10 Personal Commandments for Living Well

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’.

I definitely won’t do anything illegal. I won’t deliberately hurt anyone. I will love my family. I will take care of my responsibilities. I will be accountable for my behavior. I won’t lie, cheat or betray.These are a given, for me. Let’s go deeper…let’s give these bones some muscle:


(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.

Leslie Sansone, walk at home program

Great walk-at-home program.

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.

connecting to each other like a string of paper dolls9) 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.

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26 responses to “10 Personal Commandments for Living Well

  1. What a great list, Marcia! I’m a list-maker and list-loser. Not in the “I am a loser” sense of the phrase. In the “where the heck is that darn list?”

    I recognize that DVD you show beside exercise, btw. Sansone gets the heart pumping.

    A recent personal tragedy brings home a message that makes your list important for living and loving and sharing in-the-now. Not tomorrow, when you have time or money or the proper Zen Zone. I guess it adds another item: Don’t Carry Resentments.

    A healthy, 55 YO friend suffered an aneurism followed by a stroke and heart attack while on vacation in Mexico. I mourn the loss for her family but carry a passel of guilt. Because of resentment, we grew apart. I can’t go back and undo that separation, but I can take action now to correct wrongs I’ve done to others, banish resentments, stop making an inventory of who owes whom an apology, and reach out to let people know they’re important to me.

    Off now to search for that dang list of people who deserve a hand-written note or snark-riddled card. Wish me luck!

    • Aww, Gloria, I’m so sorry you lost a friend. I think it’s human nature to take our relationships and other things for granted until somethings snaps and we’re reminded to pay attention. I know I’ve done it…many times. Good for you getting something positive out of a sad loss, though!
      As far as lists go, I hang them all in one place now…yes, I’m a former list-loser as well. *hangs head* I do wish you luck! I can so relate on all counts! Love seeing you here, Gloria!

  2. For me, lists of things that I should be doing work better than lists of things that I shouldn’t be doing. Thanks for sharing this list with us Marcia. I liked the L section the most: Love, Laugh, Live and Learn.

    I don’t think I have the power of unlimited recall because all I’m going to remember from this post are the four Ls.

  3. Awesome, Gary! The 4 Ls are some of the most important and I think you already live them pretty well. 🙂

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  5. Who doesn’t love a good list? But it’s all about follow through, and that’s where friends like all of you in the LLC come into play! We keep each other accountable! Which reminds me, I owe you a work out mix. 😉

    • You know, Jess, with my memory, if you hadn’t said anything I wouldn’t have bugged you about it! If you’re up for it, great! If not, just send me a list of good tunes to use. 🙂

  6. Laughing is something I have to remind myself to do. It’s as if I forget I have a sense of humor and have to turn it on like an engine. Thank you for helping me remember I have the keys to my humor engine and that loosing my keys nearly everyday is a reason to laugh.

  7. I love 1 word lists-they’re easier to remember. My ‘list’ consist of 1 word: Create and follow it by whatever word comes up in the morning: create love, create joy, create laughter..

  8. I love your list, Marcia. I wasn’t a listmaker until just last year. Before that, I kept everything in my head. But now there’s so many little things to do, I have to write them down or I find myself spinning and accomplishing nothing all day!

    As to the Commandments to live by … I go with my heart and always try to be nice. My goal is to be my grandma. Everyone who knew her always said she was the sweetest person. 🙂

    • That’s a great goal, Sheila and it seems to me you’ve attained it! You are a sweet person!
      Glad I’m not alone in needing lists! Thanks.

  9. Don’t kick me out, Marcia, but every time I make a list, I forget where I put it. I’m pretty much a pantser in life.

    • Whatever works for you, David. I don’t there are too many men who write lists unless their wives are sending them to the grocery store. 🙂

  10. I love your list! I do pretty darn good in most areas, I think, with the exception of loving myself – every grey hair, bulge, etc… But, I’m not quite as hard on myself as I used to be, so there’s hope!

  11. I am working on my Ten Commandments and my Blog Mission Statement (a WIP in progress). One thing I have always said, I will not promote a book I have not read. I have learned to accept the gray hairs – I will not dye! And heck, I DESERVE the gray hairs! I teach and share my knowledge whenever I get the chance. If I cannot walk outside (I live in ND), I march in place during an hour-long tv program. I do about 80-100 “counter push-ups” a day. I have pretty good biceps for a granny.

    • You know, you inspired me, Karen. When I read this, I decided to start doing those same pushups and it feels so good! I love my dvd for walking/marching in place. It’s a great workout! Good for you on your other 10 commandments! Thanks for coming over.

  12. Being thankful as part of my daily routine – I’m good at remembering that one.

    And saying please and thank you anywhere it is applicable – which I often forget.

    Acknowledgements – I’m getting better!

  13. What a great list Marcia, I can’t think of a single thing to add. Yes, I’m a list maker:) One thing I’m not good at is the self-acceptance thing— I come and go mostly in the direction of beating myself down. Luckily, I have an amazing husband who knows and tells when I’m being too hard on myself.

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  15. I got way behind in blog-love. So sorry!

    Love your personal commandments, especially the one about love. So often I think we do forget to love ourselves. And, if we don’t really love ourselves, we can’t love others as they should be loved. Love means treating ourselves with kindness but also with discipline. Keeping ourselves healthy and balanced. Wonderful post, Marcia! Thanks for sharing.

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