Stop what you would not start. — Peter Drucker

When we want to improve our lives, we tend to add.

  • We add in a run before work.
  • We start meal prepping on Sunday afternoons.
  • We take up woodworking, painting, or volunteering on the weekends.

We are eager to add new habits and commitments, but how often do we subtract? Like our homes, our lives accumulate clutter as the months and years pass. This is not something to chastise ourselves about—it’s just the way it is—but it still results in a mess. We eventually declutter our messy houses, but how often do we declutter our lives?

Very rarely.

Now might be a good time. In these last, quiet days of the year, take a few minutes to think about how you could make some room in your life. You might make a list of everything you’re currently engaged in: your habits, your commitments, the roles you play in various organizations. Then, ask this question:

“If I weren’t already doing this, would I start?”

You don’t have to quit everything you wouldn’t start. But if something needs to be quit, this list is where to start.