Personal Dos and Don’ts

Mighty Life List: Personal Dos and Don'ts | Mighty Girl

This weekend is Mighty Summit, our fourth annual retreat for women in media. The Summit is a miniature version of Camp Mighty, and we do the same things — make Life Lists, commit to a few goals, and talk about how we can help each other cross things off, and drink champagne in the hot tub while reenacting our favorite Drunk History episodes.

Because both events are coming up, I’ve been thinking a lot about lifey stuff. How I want the coming year to feel as much as what I want to cross off my Life List. Reading over your comments on happiness and the kind things people have done for you, I decided to keep better track of what makes me happy and unhappy.

I took the very complex approach of making two lists, a “STOP IT” list and a “DO IT” list. When I feel cruddy, I add whatever got me there to the Stop It List, and when I feel happy, I add to the Do Its. For example:


Cook at home.
Read novels in bed.
Write thank you notes.
Have sex!
Take baths instead of showers.
Go Dancing.
Tell the important people how I’m feeling. Using words.
Spend time with people who talk about ideas.
More hammocks.
Have a dance party.


Don’t buy stuff I don’t truly need.
Don’t wear that unflattering dress anymore.
No reality TV that isn’t about aspiration. Blurgh.
No to people who habitually drain you.
Don’t complain instead of acting.
Refrain from overfilling my schedule.
Don’t assume.
Seriously? Why are you wearing that stupid dress?

See? Helpful.

What about you? If you had a Do and Don’t list, what would be on it?

23 thoughts on “Personal Dos and Don’ts

  1. “Spend time with people who talk about ideas.”

    Love, love, love this one. I did it last year. I lost a few friends, but they weren’t feeding my brain or my heart, so I’m ok with it. My corollary to it is:
    “Don’t spend time with people who only want to talk about other people.”

    My other DO: “try to learn something new, every day.”


  2. Oooh, I love this idea.

    DO IT!

    Have sex!
    Ride horses.
    Ride my bike more.
    Run outside, not on the treadmill.
    Take spontaneous weekend trips with D.
    Go somewhere by myself to a weekend.
    Montana. It’s 2 hours away. GO.
    Canada. Ditto.
    Spend more time in bookstores.

    STOP IT!

    Saying yes when I mean no.
    Allowing my ex to drag me down with him.
    Feeling stuck in my job.
    Shopping to boost self-esteem.


  3. Ah I dream about attending Mighty Summit someday. Love the idea of a Do it and Stop it list. Spending unnecessary money would definitely be on my Stop It list.


  4. Do It!

    Live your retirement, don’t wait for retirement age! (I’m 31)
    Drink that second cup of espresso
    Shake your ass at zumba, even if you feel silly
    Sleep in

    Stop It!
    Worrying about what others think
    Wearing shoes that look awesome but leave my feet a blistery/bloody mess


  5. Do it! (aka GREEN LIGHT)

    Sex! (Though I think I’ve forgotten how, ha.)
    Focus on things I CAN do.
    Design for me, not just for clients
    More time with people who are positive and uplifting
    Embrace being weird and quirky- life is SO much more fun this way.
    Get ready for Camp Mighty…whoohoo!

    Stop it! (aka RED LIGHT)

    Get coulda/woulda/shoulda out of my vocabulary
    Drop toxic people like a bad habit and don’t look back, no matter how ‘cool’ they might seem
    Don’t think about FOMO (fear of missing out)
    No more being a doormat because I think people will like me/be my friend if I just say yes


  6. I love this post. Camp Mighty was life-changing for me last year, but I have not completed much (anything?) on my list since then. Instead, I’ve been doing a lot LOT more of the items on the DO IT! list and that has been working wonders. Now I’m not nearly so badly off in the “boxes checked” department as I thought. Thanks (again) for the life boat!


  7. DO:

    Use your words.

    Always give them the benefit of the doubt, especially spouse and children.

    Let it go, man.


    Take on commitments that will make you resentful.

    Use guilt to motivate spouse or children to change their behavior.


  8. Could not love these two any more:
    “Spend time with people who talk about ideas.”
    “No reality TV that isn’t about aspiration.”

    Just, yes. Nailed it!


  9. Here is a big question. What if the main thing on your DON’T list is this: Stop failing. But how. How? Is the problem that this item should instead appear on the DO list, only slightly reworded? As such: Stop thinking about failing. Again, if I only knew how.

    As you can tell, things have been rather tough around here lately.


  10. A girlfriend of mine (in fashion fortunately) asked one night after we split a bottle of wine if she could quickly clean out my closet. In 10 minutes all of the unflattering and raised eyebrow clothes were gone. It was amazing. Your friends know you…let them help.


  11. I’ve recently started similar lists…

    Goals (aka DO IT!):
    – achieve and maintain a well-edited wardrobe (get rid of the frumpy/ill-fitting/outdated stuff and be more choosy when shopping)
    – upload and organize photos (instead of leaving them on the SD card for eternity)
    – plan more meals (less stress and less throwing out the random veggies that I buy without planning)

    STOP IT!:
    – being negative
    – buying heels taller than 2.5 inches
    – eating both a burger and fries for lunch because my intestines can’t handle that much grease at one time (sorry, TMI?)


  12. DO: get together with people who leave you feeling all bubbling-over with possibility & excitement. I’m working on getting a blogger-accountability club going here in Columbia, SC!


  13. That’s a great exercise. I would have to think for a while to come up with my own list, but my one big don’t of recent years: Don’t put off your living until tomorrow. That one covers a lot of ground for me.


  14. Do it!
    * Ride my bike, even though it ruins any chance of a good hair day.
    * Say, “I’m sorry, but I feel don’t feel comfortable doing that.”
    * Be present.
    * Yoga.
    * Sit quietly five minutes before the school bus arrives, instead of squeezing in one more thing.

    Stop it!
    * Skimping on almonds in my homemade granola because they are spendy. What the hell?
    * Browsing Pinterest.
    * Wearing the blue jacket.


  15. DON’T:
    pretend it doesn’t count as smoking because i’m bumming the smoke
    shop when i’m feeling stressed
    stay up too late on the internet (…hmmmmm)
    worry about getting older
    feel bad about things i can’t change

    sleep at least 8 hours a night
    work enough, and not any more or less than that
    cook dinner at home
    ride a bike
    yes! have sex


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