Do you have rules you live by? I’m not sure if I do or not. There are things I do and practice consistently, but I don’t necessarily think of them as rules. The word “rule” feels too constrictive. But the other day I came across a post on Zen Habits, which talked about rules to live by and I found I agreed with many of them. Here are the ones that struck me most:

When you say you’re going to do something, do it. This one is pretty obvious, but for me it also means doing whatever that thing is, in a timely fashion. That could be anything from doing a favor for a friend to finally getting a work project started.

Show up on time, always. This one is pretty obvious too, but again for me it goes beyond just being punctual. I believe “showing up”  to also mean being present, really engaging, and taking full advantage of every situation you’re in- whether it’s a work meeting or dinner with a friend. No cell phones on the table during dinner!

No sugar, refined grains. Ok- this one I don’t completely agree with, but I put it here as a reminder to myself. Though I do indulge in sugar and refined grains I find when I eat less of it, I feel about a million times better. I can really overdue it on the sweets so I have to remember that I’ll actually be happier if I don’t eat as much sugar! My friend Jen follows a rule where she only eats sugar on weekends, I’m thinking of implementing that.

Computer is off at midnight. I say 11 pm or really at least a hour before I go to bed.

When buying things, buy the best or something disposable. I haven’t bought a pair of jeans in over a year and I only own 4 pairs, most of which I’ve had for several years (I could probably get rid of one of them).The jeans I have receive a lot of wear and tear but they’re high quality, so they last. On the other hand, each summer I buy a handful of $10 t-shirts from Loft or the J.Crew outlet to wear all summer long. A few last from year to year but most are stretched out and faded by the end, so I get rid of them and get new ones each year. The quality over quantity mantra goes beyond my closet too, especially to my kitchen.

Do things other people aren’t doing. Yes! For a long time, especially when I was in middle and high school I wanted to be exactly like everyone else. I even had a friend tell me once that I always followed the trend- ouch! Granted we were in middle school and she probably didn’t mean it, but I think about that still, mostly to challenge myself. I think about it in terms of my work, my blog content, where I’m traveling… the list goes on.

 Always be learning something. I love this one.  This goes hand and hand with reading for me. The Plate to Pixel series is partially something I do to make sure I’m constantly growing my knowledge and skills when it comes to food photography. Brandon and I just started reading a book together. Initially I wanted to choose the book but then decided Brandon’s choice would expose me to something I wouldn’t necessarily choose for myself. A win win!

What do you think of these “rules”? Do you feel like you have rules you live by?

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  1. Yes! I love this post Clara. I just found your blog via Maggie. I do have “rules” that I attempt to live by. I first came across the idea after reading The Happiness Project. You have inspired me to write a post about my own rules. :)

  2. This is a great post, Clara. You are so right and I imagine most, if not all, of these rules are applicable to everyone who reads this. But I must say, the “no sugar, refined grains” rule gets me!

    • Clara

      Oh I totally agree! It’s too strict, and I love sugar and cookies too much :). I just try to remember that one or two cookies is enough, not 12… ha. But I’ll definitely have 12 now and then!

  3. Hi Clara!

    I just wanted to say thank you for taking the time out your day to send such a lovely note of kindness and encouragement. I really do appreciate that. The last year has certainly been a challenge, but meeting positive women like yourself in the blogosphere has made the experience a little easier to tell with.

    Thank you once again and know that I’m your newest faithful reader :)

    I hope you’ve been having a great weekend!

    And of course, congratulations on The Everygirl feature!!!!

  4. Great post! I think the word ‘rules’ can be off-putting but do believe we all have ‘rules to live by.’ I don’t think I could ever stick to eating no sugar…but right now I am giving up bread for a while.

  5. pve

    I think rules can be great when one has goals to achieve. While rules provide standards, Rules can also be broken, so I prefer to live with a what I call “well edited life” and try to remove things that might be draining my focus.
    I am going to give this more thought ~ the rules that is that help me to live my best and most focused life.

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