Don’t wish time away.

Don’t miss out on eating dessert for breakfast.

Don’t hold your farts in.

Don’t go to bed angry.

Don’t wake up angry.

Don’t be late.

Don’t be too early. It’s as much an inconvenience as being late.

Don’t be rude to the waiter/ waitress/ barista/ cashier/ cleaning lady.

Don’t cut your own hair.

Don’t talk yourself out of an opportunity to try something new.

Don’t close your heart to kindness.

Don’t shake hands limply.

Don’t talk yourself down.

Don’t pick at pimples.

Don’t be strong all the time.

Don’t worry about the dishes, until you absolutely have to.

Don’t be a jerk when driving.

Don’t ignore your email inbox to the point of having 1,976 unread emails.

Don’t build so many walls that you can’t be reached.

Don’t buy what you can make.

Don’t ignore your instincts.

Don’t worry about singing in the car, just do it.

Don’t tell lies about other people to make yourself look good.

Don’t be lazy. Unless it’s the weekend. Then be lazy.

Don’t be too hard on yourself if you’ve had a bad day with the kids/ failed at your diet. You’re human. Be human.

Don’t slurp your soup.

Don’t judge others. You don’t know their story.

Don’t stick your nose in where it doesn’t belong.

Don’t be afraid of what people think.

Don’t make everything a competition.

Don’t compare.

Don’t say, “I can’t.”

Don’t spend more than you earn.

Don’t buy what you don’t need just because it’s cheap.

Don’t be ashamed to admit you totally rocked to Justin Timberlake’s “I’m Bringing Sexy Back” (what, just me?).

Don’t be afraid to apologize.

Don’t call each other names in a fight. Fight hard, but fight clean.

Don’t neglect books. Read, and read a lot.

Don’t scrimp on a good mattress.

Don’t forget to brush your teeth before you go to bed.

Don’t say no to travel. Seeing the world opens your eyes in surprising ways.

Don’t stalk your ex on Facebook. Just don’t.

Don’t think that the world is against you. Sometimes, it’s just you against you.

Don’t hold onto grudges.

Don’t be afraid to let go of the people who should no longer be in your life.

Don’t forget to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’.

Don’t forget to tell your children you love them.

About the writer


Alison Lee is a former PR and marketing professional turned work-at-home mother. After a 10-year career in various PR agencies, and of the world’s biggest sports brands, Alison traded in product launches and world travel, for sippy cups, diapers, and breastfeeding. Alison shares stories of motherhood on her blog, Writing, Wishing, and her writing has been featured on Everyday Family, Mamalode,, and The Huffington Post. She is one of 35 essayists in the anthology, My Other Ex: Women’s True Stories of Leaving and Losing Friends. In 2012, she founded Little Love Media, a social media consultancy specializing in blog book tours, and because she doesn’t sleep, is an editor at BonBon Break, an online magazine. Alison lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with her husband and four children (two boys and boy/ girl twins). You can find Alison on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Google+.


Natalie 2 years ago

I loved this the first time I read it and so glad to see it here! :)

JDaniel4’s Mom 2 years ago

I think you have it all covered. This truly is the way to live your life.

JDaniel4’s Mom 2 years ago

I think you have it all covered. This truly is the way to live.

Kevin Kind 2 years ago

….any “Dos?”… DO claim justifiable homicide in cases of :
1. Really annoying and psychotic relatives
2. The hyper-psychoticized Starbucks person behind you
3. Cat videos, well the producer-director-cum-set designers of kat videos….

the list goes on and on and on….

Jennifer Williams 2 years ago

Dude… this is my friend. She is awesome!

    Alison 2 years ago

    Aw, shucks thanks!

Kat 2 years ago

Some great – and common-sense – rules that we seem to forget sometimes. Thank you for the reminder :)

    Alison 2 years ago

    Thanks for reading, Kat!

thekitchwitch 2 years ago

Hi Allison! Good to see you over here!

    Alison 2 years ago

    Thank you, Dana!

Crystal 2 years ago

Love this list, Alison! Good stuff as always. :)

    Alison 2 years ago

    Thanks so much, Crystal!

sarah reinhart 2 years ago

Aw, my fave is don’t close your heart to kindess :) Followed closely by don’t hold your farts in. Of course. xx

    Alison 2 years ago

    Hah! Of course :)

Lady Jennie 2 years ago

I so love this post, and it is filled with great advice. Advice I actually want to follow!

    Alison 2 years ago

    Thank you sweet Jennie!

Jenn 2 years ago

LOVED this post, Alison! My favorite was “Don’t worry about the dishes, until you absolutely have to.” I follow that advice almost every day. :)

    Alison 2 years ago

    Jenn, thank you so much! And I’m glad you do. :)

Kristin VanderHey Shaw 2 years ago

Great list, Alison! Don't stop writing. :)

    Alison 2 years ago

    Thank you, friend! And I won’t! (Not that I ever can)

When Crazy Meets Exhaustion 2 years ago

DON'T read this without a box of tissues! xo

    Alison 2 years ago


Keely 2 years ago

Alison, you are a marvel. I’m so glad one of my “do’s” was Become Alison’s Friend.

