Welcome back to the Life List Club! If this is your first time here, check the archives for some amazing posts. If you missed Sherry Isaac’s post on Wednesday, you can read it HERE.
We all have a set of rules we live by, whether we state them or not. They may reflect our values and morals, our thoughts on how to be the best we can be or simply lists of things we carry in our heads and use everyday – ‘I will do this, I won’t do that’.
(Bet you couldn’t tell I’m a list-maker…hence the Life List Club. Without a list of goals, plans and to-do’s, I’d lose my way.)
1) Eat - Healthy, that is. No diets, no forbidden foods. Just lots of good-for-you-food. Whole grains, fruits, vegetables, eggs, low-sugar-fat-free yogurt, chicken/turkey/fish, olive oil, nuts and a little bit of dark, dark chocolate.
2) Move – Reaching for the remote to change the channel does not count as moving. Walking from the couch to the refrigerator and taking a stroll in the park barely counts. What counts most is a brisk walk, a morning run and lifting weights. But you can also count raking leaves, scrubbing floors and digging in the garden. Move enough to break a sweat. Then you’re burning calories and improving your circulation. (Now you can have an extra piece of chocolate.)
3) Love - Love yourself first – love every bulge, gray hair and wacky personality trait. Then love everyone else – your family, your crazy relatives, your nosy next-door neighbor, the bag lady roaming downtown, the grumpy cashier at Wal-Mart, your pet and all the animals outside your front door…even the raccoon that tips over your garbage can.
4) Laugh - Giggles are good, but let them grow into roaring belly laughs, the ones that take your breath away, the ones that won’t stop. Those are the healthiest laughs. You’ve probably heard that laughing decreases stress, increases immune cells and releases endorphins. Did you know it also keeps your blood cells healthy and increases blood flow protecting your heart? (You’ve earned another little piece of dark chocolate yumminess.)
5) Live - Simply breathing, working, eating and sleeping constitutes one way of living. Another way is to choose to seek out new experiences everyday. A person’s financial circumstances will determine how far afield one can go to challenge yourself and explore, but there’s something valuable to discover even in your own backyard.
6) Learn - Learning new things is one my greatest passions. How about you? There are unlimited resources for learning and unlimited things to learn. How to write, how to fix a faucet and how to take great photographs, historical events, how to use your smartphone and how to grow broccoli. Learning stimulates the brain, fends off diseases of aging, can help you connect with other like-minded people, prevents boredom and encourages creativity.
7) Give – Helping and supporting others is good for the soul and it comes back to you in unexpected ways. Give money, kindness, love, time, attention, food or a smile. Send a cheerful card to an elderly person living alone; take a meal to sick friend; babysit for a harried mother; let someone ahead of you in line; send a goody package to a college student or a faraway soldier. We have so much to give, even when you think you have nothing at all anyone would want.
8) Thank - Gratitude is a gift that is always welcome. A simple ‘thank you’ is gracious. Don’t wait long to give your thanks. It will weigh too heavily on your heart.
9) Connect – People need people. Simple as that. People live longer, healthier lives when they have happy relationships with a loved one or a pet. Building a satisfying relationship requires learning, giving, thanking and loving. Reach out…and touch someone – just be careful where you touch.
10) Teach – In my opinion, we have a responsibility to pass along whatever we have learned through living. Teaching is a form of giving and connecting. All of us has something to teach others…unless you’ve lived in a cave all alone. But even then, you can teach someone the art of living alone and cooking for one.
Okay, now go reward yourself with some dark chocolate for your endless virtuosity.
What’s in your Ten Personal Commandments? Are you a list-maker like me, or are you fortunate to have the power of unlimited recall? Please share. I’d really like to know.
If you enjoyed this post, please visit me anytime at my blog, Sexy. Smart. From The Heart.