The following article was adapted from the original which can be found on the web at :

Marc and Angel Hack Life
in Practical Tips for Productive Living,
30 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself.



When you allow yourself to take care of you, loving yourself as much as anyone else, being good to yourself, and approaching life from a positive perspective, you will find peace and joy that last through any circumstances.  A sense of humor helps, too.

As Maria Robinson once said, “Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” Nothing could be closer to truth. As you begin this process of transformation the following road map may help. The following ideas are not intended to be used as New Year’s resolutions, for once a resolution is broken it is gone.  Rather these are goals at which to aim.  Track your progress and let that be your success.

Gift List to Yourself:

1. Only spend time with people who build the positive in you and you will improve your self-esteem.

Life is too short, so spend time with people who energize and increase the happiness in you. If someone wants you in their life, they’ll make room for you. You shouldn’t have to fight for a spot. So make sure you are spending your time with  someone who continuously appreciates your worth. Spending time with people who don’t appreciate you will eventually lower your self-esteem.   Remember, it’s not the people that stand by your side when you’re at your best, but the ones who stand beside you when you’re at your worst that are your true friends.  (And if your true friends have seen you at your worst and accepted you, there is just no sense in scaring everybody else.)


2. Face your fears and you will grow your personal power.

There is no person in the world capable of flawlessly handling every punch thrown at them. We aren’t supposed to be able to instantly solve problems. That’s not how we’re made. In fact, we’re made to get upset, sad, hurt, stumble and fall. Because that’s the whole purpose of living – to face problems, learn, adapt, and solve them over the course of time. This is what ultimately molds us into the person we become.  So, face your fears head on. No, it won’t be easy. But when you don’t face them, you give them power and when you do face them, you take that power back for yourself.  (That monster under your bed turned out to be just a dirty sock anyway, didn’t it?)

3. Be honest with yourself so and you will be able to change anything .

You can lie to anyone else in the world, but be honest with yourself. Our lives improve only when we take chances, and the first and most difficult chance we can take is to be honest with ourselves. You cannot begin to improve your reality unless you see it for what it is right now.  You have to see the path to follow it to the end.   Read The Road Less Traveled.   (Besides, if you never look in the mirror, you can never tell if you have mustard on your chin.)

4. Take care of your own needs and  you will contribute your best to the world.

 The most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of loving someone too much, and forgetting that you are special too. Yes, help others; but help yourself too. If there was ever a moment to follow your passion and do something that matters to you, that moment is now. (If everyone loses themselves, there will be no one left to look for us.)

5. Be yourself and you will fulfill the purpose for which you were designed.

 One of the greatest challenges in life is being yourself in a world that’s trying to make you just like everyone else. Someone will always be prettier.  Someone will always be smarter.  Someone will always be younger, but they will never be you.  Don’t change so people will like you.  Be yourself and the right people will love the real you.  (Anyway, bricks can’t be used as vegetables, and you can’t be used as something you’re not, either.  Besides, someone will break a tooth!)

6. Stay in the present and you will live without regrets or worries, helping rid yourself of depression and anxiety.

 You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading your last one.  Joy comes in the moment, not in the memory or the imagination.  (When you get old and can’t stay in the moment,

people think you’re senile.  Better to practice mindfulness now than spend your retirement eating pureed steak in a nursing home.)


7. Count mistakes as learning instead of failure and you will gain confidence.

Doing something and getting it wrong is at least ten times more productive than doing nothing. Every success has a trail of failures behind it, and every failure is leading towards success. You end up regretting the things you did NOT do far more than the things you did.  Anyway, trying always comes before succeeding.  We are given new days to remind us to just start over.  (Don’t you hate it when a pencil comes without an eraser, anyway?)

8. Forgive yourself and you will become more accepting of others.

We may think we love the wrong person or that we cry about the wrong things.  Yet one thing is for sure:   accepting our mistakes will help us find the people and things that are right for us. We all make mistakes, have struggles, and even regret things in our past. But you are not your mistakes, you are not your struggles, and you are here NOW with the power to shape your day and your future. Every single thing that has ever happened in your life is preparing you for a moment that is yet to come. (Besides, beating up on yourself sucks all the good energy out that you could be using to do more important things like eating chocolate.  ; )

9. Focus on love, laughter, and pursuing your passion and you will achieve real lasting happiness.

 Many of the things we desire are may be expensive.  But the truth is, the things that really satisfy us are totally free – love, laughter and working on our passions. (Plus, you’ll have more money left to buy presents for someone like, well, say, someone like me.)