    Alison 2 years ago

    You make me cry, Keely! In a good way.

Mercy 2 years ago

Great list of things to remember.

Carrie 2 years ago

Perfect. This is a GREAT list.

Actually, I think it might be better for some adults than most kids.

    Alison 2 years ago


Kristen Mae at Abandoning Pretense 2 years ago

The “don’t slurp your soup” is the one I nodded hardest to. Not sure what that says about me…

    Alison 2 years ago

    That you have great table manners. :)

Ilene 2 years ago

I loved this when I first read it and I love reading it here! xo

    Alison 2 years ago

    Ilene, thank you for coming over! Love you!

MomChalant 2 years ago

I was picking at a pimple as I was reading this. But I stopped : )

I’m so guilty of buying something I don’t need just because it’s cheap. I stalk sales.

And I love don’t buy what you can make. Great post, Alison!

    Alison 2 years ago

    Ashlee, thank you!
    (Yeah, those zits? Tempting. But. Don’t.)

Katie Sluiter 2 years ago

I feel like everyone should have this hanging in their office or on their fridge. It could be made into a lovely little cross-stitch hanging :)

    Alison 2 years ago

    Aw, thanks Katie. I should do that!

Mary Bassett Anishchenko 2 years ago

Good reminders!

Sabrina 2 years ago

For once, a list of DON’T’s that’s not restricting!

I totally printed this out and now it’s on my desk as a daily reminder.

    Alison 2 years ago

    Sabrina, that is the greatest compliment, ever. Thank you.

Shelley @ThatGirlShelley 2 years ago

I love this list! Live life to the fullest with no regrets.

    Alison 2 years ago

    Good one, Shelley!

Michelle Cortez 2 years ago

Awesome words!! Thank you!!

    Alison 2 years ago

    Thanks Michelle!

Writing, Wishing 2 years ago

Thanks much!

Jenna 2 years ago

So perfect! Loved it.

    Alison 2 years ago

    Thank you Jenna!

Stephi Dennison 2 years ago

Love it!

Tatyana Roudenko Sarandinaki 2 years ago

Fantastic list!! Thanks for the reminders!!!

    Alison 2 years ago

    Thanks Tatyana!

Amber 2 years ago

I like this list.

And I do not hold my farts in.

I probably shouldn’t admit that…

    Alison 2 years ago

    Hah! Good on you, Amber.

Shana Norris 2 years ago

Great list, Alison. SO MUCH applies to me. It’s good to know I’m not the only one :)

    Alison 2 years ago

    Thanks for reading, Shana!

Cassie 2 years ago

This is wonderful advice! I’m trying very hard to follow many, many of these tips.

    Alison 2 years ago

    Cassie, thank you so much.

MDmomx5 2 years ago

“Don’t be afraid to let go of the people who should no longer be in your life.” One of the hardest but oh so important for your sanity.

    Alison 2 years ago

    It is. Absolutely.

Mo at Mocadeaux 2 years ago

Great list! I especially like “Don’t be strong all the time.” I struggle with that and need to remember that asking for and accepting help is not the same as weakness. I’m passing this list along and saving it as a reminder to myself!

    Alison 2 years ago

    It’s totally okay to ask for help. It’s essential to our sanity. :)

Kim 2 years ago

Alison – you have a new fan!

    Alison 2 years ago

    Thank you so much, Kim!

Pam 2 years ago

This is perfect!

Doliria T. Lenzi Anderle 2 years ago


Lindsey 2 years ago

Love. Don’t forget this important list. xox

    Alison 2 years ago

    Thank you, Lindsey! And yes. :)

buckiddo 2 years ago

I’m like a solid 50%. Definitely need to work on a few.

But I am really good at ignoring the dishes, so thanks for the validation there. +1

    Alison 2 years ago

    Dishes schmishes!

Jessica Smock 2 years ago

In dealing with a newly defiant toddler, I’m reading a lot of toddler discipline books. They all say to avoid the words, “Don’t!” or “Stop!” or “No!” But I’m finding that a TINY bit of negativity — reminding all of us of what NOT do do, whether we’re 2 or 42 — can help us gain a little wisdom more easily than simply figuring it out ourselves.

    Alison 2 years ago

    It’s turning negativity into something positive. At least, that’s what I hope to do. :)

Anna Hettick 2 years ago

love this. just might have to make this into some wall art or something to display. this is perfect.

    Alison 2 years ago

    Anna, that is a good idea. I need to do that for my home :)

Gigi 2 years ago

I am so printing that out and saving it!

    Alison 2 years ago

    Aw, thanks Gigi. :)


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