off your sleep for work, fun, or something in-between—stop! It’s not good.

3. You need to stop indulging in the name of ‘self-care.’

Self-care, although expressed on social media as ‘doing things for yourself’ and ‘putting yourself first’ doesn’t always mean binge-watching your favorite Netflix show until 3AM on a work night or having a ‘cheat meal’ just because you’ve had a long day.

Don’t get me wrong—I’m not trying to shame anyone for doing those things! But I am trying to call all of us out on the way we see self-care.

It’s not about indulging just because you want to lose your self-control. It’s about finding healthy boundaries, giving yourself what you need and deserve, and not feeling pressured to do something (or not do something) just because the world says you ‘shouldn’t’ or ‘should.’

4. You need to stop ignoring your warning signs.

Your body will tell you when it’s stressed, when it’s had too much food, or when it’s tired. So often we ignore these warning signs because we just want to stay out later with our friends, or just want to finish a project, or just want to eat that last slice of pie.

Whatever and however this relates to you—stop! Stop ignoring your body’s only means of communicating with you and start listening instead.

5. You need to stop prioritizing everything over your health.

You need to stop answering emails at ungodly hours of the night, or obsessively scrolling through Instagram before you fall asleep. You need to stop filling yourself with negative thoughts about your self-image or putting your work before your friends and family.

Before saying ‘yes’ to a new commitment or opportunity, you need to consider where you realistically are. Will an out-of-town girls’ or guys’ trip out of town really be the best decision for your budget and mindset? Or will it leave you feeling stressed and behind come Monday morning? Will it feel good to have a ‘guilty pleasure’ smoke or sweet treat? Or will you end up feeling angry later that night?

As you think about meeting your goals and becoming a better version of yourself, it’s important to stop prioritizing everything—from work, to your friends problems, to the latest trend on social media—over your health (mental and physical).

Putting yourself first isn’t a bad thing, it’s an essential thing (within reason, of course). And doing this is so important to actually motivating yourself to where and who you want to be.

Marisa Donnelly

Marisa is a full-time freelance writer, editor, and fitness enthusiast located in Ocean Beach, San Diego. She is the author of the poetry collection, Somewhere On A Highway and founder of Be A Light LLC, a remote writing coaching/tutoring/editing services company.


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