advice for younger self

When I was just barely married at age 19, my husband and I visited his 98-year-old great-grandma. We knew she was getting close to passing away and I thought, what could I ask her that would help me? So I asked, “If you could give me just one piece of advice, what would it be?” She told me, “LIVE WITH NO REGRETS.” That has stuck with me for the past 25+ years.

As I have been writing my story, I wondered what advice would I tell my younger self? I have come up with a few things…

~Don’t put anyone’s happiness above your own.

~Set clear boundaries with your spouse and others.

~Trust your intuition. Defend it, even if it doesn’t make sense.

~Make a couple of hours a week just for yourself.


I am a researcher at heart so I thought, “I wonder what other people would say?” So I asked a bunch of you. The responses were overwhelming!

What Advice Would You Give Your Younger Self

The top 3 are:

1. Get a good education in something you like.

2. Look out for yourself.

3. Have fun and enjoy the little things in life.



Lighten up.

Enjoy every experience.

Don’t think so much.

You are not invincible.

Have fun.

Don’t worry- you’ll figure it out later.

Focus on school.

Have a technical skill and a foot in employment so that you can go back to work anytime if needed without having to go back to school or renew credentials.

Take more risks.

Play more sports.

Don’t get married until you are at least 27 and have dated the same guy for over a year.

Finish college. Get a degree in something you LIKE.

Play hard.

Live it up.

By the time you are 28 start scaling back on the donuts. They don’t come off nearly as easy in the next couple of years.

Appreciate the energy you have.

Stop worrying about your body

Travel the world before you have kids.

Be selective in who you marry and take your time.

Start investing money every month at a young age. This creates an interest account and discipline in other areas of your life.

Your parents know what they’re talking about.

Don’t care about what people think of you.

Don’t get married too young – until you have experienced life and you know who you are.

Don’t live your life always trying to please others.

Your happiness should come first because you can’t be a good parent/spouse if you aren’t in a good place.

Pamper yourself sometimes.

Don’t put education or career opportunities on hold because of what might happen down the road (marriage, children, etc). Rather aim high and make decisions when those things do happen.

Don’t buy anything you can’t pay cash for, especially if you are not absolutely certain you will get your money’s worth out of it.

Stay in school.

Live without regret.

In 20 years the things you didn’t do may hurt more than the mistakes.

Look for the best in others and yourself.

Don’t be a people pleaser. You can’t make everyone happy and it ends up hurting yourself.

Self confidence and optimism are what make you attractive.

Be confident.

It really does get better. Not as many people are thinking about you as you think. They’re too busy worrying about what they look like and what they are doing.

Listen to your mom. She really is always right.

Date around and have fun but don’t get serious with boys until you are about 30!

Find things that make you happy.


I keep relearning some of these lessons over and over- I hope I get it right soon, but I will keep practicing. What Advice Would You Give Your Younger Self?