Making a "Not To Do" list was the first step I took to leading a simpler life. Before, I had a list of things in my head that I wished I could do, thought I could do, and felt guilty about not doing. Seeing those things on paper and knowing that I wouldn't be doing them was such a relief! It took a few minutes to get started, but once I did, my list grew to be pretty long. Here are some examples of my first "Not To Do"'s.
1. I don't work out in the morning.
2. I don't bake French pastries.
3. I don't make candles.
4. I don't write novels.
5. I don't read every book in a series unless I actually like the book.
You may be shaking your head at some of these, but if you had seen the pile of candle-making supplies that I decided I needed because they were 1/2 price at the craft store...well, I need to do something to keep myself in check!
A "Not to do" list can be ridiculous or serious as long as it is liberating. (It can be used as a path to de-cluttering, too. I looked at that huge slab of wax and stack of wicks and I said, "I do not make candles," as I put them in the yard sale box. I sold every bit of it and recuperated some of the money I had wasted, but the person who bought it probably should have had a "Not to do" list, too!)