The Good Advice I'm Taping To My Bathroom Mirror In 2021

by Kristen Mae
Originally Published: 
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Starting a new year, for many, means setting resolutions. Not for me — not this year. I set lofty goals in 2020 and achieved none of them, instead only managing to morph into the most jaded, skeptical, intolerant version of myself to date. Thanks, 2020, but I’m all set with big goals for a while.

Now, good advice? That I am happy to welcome with open arms. Give me all the useful advice. I won’t dare hazard a guess as to what 2021 has in store for humanity, but having good words to live by will hopefully make it a little easier to manage whatever shit show gets dumped on us. With that in mind, I put out a request via social media for folks to hit me up with the best advice they’d ever gotten. Here are some of my favorites, in no particular order, that I will probably end up taping to my bathroom mirror:

When your pleasures are simple, no one can steal your happiness. — Sheri B., Florida

Everything is always better in the morning. — Caila S., Indiana

“Don’t borrow trouble.” In other words, deal with what’s going on, don’t extrapolate 15 steps ahead and try to mitigate the problems you foresee. — Sarah P., New York

Learn to love yourself first . . . and well. — Lynn P., Wisconsin

Shit people are just shit people and we don’t have to make excuses for them. — Kristen S., North Carolina

Be bold, and mighty forces will come to your aid. — Kyrston C., Ohio

Learn and love who you are. Your relationship with yourself is the only one that’s lifetime guaranteed. — Katie B., Michigan

Never pass up an opportunity to pee. — Amy W., Florida

Form your own opinion about others don’t just blindly follow popular belief. — Rene N., South Africa

It’s ok to mess up, just be sure to learn from your mistakes. — Linda H., Texas

“Don’t lower yourself to their standards.” Mom always told me that about taking the high road and not allowing others’ behaviors to dictate mine. — Ricia J., Florida

God makes new babies strong enough to survive new parents. — Ashford E., South Carolina

Don’t marry a man you need to help because you will be ‘raising’ that man forever, even after the kids move out. — Abbie G., North Carolina (Of course, this one applies regardless of gender.)

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“Not everybody thinks like you do.” It’s so simple but has really helped explain and frame my reaction to other people’s actions and decisions. — Connie R., Florida

Doing something always puts you ahead of someone who’s doing nothing. — Valerie W., South Carolina

Go to the dentist twice a year. — Jennifer G., New Jersey

Not advice exactly, but words I live by: “Now what are you going to do?” I was 19, a single mom, just finding out I’d been kicked out of college. I deserved it — didn’t do the work, didn’t go to class… I didn’t really know how to make myself be a good student. I drove to my mom’s hair salon and cried and lamented and bemoaned my situation. How would I get a good job. How would I take care of my child. How would I accomplish anything in life. My mother let this go on for about 10 minutes and then said, “Now what are you going to do?” Don’t feel sorry for yourself. Or do, but then make a plan. I think she taught me not to be a victim to circumstance and I’d like to believe I never have since. — Casey D., New York

Apologize to your kids and ask for forgiveness when you do something wrong. — Rachel H., Texas

Don’t be a coulda-woulda-shoulda kid. — Marie M., Florida

“This too, shall pass” Works for getting through the tough times, but helps even more to understand that the good times won’t last and you’d better brace yourself. — Evan O., Florida

When I was getting divorced, my mom’s advice regarding fighting over possessions: “It’s just stuff. You can always get more stuff.” I’ve followed that advice through big moves that required ample downsizing. — Jennifer S., Hawaii

Children grow in spite of us, not because of us. — Courtney C., Wisconsin

Indecision is decision. — Mary Katherine, Florida

Cat people can coexist with dog people, but non-pet people cannot coexist with pet people. — Sarah P., New York

What other people think of me is none of my business. — Christine S, Florida, and Paige C.S., North Carolina

Everyone will have an opinion about you. It’s up to you to decide if that opinion has any weight. — Virginia D., Pennsylvania

My recovery friends have always said “We are not in the business of outcomes” and it’s helped me in every damn area of my life. — Janelle H., Netherlands

Do one good thing for yourself every day. No matter how large or small, if you continuously remind yourself that you matter, it bolsters self esteem, self-confidence, and can help you center yourself in the midst of chaos. Be good to you, and others will follow. — Lily R., Massachusetts

It’s okay to go to bed angry. Conflict escalates when you’re exhausted, and most of the heat of common arguments drifts away once you’ve both had some rest and can see things clearer in the light of day. — MyLove M. B., Mississippi, and Tania Marie, Florida

If you’re gonna dream, dream big. — Jeanne L.B.,Illinois

You get two shots at a family. One you’re born into, the other you make. You can not do anything about the one you’re born into. The one you make is up to you. — Kathy D., Illinois

Never assume, always ask. — Chitra M., Doha, Qatar

Sometimes you have to follow what your brain is telling you and not your heart. — Elva T., Texas

When dealing with your challenging teen, never let it escalate to the physical, be the adult and keep control even if it means walking away. Once that boundary is crossed, it changes everything. — Sinéad C., Ireland

Life isn’t the set timeline you had in your head as an 18 year old. Every choice you make (and those of others, and things that happen in the world…) changes your timeline. Take a minute every once in a while to evaluate the timeline itself for your self-esteem. — Marlie G,E., Canada

Treat others the way you want to be treated. — Dana S.C., Florida

Sometimes darkness can show you the light. — Mariah Y., Vermont

Allow your children to fail so you can teach them how to recover. — Maria M., Illinois

You don’t have to believe in God, but you need to believe in something bigger than yourself. — Jordin E.H., Colorado

Just be yourself and f*ck the naysayers. — Jennifer T., Tennessee

Remember to breathe. — Tricia S., California, from our NICU nurses

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