Well YOU may not be doing them, but I am.  

Also, these things aren’t necessarily RUINING my life, but I do believe that by doing them, I am significantly diminishing my joy, my effectiveness, and the quality of my relationships with the important people in my life. 

So, in no particular order, allow me to share with you the 10 Things I am striving valiantly to STOP DOING:

Thing #1: Rushing

I’m always saying things like “Hurry up/Keep Moving/Let’s GO/I don’t have TIME to do that/Ok fine, but just for a minute, and then I have to__________.”  I’ve taken multi-tasking to an unhealthy level. I am stretched too thin. I am stressed and exhausted, and likely stressing out and exhausting the people around me (my kids, even).

So I’m reminding myself… It’s not good. Slow it down. You are going to have to cut some things out. You can’t do everything, and you need quit trying to.  

Thing #2: Having Misplaced Priorities

I spend too much time on things that don’t matter, and too little time on things that do matter. I place value on things that are not valuable, and downplay things that are important.  

So I’m reminding myself…You are going to have to figure out which things to START doing, which things to KEEP doing, and which things to STOP doing. Your time is valuable, and not every person/activity/commitment is worthy of giving it away to. Also, FOMO is a bad thing, and it’s ok if you aren’t a part of EVERYTHING.  

Thing #3: Focusing TOO MUCH on things I cannot control

Other people and their choices, as well as basically anything that starts with “what if….?”

Thing #4: Focusing TOO LITTLE on things I CAN control

MY choices. MY attitude. MY perspective. How I use MY time. What I choose to focus on.  

Thing #5: Allowing emotions to dictate my behavior.  

Consider this quote, from Lysa TerKeurst. “Feelings are indicators, not dictators. They can indicate where your heart is in the moment, but that doesn’t mean they have the right to dictate your behavior and boss you around. You are more than the sum total of your feelings and perfectly capable of that little gift . . . called self-control.”

Thing #6: Avoiding that which is HARD but BEST, and instead, opting for that which is EASY but LESS

This is probably a dumb example, but take for example, my three year old son and his pacifier. It’s time for that nasty thing to go. It’s SO past time. Taking it from him, however, is going to cause major drama (in the form of tears, begging, pleading, whining, not sleeping) for a few days. So I continue to give the damn thing to him. Why??? Because it’s easier. In what other areas of my life am I making the same poor choice? Lots, I’m afraid.  

Thing #7: Not being consistent:

Working out. Disciplining my children. Adopting healthy habits. Whatever it may be, nothing feels worse, and makes me feel more ineffective at life, than perpetually beginning things, but never actually sticking with them.  

Thing #8: Trying too hard to please others, instead of being true to myself.  

I just want everyone to like me!

So I’m reminding myself….There’s a fine line between trying to be a better version of ME (growing, learning, living up to my potential, recognizing bad habits and changing them, finding newer and better ways of doing things) and trying to become a different person entirely, in order to please someone else or meet someone else’s standards.  I should be happy with who I was designed to be, period.

Thing #9: Thinking other people can make me whole

They can’t, nor should they be expected to.

Thing #10: Not being present…in the present.  

This can take on many different forms. For me, it takes on the form of being glued to my phone. It takes on the form of being preoccupied with all the many things I need to attend to. It takes on the form of mulling regretfully over that which has passed, or simmering in anxiety over that which is to come.  

So I’m reminding myself...Instead, focus on what is happening NOW. Notice it. Pay attention to it.  Be all the way in it. Enjoy it.  

Over a weekend, seven of my closest friends and I escaped mom-life for a few days, and headed to Fredricksburg for a girls weekend. One night, clothed in pajamas, glasses of wine in hand, my friend Kim said, “Hayley. Ask us a question.” Asking questions has kind of become my “thing.” Some find it entertaining and intriguing, others (my husband) are more apt to find it annoying. At any rate, if you need help getting a good conversation going, I’m your girl.  

On this particular night, I posed the question, “what is something you are ‘stuck’ in?”  Maybe a bad habit.  A wrong perspective. A situation. Whatever. Take it and run with it. Well let me just tell you…it was not difficult for any one of us to come up with our thing. We ALL had something we were “stuck” in.  

I bet you do too. None of the items on my list above may have resonated with you, but there’s a chance you may have your own list…a list of things you are doing (or not doing) that are causing you to remain “stuck” in a place or situation or way of life that’s less than best.  

I encourage you to list them out, and then take the steps you need to take in order to become “unstuck.”  

Cheers to that!


Hayley Hengst
Hello AMB readers! I'm Hayley. Wife to my high school sweetheart, Nason. Stay-at-home mom to three boys/angels/tyrants (primarily tyrants). Most days, I am very content in that role. Other days, well, you know how it goes. I absolutely love writing for Austin Moms Blog. I also love: books, bubble baths, Mexican food, porch swings, and travelling. I hate: the hustle and bustle of trying to get out the door, on time, with all three of my kids. Seriously, I just kind of give up. You can read more about my crazy crew at!


  1. I’m right there with you, Hayley. I’m guilty of them all at one pint or another. I have really been working on my perspective and focus over the last month, so #3 and #4 resonated the most with me at this time.


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