There are only four ways to change your life. You can:

  • Quit something
  • Start something
  • Do more of something
  • Do less of something

As someone who thrives off starting new things I tend to focus on starting more than quitting when I think of how to change my life.

But if I’m honest my life has changed just as much, if not more, by quitting things.

Here’s a list of big things I’ve quit since 2004:

1. Cocaine/Drugs (2004): After battling a bad cocaine addiction that almost killed me I quit on May 24, 2004 and have been clean since thanks to God. Quitting drugs was what set all my other life changes in motion. So that’s why I think quitting is so important.

2. Selling Drugs (2004): I made a lot of money selling drugs, especially cocaine, but when I quit using I also quit dealing drugs. I remember one time a guy at church told me, “Another good thing about not using drugs anymore is you’ll have a lot more money.” I didn’t tell him that I actually was making more money as a drug dealer then as a construction worker. But that money was all gained illegally. And sooner or later I would have ended up in jail or dead so who cares how much money you have if that happens!

3. Porn and Sleeping Around (2005): After I quit drugs my new “drug” became sex. In addition to being heavily addicted to pornography I also found myself getting involved with women mainly so I could sleep with them. These were unhealthy relationships. I also felt ashamed because I had recently given my life to God and I felt like sex outside of marriage was wrong. After I quit pornography and sleeping around I felt like a new person again. It was almost as life transforming as quitting cocaine. I was celibate from 2005 to 2009 when I got married.

4. Living Beyond My Means (2010): About a year after getting married we decided to get serious about our personal finances. We paid off all our debt and started using a budget (today the only debt we have is our RV payment, which we eventually want to pay off too).

5. My 9-5 Job (2011): This was a big one to quit. Especially since everyone told me how “safe and secure” my job was at the insurance company I worked for. It wasn’t easy but I knew I didn’t want to spend another 20 years there and I felt like if I didn’t do something then I would wake up one day 20 years later regretting that I didn’t take the risk. So I quit my job in May 2011 and have not looked back!

Now it’s almost 2017 and I’m thinking, ‘Man, I haven’t really quit anything big since 2011.*’ I mean I quit coffee for 30 days just to see if I could do it (man, what a stupid idea! As you can imagine it was miserable, I just about quit life during that time too!).

And I’ve quit other small things here and there. But it’s the big commitments and changes that excite me the most.

So I’m trying to decide what the next big thing to quit will be. I suspect it may be social media since I’ve been so annoyed at how distracting it is.

But we’ll see.

And what about you? Is there something big you want to quit in your life in 2017? Or maybe something small. If so, let me know.