50 Golden Tips for Good Living

I'm still on the road to 50, and the big day is just around the bend...say 42 days or so away. And as I promised last week, I'm posting another Golden List of 50 things that have some meaning to me...and maybe a little meaning to you as well.

Since one of the biggest hurdles to get past when approaching 50 is, let's face it, the aging body, I've spent a lot of time this year reflecting on some of the choices I've made in the past concerning my health and happiness and some of the things I need to step up in order to celebrate my 50th birthday with as much grace and style as possible. So today I give you 50 Golden Tips for Good Living. While all of these are tips I believe strongly in, they are also practices, habits, and little rules I really have tried to live by for at least my adult life. And quite honestly, I think I'm looking and feeling pretty good for 49.9. So here goes.

50 Golden Tips for Good Living
  1. Exercise is for everyone, not just overweight folks. I've exercised (running, swimming, walking, aerobics, or hiking) several times every week for 30 years. And I'm convinced moving and grooving has kept me healthier than any other habit.
  2. Good posture makes you look about 5years younger and 5 pounds thinner. Pull your shoulders straight up, pull them straight back and then drop them to a natural place. Voila!
  3. It's better to spend a tad more and buy classic, well-constructed clothes than to buy cheap, faddish clothing.
  4. Forget the color wheels and charts. Find colors that look good on you in the mirror, colors you get compliments on, and colors that make you happy. You'll always look best in those hues.
  5. Washing your face before you go to bed is worth the hassle...every night. 
  6. We all need to wear more moisturizer than we think we do.
  7. As I get older, less make-up has been better than more make-up. Even though there's more to cover up, still less is better.
  8. The less heat applied to your hair, the better. Pick one: hair dryer, curling iron, hot rollers (does anyone still use those?) or flat iron, but don't use more than one. And minimize the days you heat up at all.
  9. I'm so glad I never smoked! (If you do smoke, stop today!)
  10. A glass of wine with a good friend or a good meal is a treat and a joy, but drunkenness and addiction are just plain ugly.
  11. True beauty always begins with godliness that shines through from the inside out. And the best "beauty investment" you can make is a daily quiet time sitting in God's presence and meditating on His Word.
  12. Strength training with weights or resistance will help you burn more calories, stay more limber, maintain strength, and build bone.
  13. A smile lights up a room better than sparkling jewelry or flashy clothes.
  14. Each morning choose your clothing carefully, clean up, put on your makeup and do your hair. Doll all up. Then forget about it. I never comb my hair or reapply makeup during the day. I focus on my appearance for that one time each morning and then I go live my day without another thought to it (except maybe lipstick :) ).
  15. Speaking of lipstick, my mom taught me that people are more likely to listen to what you say and believe you know what you're talking about if you have on a nice shade of lipstick instead of naked lips. Turns out, experts agree with her.
  16. Flats are cute and I like to wear them, but heels lengthen your leg, make you look more confident.
  17. Don't squint. That just adds wrinkles to your brow. Wear sunglasses when you're outside for your eye health and your skin's smoothness.
  18. If I keep my nails painted I am less likely to bite or pick at them. When they're not polished I have real problems leaving them alone. 
  19. Biting your nails is a lot uglier than you think. Trust me. I was once walking by a parked car, chewing on a hang nail, when I heard a young man sitting in the car say, "Stop biting your nails, girl! That is so ugly!" I don't think he thought I could hear him, but I'm so glad I did.
  20. Learning to enjoy the solitude of your own company is a gift that produces the fruit of contentment, peace, and gentleness in your life. Think tea time for one, a solitary walk or rocking on your porch swing, just you and your thoughts.
  21. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control. And that is some beautiful, rare, and enviable fruit, obtained only through His abiding and ruling in your life.
  22. People love to hear their names. Whenever possible, address people by their name, with kindness, joy and respect in your voice.
  23. The art of conversation is a priceless lesson to learn. Remember, if you ask questions and listen, the other person will walk away later feeling like they know you better and like you more than if you'd told them all about you!
  24. Looking people in the eyes is not always easy for me; I'm a little shy one-on-one. But I work on it because I know it's important.
  25. I didn't learn how to style my hair until I was about 35. That means I lived over half of my life with ugly hair. Lesson? Don't give up!
  26. Nice eyebrows are like the frames on the "windows of your soul." Mine are very light blond, plus I probably over plucked as a younger woman, plus they thin as we age...so I shade them in a little with a brow pencil. Get someone to teach you how. It's worth the lesson.
  27. Bitterness not only grows like a nasty weed in your heart, but eventually it strangles the smile off your face and chokes out your laughter. Root that thing out with forgiveness and God's help.
  28. Get up and get dressed. I've found I'm more productive, more professional (even as a mommy), and more pleasant to be around when I rise early and get dressed while it's still morning...even if I'm going nowhere.
  29. Just in recent months, I've made it a policy not to communicate with anyone (outside of my immediate family, for practical reasons) before I've communicated well with Jesus in my daily quiet time. Truth is, I'm just not worth talking to before I've had my "talking to," know what I mean?
  30. Taking on new adventures is good for your spirit, your soul, and your mind, and even you body if it requires physical skill or fitness. 
  31. Intentionality is a required ingredient in anything we want to do well...from staying fit to growing spiritually to having healthy and happy relationships. When I've been intentional, I've reaped the rewards; when I've just hoped for the best...I've never gotten the best.
  32. Drinking plenty of water each day is important for every organ of the body, including our skin.
  33. Issuing true forgiveness erases wrinkles, relieves stress, lowers blood pressure, and generally makes you more attractive.
  34. I try to eat my nutrients rather than swallow them in a pill. I've found if I'm intentional about eating nutritious food, I don't have room for junk food.
  35. Good habits are easily broken and hard to establish. But good habits are worth the effort.
  36. Music, especially Christian praise music, lifts my spirit and lightens my burdens.
  37. Even a weeknight, family meal is worthy of cloth napkins and nice china. Cloth napkins make me very happy.
  38. My favorite perfumes are Calvin Klein's Euphoria and Estee Lauder's Pleasures. I wear one or the other every day...and night.
  39. Speaking of night, I love pretty pajamas. They make me sleep better. By the way, Marshall's has great pajamas at a great price.
  40. It's really important to speak to people and smile. My mom taught me to acknowledge every person I come in contact with. That's a little more challenging when you're not in the South.
  41. A quick 30-minute power nap is more effective than a long nap.
  42. The older I get, the more caffeine affects me, so I cut it off at noon.
  43. God changes us from the inside out; and that kind of make-over has lasting results, both inside and out.
  44. You can be comfortable in nice-looking clothes. You don't have to wear sweats and baggy things in order to be comfy.
  45. It's always better to be a little overdressed than to be under dressed for an occasion.
  46. Good manners are universally appreciated. Manners, both good and bad, speak volumes about a person. 
  47. And you can never go wrong with "old fashioned" good manners.
  48. Simple rituals, like playing nice music while I cook or lighting a candle in the evening or watering the plants before breakfast, make life sweet and beautiful.
  49. If you're trying to lose weight, weigh yourself just once a week. If you're trying to maintain your weight, weigh every day.
  50. An attitude of gratitude, both toward our gracious God and people in our lives, makes us more beautiful.
I hope that list didn't come across as too self-indulgent. Honest, it's just meant for fun. And quite honestly, about half way through, I thought, "What have I gotten myself into?" But it was too late to turn back! Next week you can look forward to something much less me-centered, I promise! Maybe 50 favorite scriptures...

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