Life is too short to…

…. keep saying “yes” when I want to say “no”. I’ve become a lot better at saying “no” – although I can struggle when it’s to those I love.

We’ve all got To Do lists – and I’m willing to bet that some of them are absurdly long, even overloaded. But what about having a list of things you Don’t – or Won’t – do?

There’s some stuff you could put on a potential Don’t Do list that is about being a better person – stuff like how you treat people who are serving you: don’t be rude, don’t blame them for stuff which is outside of their control, don’t be a jerk and take advantage of the fact that they can’t tell you to **** off, but what I’ve listed below is a Don’t Do list that is all about me.

Here’s my Don’t Do list for your enjoyment πŸ™‚


  • say “Yes” when you want to say “No”
  • be a people pleaser
  • expect your body (and your emotions) to run on empty
  • cut corners on your sleep
  • eat junk food, except as an occasional treat
  • mis-use alcohol and drugs (prescription or recreational)
  • hold it all inside
  • forget to have fun
  • talk yourself out of good ideas
  • trash talk to yourself
  • beat yourself up when you make a mistake
  • try to run before you can walk
  • stop doing what you love if someone says it’s a waste of time
  • give up on your dreams
  • allow yourself to become overloaded
  • harbour corrosive and bitter thoughts about other people
  • overthink, mither, or become obsessive
  • allow others to take advantage of you
  • allow anyone to make a fool of you repeatedly
  • give your trust to someone who’s proven to be unworthy
  • forget to laugh, even at yourself
  • forget to be kind to yourself
  • feel you have to smile
  • sweat the small stuff
  • forget to get outdoors (it’s good for your mental health)
  • feel guilty about taking “me” time
  • be afraid to say “yes” when it’s something you really want
  • get drawn into other people’s drama
  • hesitate to walk away from people who put you down
  • forget to accept compliments with grace
  • worry what people you don’t like or respect think about you
  • feel bad or embarrassed because you cried
  • forget that self-care isn’t selfish, it’s necessary

What about you? Do you have a Don’t Do list? If so, what’s on it – or what might you put on one?

Β© Debra Carey, 2022

20 thoughts on “Life is too short to…

Add yours

  1. You are so right about life being short. Loved your list. I live alone so a big one for me is not to give up opportunities to spend time with friends and family because I have things to do.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s a good, thorough list. Of course, I would probably trash talk myself for not obeying the list if I had one, which would then violate one of the rules on the list.

    If I had a list, it should probably be: It’s okay to make mistakes. It’s okay to say no. Be patient with yourself. You are loved, and you are lovable.

    That is the list I most wish my parents had instilled in me.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you Natalie πŸ™‚ Good call on your choice – I need to do more of that as I’m so focussed on work at the moment. Also, I think the past few years has meant I’ve fallen out of the habit of socialising but it is so important – especially when you live alone.


  4. Autumn, those are great selections to add to anybody’s list. And if only all parents instilled those qualities in their children.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks Sara. While there’s always a danger it could get used it as a stick to beat myself with when I inevitably fail, I much prefer it to my to-do list and that negative possibility has never occurred πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks Donna πŸ™‚ I did my first one some years ago as an example for a piece of life coaching writing, but found it so useful that I update it from time-to-time.


  7. Figuratively, I think I often try to run before I walk. I need to remember that doesn’t work very well! Literally, not a chance. I’d be tripping over my own feet.

    Great list, by the way. I can’t find fault with any of these.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. No trash talking to oneself? That’s like half my day! πŸ˜‰ I do really appreciate the one about not allowing anyone to repeatedly make a fool of yourself. I think I’ve allowed that to happen in the past with close ones, and that’s now a no-no. I’m glad to see you thought about that too. Great list, you did indeed nail it. – Marty

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Thanks Marty πŸ™‚ Yeah, that not allowing anyone to repeatedly make a fool of yourself was a hard learned lesson. But we all get there… eventually πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Good for you, Debs, for putting together this Don’t Do list. Many of those same items apply to a lot of us, I’m sure. Off the top of my head, my top three don’ts in this moment are 1) don’t fill your time with activities just to be busy; it’s okay to just be still; 2) don’t feel guilty for indulging on occasion; just be mindful and savor whatever it is; and 3) don’t forget to spend time in nature. Thanks for the inspiration to this about my own Don’t Do list.

    Liked by 1 person

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