Living Your Best Life Tips

Go Gingham: Live Your Best Life

There are many days when I think about how little time I have left with teenagers at home. When my kids were younger and I was home with them, some days felt as if they went on forever. Now, with college letters arriving daily in our mailbox, I am feeling as if I’ve got to make sure they understand the basic parameters for making good decisions, while they’re still at home. When these feelings hit me, I make a list.

I love a good list and these 13 tips would be the take-always I want my kids to have when they go off into the world. I say these to my teenagers often and they’re helpful for “living your best life” (or so I think!) but many times, I need these reminders, too. They can be applied to life, marriage, and parenting.

For myself, these are always a good check-in on the best way to handle a situation.

Living Your Best Life Tips

1. It’s always better to wait.

2. Do not make decisions when you’re angry.

3. Use half the resources and double your joy.

4. Talking is better than texting.

5. Learn to cook, clean, and put things away.

6. Honor your commitments.

7. Save for a rainy day – both time and money.

8. If you start sentences with “I’m going to regret saying this,” you will.

9. Use your manners. Please, thank you, and a hand written note will get you far in life.

10. Don’t be ugly with your words or actions.

11. Pretend like your grandmother is going to read everything (email, text, snail-mail, tweet, status update) you send. (Yes, Mom, I say that meaning YOU!)

12. Eat less, exercise more, and only eat real food.

13. Tell the people you love, “I love you” every day.

There’s no shortage of lists at our house but when I think about what I want my kids to remember when they go off into the world, these 13 “Live Your Best Life Tips” would be on the “To Do List” for doing everyday.

What would add to this list?

Go Gingham related links:

Meet Internet Girl she likes shiny objects and is easily distracted!
3 Time Tested Family Rules – rules that worked – somehow
Parenting: Children’s Allowances
Social Networking and Parents Behaving Badly
Piano Lessons – they’re an indulgence at our house – time and money

More related links:

I thought this was an excellent article by Mari Jane Williams of The Washington Post “Life Skills All Teens Should Know.” It’s what teens should know beyond the academic basics to be prepared in life. I had both my kids read it, too, and yes they already know all of it – or so they told me!

19 thoughts on “Living Your Best Life Tips

  1. I would add – look for the best in people. It’s always there and it makes dealing with even difficult people more tolerable.


  2. Great list, Sara! I can certainly relate to the need for it.

    I would add: Don’t hide your true self because you’re afraid of losing someone’s affection or approval. You don’t really have it if they don’t know who you really are.


  3. This is very similar to Stephanie’s response.

    You will always find what you are looking for. If you look for the best in a situation or person you will find it, if you look for the worst you will find that too.


    1. Cee, so true! I love all of these responses. It is all about those darn expectations, isn’t it? Whether good or bad, we do have a way of finding good or fault in someone.
      Thank you. Very nice addition.


  4. I love this! I would add a comment about time; perhaps, “You can make more money but you can’t make more time”? I would also encourage them to develop and exercise their faith in God.


    1. Kris, yes, the time as a precious commodity is another good one. I also really like the list you added in your additional comment. Very true and nice to have them all in one spot! Thank you.


  5. This is a great list! I might add something about valuing yourself and knowing what you want in another person (when that time comes); that it is better to be alone for awhile than with someone who is not good for you or does not share your principles and values; and that sitting at home with a good book is almost always a better choice than anything involving YOLO.


  6. LOVE the list and the responses!
    I would change the first one – sometimes it is best not to wait; opportunities are missed, analysis/paralysis ensues. Sometimes quick action leads to wonderful things.
    I would change it to: Always trust your gut instinct. If you know it is not right for now, your gut will tell you (or you will hear your Mom’s voice in your head!).

    I’m already pre-dreading/mentally counting down to September 2014. 18 months left to impart all necessary wisdom needed for teenage life away from home . . . Secretly hoping she turns unbearable (as other parents have reported their teenager becoming) so I can push her out of the nest with glee!


    1. Michelle,
      You are right! Following your gut (listening to it!) is key. I know what you mean about missing opportunities but I was thinking more of “knee jerk” or impulsive decisions.
      You are closer to me in kids going off to college. The pressure is on to cram it all in their brains!
      Thanks, Michelle.


  7. Great advice.

    The old phrase of, “Treat others as you would like to be treated,” comes to mind. Practice common sense, courtesy, and honesty. Be honest, trustworthy, and understand integrity is hard to come by, but easy to lose.

    Treat people and yourself with RESPECT. When in doubt, use common sense and remember mother was right, play fair, treat others well, practice being humble, and above all else, wear clean under garments……


    1. Sue,
      Yes, we call that one the 11th commandment around here!
      Yes, you are correct on honesty, trustworthiness, and integrity. Once they’re gone, they are hard to regain.
      Thanks, Sue. I always appreciate your input.
      PS I can’t speak to the undergarments though…my kids do their own laundry and I look the other way 🙂


  8. Oh, I found this on Pinterest a while ago …

    We need to teach our daughters the difference between a man who flatters her and a man who compliments her.

    A man who spends money on her and a man who invests in her.

    A man who views her as property and a man who views her properly.

    A man who lusts after her and a man who loves her.

    A man who believes he is God’s gift to women and a man who remembers a woman was God’s gift to man

    And then teach our sons to be that kind of man.


  9. I would say: Carefully consider the consequences of any decision you are about to make, and be very sure you are willing to live with them. If you’re not, choose a different path!


    1. Amy, true! I think we all know several politicians who could have used your wise advice.
      Having the ability to see the consequences of your actions a few steps out is so important.
      Thank you, Amy. Good advice.


    1. Annie, thank you. Really, I don’t always feel like I’ve got the wisdom and experience when it comes to parenting. I do know that when I act like an adult and not a twelve-year-old, interactions go much better around here. That, and laughing more than yelling is better for my blood pressure!
      Thanks, Annie. I always learn from you, too.


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