13 Best Life Guidelines for 2013

I appreciate all the positive feedback for my last blog post, but I have to be honest. I have issues and I need to work on them. Like immediately! So yeah, I will count the freckled faces & dead animals this year, but I also NEED to see the pounds on the scale go down and to dedicate my time & energy on the people and things in life I find most important. So being the best Julie Stephenson I can be requires a bit of hard work, a lot of focus & a some new habits.

In order to make that happen I must follow certain guidelines that I know work best for me...if I'm willing to work hard and focus. These guidelines are simple, but they don't change things overnight. They need to be nurtured. They required intentional and conscience living. These 13 guidelines require constant practice. They may change as my life changes, but these address my biggest challenges in life and must become my biggest priority in order for me to be at my best.

Unfortunately, these guidelines are also easily pushed to the back burner when I feel stressed, overwhelmed, tired, sick, taken advantage of, or annoyed. Which according to my journal is my most consistent feeling! This comes as no surprise to my husband, kids, friends, fellow school board members - you know anyone who has seen me regularly in the last year and a half. They know I'm annoyed! Anyway, before I get too annoying about how annoyed I am here are my 13 Best Life Guidelines. I believe by sticking to these simple and specific tasks I will be a better Julie Stephenson 365 days from now...or I will be super fricking annoyed!

  1. Be active outside for 30 minutes every single day.
  2. Eat only shamefree food.
  3. Write every single day.
  4. Develop my strengths.
  5. Hold the tension.
  6. Exercise more days than not in a month.
  7. Read more.
  8. Screen less.
  9. Build relationships.
  10. Be grateful.
  11. Live without shame every single day.
  12. Keep a daily family log.
  13. Only wear elastic waist pants between 7pm - 7am. This was a late addition. Made necessary after putting jeans on yesterday for the first time in about two and a half weeks...WOW! Not pretty or comfortable...or safe for anyone standing near me. When the button pops, and it will, someone will probably lose an eye. 
What do you think? 


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  2. Buy safety glasses for you family. Now.
    Kris Tuchek

    1. No shit, dude! I actually just bought a new pair of jeans and can hopefully squeeze me ass in the others in a week or 12!

  3. Great list! I'm going to steal a few (or all of them) for my guidelines for the year! Good luck to you...now get outside for 30 minutes :). Kim Lancaster

    1. Steal away, Kim, but do not hold me accountable if they work! That never seems to be the case for me...fingers crossed I can get it right this year. Thanks for reading & commenting!

  4. I know it's small of me to say this but it makes me feel better when people who seem to have it all together tell me they struggle with the same things I do. Love your positive energy & have to mention your blog looks great. I am still trying to wrap my mind around some goals for 2013. Yes I'm behind but I refuse to feel guilty about it (sounds like a goal right there, doesn't it?).

    1. Just the fact that I seem like I have my shit together is a laugh. I feel like I'm unraveling at the seams most of the time! Thanks for the blog feedback. I'm trying to make this a space that I really want to come to each day...or so! Good luck with your goals. Oh, I thought of one for you...Come to Wisconsin soon to hang out with Julie...you can bring a few other Chicago friends too if you want!

  5. Whew - your list is a good one, but intimidates me a bit. I had long sworn off the "make a resolution list' thing a while back, and for some crazy reason, made some last year...to have them all flop terribly. In some ways, I feel I have gone backward, so instead of feeling like starting off yet another 'new' year positively, I had to deal with guilt over failed attempts from last year. So, I'm changing my game plan. Not sure exactly what that is, but am working it all out. For starters, I ended a two-year journal by writing out just where I am in various areas, being as objective as possible. Just stating it like it is. It was eye-opening to see it 'spelled out' and I am thinking there is some accountability in having it in 'black and white'. It will be interesting (and hopefully encouraging) to read back over it at the beginning of next year to see where I will have hopefully improved.

    Best to you in 2013!!!

    1. I'm so happy to hear that the guilt and shame I feel is not just me! I think it's a woman/mom thing, in general. I like the inventory journal you mentioned. Maybe a once a year 'stat' journal on my birthday will be a nice addition to the Best Life Guidelines! Thanks for reading and commenting. I appreciate it!

  6. :) you are awesome, even in your elasticized pants! {as I type this wearing gray yoga pants, although it is after seven pm}


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