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TLC: Ten Life Commitments

Posted by Nancy Weil on January 1, 2014

As the New Year begins, I urge you to pledge that you will indulge in a little TLC: Ten Life Commitments. Forget resolutions, instead adopt new practices that are all about you, easy to implement and guaranteed to make a powerful, positive impact. You will not find a diet, workout more or stop a bad habit among them. Instead this list is fully focused on helping you make 2014 the year that you add more life to your years, a jig in your step and a song in your heart (see #7)


1.      Say I love you – We work in an industry where we know that there are no more important words than these three. We also know that the time to say them is now. Say them to your spouse, your children, your friends, but most of all, say them to yourself. Love yourself. Fully accept who you are and all that you do. Send yourself flowers or write yourself a little love note (How do I love me? Let me count the ways!)

2.      Eat food you can recognize – Healthy eating isn’t difficult. Simply follow this rule. If you know what it is, if it doesn’t come in a package with ingredients you can’t pronounce or recognize, if it spoils rather than stays fresh in its plastic packaging for eternity, then you can eat it. Nothing processed, nothing mutated, nothing that is not really food – no matter how good it tastes. As one friend said, “If my grandmother would recognize it, then I eat it.” Fresh, whole food that your body recognizes and that gives you energy. Food that does not make you want to take a nap after the meal. Food that is, well, food. (I won’t mention my vegetarianism.)

3.      Create a sanctuary – Somewhere in your home, create a space that invites you to relax. A cozy corner, a reading nook, a place without a computer, TV or other electronic device that lures you away from your peace. Conduct a bed check: Soft sheets? New pillow? Thick blanket? Now rest a while.

4.      Have a hobby – Find something you love to do that doesn’t involve work. My dad’s doctor advised him to take up handball to ease the stress of owning his own business. My dad is now in the Handball Hall of Fame. ( While you may not end up in a Hall of Fame, what can you do to pass the time between working hours? Sailing? Golf? Needlepoint? (Rosey Grier does it.)

5.      Complete a life challenge – Life is to be lived outside of your comfort zone. Push yourself this year to accomplish a goal that you have never done before. I have walked two marathons – yes, 26.2 miles of walking. This takes a really long time. Lots of time spent walking around the neighborhood and then many, many hours out on the course. Yet, it is the most exciting thing I have ever done. Nothing beats crossing that finish line and knowing you have done something that you can put in your obituary someday. Create what I call “Obituary moments” this year. Things that will be listed in your death notice years from now.

6.      Honor your stupidity daily – Never stop learning. Know that you don’t know everything and that the world is a fascinating place full of interesting people and new ideas. It is also very, very old with a history that beckons you to learn more about it. Check out and watch some of the greatest thought leaders of our time. They are passionate, interesting and will allow you to sound smart at your next cocktail party. (Does anyone even have cocktail parties anymore?)

7.      Sing a new song – Music soothes, heals and entertains. Whether or not you can carry a tune, you can still sing. Shut down your inner critic and raise your voice in song. Stretch your brain by learning the lyrics to something fun, like Lydia the Tattooed Lady. My Heavenly Hearts grief choir learned this song for our recital and even donned a tattoo to illustrate the lyrics.

8.      Plan an adventure – St. Augustine wrote, “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” Where have you always wanted to go? Plan it now. Do not wait until “someday,” for it may never arrive. Instead grab your passport, book your passage, hire your Sherpa and pack your bags.

9.      Stretch your Spirit – Make time this year to deepen your faith, nourish your spirit and discover new ways to express your inner being. Get in touch with the unseen, yet all-knowing side of you through yoga, meditation or fire walking. (just kidding about the fire walking)

Most of all, every day of the year:

10.  Breathe deeply. Love completely. Laugh often.


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