Topics: Emotional Health, Resolutions, Mental Health

Don't Quit. Start

Jan 3, 2015 10:09:00 AM | by Taylor Brown

It doesn’t matter if you’re a junior high student or a graduating senior. There is probably something that you’d like to quit doing. I don’t know if it’s losing your temper or looking at things you shouldn’t. Maybe it’s gossiping, smoking, drinking, lying, or simply thinking things you wish weren’t in your head.

Everywhere you look, well-meaning people are telling you to quit something. Stop smoking—buy a patch, chew this gum, follow this plan. Everyone from weightwatchers to your school principal is telling you to stop something.

Now, quitting certain behaviors can be a very good thing. However, I don’t think quitting starts with stopping. Is there something in your life that you are “addicted” to? Or maybe it’s just a bad habit. Instead of focusing on NOT doing something, how about you start focusing on what you CAN do.

It can feel overwhelming to say, “I’ll never do that again!” It’s far less overwhelming to say, I’m going to do as much good as I can today.

Instead of saying, “I’m not going to gossip.” Say, “I’m going to encourage as many people as I can.”

Instead of saying “I’m not going to look at certain things,” Say, “I’m going to serve as many people as I can today.”

Quitting things that can hurt you or others is good, but rarely does quitting work alone. You need to REPLACE that activity with something good and helpful.

So does this mean you just get a free pass to smoke, drink, or do whatever it is you do? Not really, but this is a better method of quitting.

Even the 12 steps of recovery that alcoholics work through involves an important step of helping other alcoholics. If you want to quit something, start helping someone. Life isn’t just about what you don’t do. Life is full of opportunities to do great and amazing things. If you want to quit something--and we all want to quit something--don’t get discouraged by what you haven’t quit. Be encouraged that you can still do something great.