Life’s Rulebook: My Top 20

New notebook means time to re-write my front page.  I use my first page of any new notebook to update my goals, write quotes or insert reminders of what I’m working on.  I’m a firm believer in lifestyle design.

I couldn’t resist this $4 beachy notebook. It’s so happy and fresh, it makes me smile. 🙂

Here’s my current front page, “My Top 20 – How to Make My Life Rule”  It’s a hodgepodge of rules I randomly quote, things I’m working on and age old wisdom I firmly believe in.

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20 – Always walk on the sunny side of the street.  Just remember to wear sunscreen.

19 – Never text or call someone more than twice before they reciprocate.  This includes your crush, girlfriends or significant other. Relationships should be equal; let go of those who do not invest equally in their relationship with you.

18 – Keep a bottle of Champagne & Martinelli’s in the bottom drawer of your fridge. Don’t drink it. Keep it for when your best friend announces she’s engaged or pregnant.

17 – Plan an international trip once a year.  All-inclusive resorts don’t count.  Learn 10 basic phrases in the local language, use them, smile and watch the magic happen. Spending money on travel, experience, and cultural immersion will make you richer.  Also, having a trip planned means you’ll have something to look forward too.

16 – Pay yourself first & don’t over spend. 10% minimum, auto-deducted into a separate account. 30% ideally into two accounts: emergency funds and future funds (retirement, house purchase, IRA, 529) whatevs. Set this account up for auto-investments.  Money babies are the best kind of babies!  They make you rich and require no diaper change.  As for overspending.  Debt is a devil hard to repay.

15 – If you can’t pronounce it, don’t eat it.  The exception to this is when traveling and trying Rodgrod Med Flode. Food is powerful!  It can be medicine, poison, energy or put you to sleep at your desk. Let it transform and vitalize you; but yes, eat the damn brownie once in a while!

14 – Try something new once a month. That fuzzy red fruit you’re sure is an actually an alien, the mushrooms that look like tiny penises, the trapeze hip hop class, talking to your 90 year old neighbor.

13 – Perform a monthly random act of kindness.  Write a ‘thank you’ email to your mom, tell your significant other how much you appreciate them, pay for the coffee of the person behind you. Appreciation is gold.  Tell someone they’d restored your faith in humanity.  You’ll get addicted to the positive shock factor.

12 – Strive for wisdom not knowledge.

11 – Listen to hear, not just to respond. 

10 – Surround yourself with who you want to be.  Positive peer pressure is priceless. You are the 5 people you spend the most time with.  Immerse yourself in who you want to be. If you don’t know anyone (yet), trail-blaze.  Follow your heart and watch your world change.

9 – Raise your standards. See who follows. Expect more from yourself. Notch that bar one step higher. The only person you can create change in is yourself.  Strive to maximize your own potential.

8 – Invest in yourself.  Read, relax, wash your car and book yourself a massage or spa day.  Invest down time, up time, education, money, fitness, time and money to your mental and emotional well being.  Buy that expensive face serum; journal and check in with yourself. Buy yourself flowers and use the petals for a long bath when they start to die.  Be learning based for life and take care of yourself. You are precious.

7 – Gratitude. It’s impossible to be grateful and angry at the same time. Try it. Take a deep breath, count down from five and start listing everything you’re grateful for. It turns out you’ve got a lot of amazingness in your life already.

6 – Goals are important but routines are king.  You have to have goals: S.M.A.R.T. goals; but without routines that are built into your daily habits, your goals ain’t nothing but a dollar and a dream.  Create habits, build routines, make minor changes as needed. Overnight success takes years and years and years of hard work backed by years and years and years of incremental, small changes.

5 – Strive for authenticity not perfection.  The idea of perfection is toxic. Little else in life will hold you back as the idea of being or not being perfect. Throw that shit out the window.  Remove the ‘p’ word from your vocabulary.  Instead, strive to be authentic. Strive to be you.

4 – Take risks & be vulnerable.  90% of what you do in life you will have to learn to do by doing.  Mistakes are beautiful hand wrapped packages of personalized lessons customized just for you.  Take life’s ‘downs’ as learning opportunities. Sure, be sad, through yourself a damn pity party.  Then, pick yourself up, put on some war paint (red lipstick usually does the trip) and charge on.  As for being vulnerable, wear war paint but not armor. No one can move in all that heavy protective shit.  Let go of control and embrace your inner child.

3 – Avoid the party trap aka being the ‘cool girl’.  If you need to, go have your fun for 6 months, a year, maybe 2 if you’re in college?  But, jesus!  Don’t wake up 30 or 40 years old wondering what the hell happened and who you are.  Spending your life being ‘the pretty girl’ or ‘the cool girl’ is a huge, sad, waste of time.  One day you’ll realize you don’t like beer; like, at all.

2 – Never say never.  Absolutes are debilitating and Ego is a crafty beeotch.  It sneaks up on you and rears it’s ugly petulant head.  It will never serve you as you wish it to.  Be ready to adapt, change and move as necessary.  Be fluid. Ninja fluid.

1 – Create your own rules.  If you’re following the crowd, you don’t know where you are going.  Design your own life.

That said, throw this list out and make your own.  🙂

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