10. Look within yourself for true happiness because it is the only place where you will find it.

When you are happy with who you are on the inside, you will  be happy in a long-term relationship with someone else.  You have to create stability in your own life first before you can share it with someone else.  Read Stumbling on Happiness.  (Have you ever been really happy when eating a carton of icecream, but then you finish it and all your artificially flavored and sweetened happiness comes to a screeching halt?)

11. Trust your decisions and act on them and you will build a sense of accomplishment.

 Evaluate situations and take decisive action.   Once you take action, let it go.   Making progress involves moving forward.  You  have to take your foot off first base to make it to second! (And you have to fall down to slide into home.)


12. Take risks and you will build trust in yourself!

Nobody ever feels 100% ready when an opportunity arises because most great opportunities in life force us to grow beyond our comfort zones. Comfort grows with familiarity.  Learn to appreciate the butterflies in your stomach by realizing they are the product of metamorphosis—yours!  (Jack never would have gotten to go up that hill with Jill if he hadn’t jumped over that candlestick first.)

13. Value yourself in relationships and life and you will teach others to value you, too.

Relationships must be chosen wisely. It’s better to be alone than to be in bad company. There’s no need to rush. If something is meant to be, it will happen – in the right time, with the right person, and for the best reason. Fall in love when you’re ready, not when you’re lonely.  Fill your life with service and purpose.  As you learn to love yourself and send it into the world, it will come back to you 100-fold.  (Get a dog as a pet before you get one as a mate.)

14. Keep open to receive love and you will get it.

In life you’ll realize that there is a purpose for everyone you meet. Some will test you, some will use you and some will teach you. But most importantly, some will bring out the best in you.  Each person is unique even when they possess similarities to someone else.  Each person deserves to be evaluated on their own merit, not your memories.  When you close a door, nothing can get past:  not the bad stuff,  but not the good stuff, either.  (If you keep hiding your pistachio icecream under your spinach just because they are both green, you’ll never like either one.  Unless you’re pregnant.)

15. Compete only against yourself and you will be a winner.

 Concentrate on beating your own records every day. Success is a battle between YOU and YOURSELF only.   Don’t worry about what others are doing better than you.  ( Just remember “Bad, bad Leroy Brown.)

16. Count your own blessings instead of everyone else’s and you will always be prosperous.

Jealousy is the art of counting someone else’s blessings instead of your own. Ask yourself this: “What’s something I have that everyone else wants?”  (Addition is always easier than division.  Especially long division.)


17. Be positive and SMILE and you will be filled with and radiate joy!

Life’s curveballs are thrown for a reason – to shift your path in a direction that is meant for you. You may not see or understand everything the moment it happens, which can  make it  tough.  However, when you reflect back on those negative curveballs thrown at you in the past, you’ll often see that eventually they led you to a better place, person, state of mind, or situation.  So smile!  Let everyone know that today you are a lot stronger than you were yesterday– and you will be. (If you lean in and get hit by one of those curveballs, the umpire of life has to let you walk to first base.)

18. Forgive. Let go. Find peace and you will see peace on earth.

Truly live by releasing hate and grudges from your heart.  You will keep from hurting yourself more. Forgiveness is not saying, “What you did to me is okay.” It is saying, “I’m not going to let what you did to me ruin my happiness forever.” Forgiveness is the answer… let go, find peace, liberate yourself! And remember, forgiveness is not just for other people, it’s for you too.  Forgive yourself so you can move on and do better next time.  (It is really embarrassing when you realize you’ve been screaming for someone to let you out and the key is in your pocket.)

19. Fly above the crowds and be the example! Or, as Ghandi said, “Be the change you wish to see!”  and you will change the world.

When you set the standard, you are never lowered to someone else’s level.  (If your elevator doesn’t go to the top floor, you know what everyone will think.)

20. Let go of the need to explain or justify yourself and you will develop faith.

Your friends don’t need it and your enemies won’t believe it anyway.  Just do what you know in your heart is right.  (And you know when you start explaining it will feel all awkward and just keep going on and on and you’ll never be really sure how much explanation is enough so you just sort of start to ramble in one gigantic, run-on sentence.)

21. Take breaks and you will get there faster and better.

The time to take a deep breath is when you don’t have time for it. Breathe in the universe’s unlimited resources and refill your tanks.   If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting.  Sometimes you need to distance yourself to see things clearly. (Running out of gas can mean pushing  your car.  You could get a hernia.  That means surgery and medical bills and boarding your Yorkshire terrier.  Well, it could get quite complicated.)


