Stop. Start. Do.

Stop Start Do BA BLOG

We are always looking for the next big thing. The next magic pill, the easy button or the one piece of the puzzle we are missing. The search for the magic solution gives us hope and keeps us going.

The Magic Pill Does not Exist.

After my collegiate football career was over, I took a hard look at myself in the mirror. I was 265 lbs, my face was puffy, my love-handles protruded from my sides and I had these weird red dots on my arms.

Apparently this is what happens when your diet consists of PB&J’s, Captain Morgan, pasta and pizza (who knew?).

I would tell myself all the time:

“I need to start exercising.”

“I need to start eating better.”

“I need to get my health back”

“I need to get back into shape”

“I need to do something”


Let me ask you this… Has “needing” to get your life back in order caused YOU to take action?

Probably NOT.

Here’s the Deal:

We search for the Magic Pill, the Easy Button or the missing link everywhere and in every facet of our lives (finances, health, business, life, love, relationships).

The Magic Pill Does NOT Exist.

Instead of looking for the next Beyoncé Lemonade/Cayenne Pepper diet, the Cranberry Flush Detox program or the Raspberry Ketones Magic-Bean Diet pill, here is what we should do:

What are your going to STOP doing?

What are your going to STOP doing?


  • Stop trying to impress people
  • Stop eating shitty food
  • Stop spending time with poisonous people
  • Stop watching garbage TV
  • Stop being a victim
  • Stop blaming your life circumstances on your job or government
  • Stop being comfortable with the status-quo
  • Stop mindlessly surfing the internet
  • Stop searching for the “next big thing”
  • Stop comparing yourself to friends on Facebook
  • Stop complaining
  • Stop waiting for things to be perfect before you fix the problem
  • Stop living in the future
  • Stop trying to be famous
What are you going to Start?

What are you going to Start?


  • Start being you
  • Start connecting with people
  • Start reading books
  • Start taking action
  • Start taking responsibility
  • Start a meditation practice
  • Start getting rid of your junk
  • Start living life by your own standards
  • Start being grateful
  • Start saving money
  • Start taking action
  • Start living in the present moment
  • Start making an impact
You don't need anything more. Do it.

You don’t need anything. Do it.


  • Do the things that scare you
  • Do Epic work
  • Do connect with everyone
  • Do maximize your potential
  • Do live in the present moment
  • Do love
  • Do become the person that you want to be
  • Do find your purpose
  • Do exercise daily
  • Do surround yourself with awesome people
  • Do fill your head with inspiration
  • Do meditation

What are you going to do?…

Why Stop?

Instead of looking for the next big thing “to-do” begin with the things you are doing. Take a hard look at all of the bullshit in your life that is holding you back.

STOP is the lightning bolt that causes you to wake up and notice what’s going on.

Why Start?

Everyone has dreams, very few of us actually start. We wait for things to get easier.

Things never get easier.

START is the gun at the beginning of the race. It tells you to go. 

Why Do?

We are not very good at just doing things. The things that we do “just to do” rarely stick. Think of your friend who is constantly “YO-YO” dieting. They are always starting, never doing.

Doing comes after both stopping and starting. This is because until we have stopped doing the bulllshit, started taking action, then we can start doing.

DO is when the actions you take become a part of you.

Wrapping things up

The next time we find ourselves stuck, unhappy, or frustrated with life, instead of looking for the next fad diet pill, ask yourself:

What am I going to STOP?

In the comments section below

Write down 1 thing that you are going to STOP doing?

About Ben Austin

My friends call me the illegitimate love child of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bill Nye. I’m a bodybuilding-yogi-science loving-foodie bringing an engineering approach to lifestyle design. Join me as I analyze the systems that go into optimal mental and physical performance and explore the stories and tactics of people who set the standard for the rest of us.
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  • John Krygiel

    Recently, I’ve really been evaluating the times I complain. This is the #1 thing I’m going to try and make a concerted to STOP doing. It never can change any situation and only makes myself and others around me annoyed.

    • Hi John,

      Thanks for the comment! It’s funny that you mention complaining as this is something that I’ve been trying to cut out.

      I also think complaining causes your RAS (Reticular Activating System) to focus on the negatives in life.

      • John Krygiel

        For sure. It’s much more beneficial to ask myself: can I do anything to change the situation? If so, change it! If not, shut up! Haha.

        • Agreed.

          Complaining allows us to pass off responsibility to others. It keeps the blinders on.

  • The One thing, I’m going to STOP…. is living in the future. I’m always deferring my happiness and satisfaction because I’m so focused on what I want to happen in the future.

    I’m going to START Living in the present moment.

  • The thing I am going to stop (and I’ve said this before…) is using food as an emotional crutch.

    It’s been a life long struggle of mine, but lately I’ve realized that focusing on this will probably make the biggest difference in my life right now. It’s pretty terrifying, but quite exciting!

    Thanks for the amazing article Ben! I really appreciate what you’re doing!

    • Wow! Thanks for compliment.

      We’ve all been there. Food makes us feel good and is comforting. I’ve found when I’m seeking Fulfillment in other areas of my life, food (usually Mexican) becomes a go-to for me.

      It’s awesome that you’ve identified the problem and you are working towards your goals.

      Keep up the hard work!

  • Rajiv Nathan

    Great post! I’m going to STOP holding in what I’m feeling and just go ahead and say what I’m feeling already.

    I have a tendency (particularly with my girlfriend) to wait a few days to say what was on my mind because I analyze every aspect of why I would feel a certain way, and try to determine if it’s valid or not. The problem is that I let those emotions stew for a few days and it ends up both draining me, and making me distant in the process. I’m afraid to share the intuitive reaction/emotion because I think that it’s invalid if I haven’t given myself time to assess it. BUT, clearly, if it’s an intuitive reaction, it is valid.

    Wow–didn’t realize I’d write all of that. haha

    • Hi Rajiv,

      It’s awesome that you are able to take a step back and realize what’s going on with your internal processing. Most people can’t do this and they live their lives in REACTION mode.

      If you understand what’s going on, then you can STOP doing the things that are draining you and START focusing that energy on other (more positive) things.


      PS I’m starting to sound like Jed Diamond :)

  • mcgovern312

    Recently, some folks said that it would be impossible for me to stop using social media for a month. CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!!!

    I’ve deleted facebook, instagram, twitter, tumblr, and snapchat from my phone and blocked the sites on my computer. Let’s see how the next 30 days go…

    • Thats awesome Martin!

      I did the same challenge a few years back and I found that I was suddenly way more productive (funny how that happens).

      The internet is kind of a double edge sword. It can be an amazing productivity tool or it can crush you.

      Let me know how that goes:)

  • Claire

    Hi Ben, great article! I’m going to STOP talking badly about people. I saw a quote the other day and it said:

    Try to say nothing negative about anybody for

    a.) Three days

    b.) For forty-five days

    c.) For three months

    See what happens to your life…

    That really hit home with me because while I don’t consider myself catty, I am a girl and sometimes we tend to gossip for a laugh or be a bit judgemental. I have found myself yearning to want to be a better person, in all aspects and so I believe I’m going to start with this. Trying to STOP the negativity amongst other women and hoping it translates to other areas of my life.

    Thanks for the encouragement!

    • Hi Claire,

      It sounds like you have your hands full. Not many women would publicly commit to STOP talking negative about other people. :)

      Here’s a question for you:
      Why do you think it is so common in American female culture to be catty or judgmental?

      • Claire

        Probably due to the societal pressures we receive to be perfect :)