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Literally Lorna column: Live by a rule

Do you live by a rule, one to which you abide? For example, the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you'd like done to you. How about lead by example? This is a good one, especially if you're a parent, but sometimes you slip. Maybe your motto is "Be true to thine self." Whatever it is, practice it daily.

A few years ago, I invested in a Franklin Covey. I thought I was purchasing an organized calendar in a binder but once I got it home and read through it, it really opened my eyes to how I want to live, what kind of person I am and what I am trying to become. It allowed me to not only set personal and professional goals, but how to maintain them and follow through.

It opened up my creative side and I discovered what I was really serious about and what I thought of as a hobby. The Franklin Covey was one of those life-changing moments for me. Even though I don't use the daily planner any longer, I do refer back to those pages of vision, values and tabs of importance.

My suggestion in this new year is to find a rule, a promise, a mission statement that represents you and review time and time again. Better yet, create your own rule, motto or promise just like you would your goals and vision. As you review your goals, review your rule; having a rule to abide by doesn't hurt. Read that rule out loud, memorize it and live it.

I have a habit of reviewing my goals, both short-term and long-term on the 27th of each month. The 27th is my birthday so it's an easy number to remember. If you're working on a mission statement, first of all, congratulations, that takes some deep thought. Secondly, once a month is maybe enough.

We all have room for improvement. I like to improve on things I'm already good at; why waste my time trying to be something I'm not, like a multi-tasker. One shiny glimpse of anything and my attention span is off like a shot! I focus on and improve my existing talents and live by a rule. One of my favorites is the 5-finger rule:

• My thumb reminds me to always be positive

• My index finger should be pointed at me if anyone at all, never someone else

• My middle finger represents respect, some more than others. One needs to respect themselves before understanding the respect of others.

• My ring finger reminds me to commit to something; other than my spouse, a commitment that brings value to my life.

• Lastly, my pinky finger reminds me to pay attention to details, not to sweat the small stuff, but pay attention to detail.

These are all good things to live by and practice day in and day out.

Another rule I like and review on occasion is "Do more ..."

• Do more than belong, participate

• Do more than care, help

• Do more than believe, practice

• Do more than be fair, be kind

• Do more than forgive, forget

• Do more than dream, work

I like this one because it seems to cover everything that's important for an individual and a little more in depth.

If you fail your rule, don't worry, nobody is perfect and failing at something is stumbling on trying. If you don't try, you wouldn't fail but you wouldn't succeed either. Here's to you and living by your rule.