22. Stop and smell the roses and you will learn to appreciate the many exquisite gifts you might otherwise overlook!

Enjoy the little things, because one day you may look back and discover they were the big things. The best portion of your life will be the small, nameless moments you spend smiling with someone who matters to you.  (And those things that seem like big things might just turn into Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons and float off into the distance, or worse yet, deflate on you.)

23. Celebrate imperfection and you will reach your goals. 

The real world doesn’t always reward perfectionists,but  it always rewards people who get things done. Learn when “good enough” is enough and let it go.  Then you can concentrate more time on the things that do need to be perfected.   Read Getting Things Done.  (Did you ever go into one of those superstores when you were really tired and you forgot your list and you just wonder around forever trying to remember what you need but when you get home, there is always something you forgot?  Yeah.  You know just what I mean.)

24. Aim for the sky and you will learn to fly.

Life is not easy, especially when you plan on achieving something worthwhile.  Don’t take the easy way out.  Do something extraordinary. You can only reach as high as your target.  Aim low and that is all you will ever achieve.  Aim high, and even if you don’t reach all the way to your goal, you’ll fly higher than before. (It is a lot more difficult to water ski when you don’t stand up.)

25. Express your emotions and you will have room to grow.

It’s okay to fall apart for a little while. You don’t always have to pretend to be strong, and there is no need to constantly prove that everything is going well.  You shouldn’t be concerned with what other people are thinking either – cry if you need to – it’s healthy to shed your tears. The sooner you do, the sooner you will be able to smile again.  When we bottle up our emotions instead of releasing them, we allow them to grow out of our control.  Releasing and expressing them brings them down to a size that we can manage. (You must know what happens if you just keep stuffing too much inside.  Remember last Thanksgiving?)

26. Take responsibility for your own stuff. (But not anyone else’s) and you will have power to do anything .

The extent to which you can achieve your dreams depends on the extent to which you take responsibility for your life. When you blame others for what you’re going through and you deny responsibility – you give others power over that part of your life.  When you take on responsibility for

others, not only do you deny them their opportunities to grow as a person, you cripple your own soul under a burden you were never intended to bear. (Did you ever get really annoyed with someone else’s behavior only to realize you do the same thing?  No.  Okay then.  Me neither.)

27. Let the universe run by itself and you will set yourself free.

You are not equipped to run the show and are not built to handle the burden.   But making one person smile CAN change the universe.  Maybe not the whole universe, but their universe.  So focus on what is before you to do and not on anyone else’s purpose.  (If you go to do the laundry allow yourself to be distracted by the dirty floor, you are going to be wearing dirty underwear.  Trust me on this one.)

28. Allow your Creator to  sweat the details. Trust and you will rid yourself of anxiety.

Worry will not strip tomorrow of its burdens, it will strip today of its joy. One way to check if something is worth mulling over is to ask yourself this question: “Will this matter in one year’s time? Three years? Five years?” If not, then it’s not worth worrying about. Another way is to ask, “What outcome really matters to me?  What do I really want?”  Then drop everything extra.  (If it is too heavy to carry, do not pack it in your suitcase.  Put it in your brother’s when he isn’t looking.  Then you can tease him about being such a wimp. Good times.)

29. Expect wonderful and you will get wonderful.
Focus on what you do want to happen. Positive thinking is at the forefront of every great success story. If you awake every morning with the thought that something wonderful will happen in your life today, and you pay close attention, you’ll often find that you’re right.  (If you wake up expecting me to have come over and cleaned your house for you while you slept, fat chance.)


30. Live your life from gratitude; all the rest will follow from this one virtue.

No matter how good or bad you think have it, wake up each day thankful for your life. Someone somewhere else is desperately fighting for their own.  Instead of thinking about what you’re missing, try thinking about what you have.  Prosperity can never be realized  if you miss out on the  riches you already have by focusing on what you don’t have and getting what you want will never be enough if you cannot learn to appreciate what you possess right now.  (I hope you are grateful you invested the time to read this article.  I know I am.)

That is the list. 30 gifts that will change your life.  30 guidelines that will make this the best year of your life.  Focus on one or two at a time until they are habit. By the end of 2012, you won’t believe how far you have come.  And if you can learn  to appreciate my sense of humor, then anything is possible.

May joy, peace, love, prosperity and all good gifts manifest in each of us. Blessings.
Jodiebeth Jackson

                                                                                                           

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