Making Good Choices…

My favorite farmer sarcastically noted shortly after our third daughter’s birth that he was planning to temporarily live in a different house when the girls were 18, 16, and 13.  You can likely imagine how well that went over as I rested on the hospital bed welcoming Karyn into the world…

It seems like that was just yesterday, but the truth is that we are a short year and a half away from the above referenced scenario.  This summer we plan to take a trip back East for our oldest daughter to look at colleges, our middle daughter is old enough to have her rural school driver’s permit, and little Karyn now stands at 5’7”.  Matt likely never really imagined the complete impact of a house full of estrogen, but somehow he seems to thrive in it 🙂


As I think back over the last 16 and ½ years, I seem to always come back to the thought that a successful life comes from making good choices.  Perhaps it is living in a house full of teenage girls, but that phrase seems to come out of my mouth multiple times in a day.

The following is a list of things that I have learned help to develop the skill of making good choices:

  1. Love and respect yourself.  Your life is a gift and you only get one body with which to live it.  Feed it well, get enough sleep, and honor it with your actions.
  2. Surround yourself with people who love and respect themselves.  A culture of respect breeds good decision making.
  3. Know when to remove yourself from a situation, and have enough confidence to leave.  If your gut tells you that you should not be there, odds are you shouldn’t be there.
  4. Honor your obligations.  You were placed on this earth to not only accomplish great things but also to bless others with your gifts.  Be dedicated and committed to creating a positive legacy.
  5. Make goals.  Your life will be more meaningful if you have a purpose.  Your purpose will be clear and accomplishable if you set goals along the journey.
  6. Develop a passion for greatness.  The best decision makers not only know what they want, but they want it more and are willing to work for it.
  7. Recognize that mental toughness goes hand in hand with confidence.  Confidence is a choice – Being mentally tough allows you to persevere and make good choices despite distractions, pressure from others, or self-doubt.
  8. Realize that fear and failure are both realities of life.  Acknowledging your fears allows you to use faith to overcome them.  Failure does not define you – It is how you choose to deal with it that does.  Use it to fuel you on your journey rather than letting it stand between you and your goals.
  9. Understand that you are not expected to be perfect.  Success is a journey, not a destination.  Look for mentors to help you navigate the challenges that create unplanned detours.
  10. Never forget that you are loved.  Look to your heart and always remember that God travels along with you on the journey.
As for my favorite farmer, it looks like he is going to make the good choice of sticking around so that he can continue to thrive amidst the harem of women that inhabit his home!

As for my favorite farmer, it looks like he is going to make the good choice of sticking around so that he can continue to thrive amidst the harem of women that inhabit his home!


Filed under Coaching / Personal Growth, Family, General

11 responses to “Making Good Choices…

  1. Can relate
    My wife and I (57yrs) have 3 daughters
    They are now adults and have daughters of their own.

    • Congratulations on your family, David. You and Matt should share stories sometime 😊

      I am glad that the post “spoke to you”. I bet that you and your wife have many things to celebrate!


  2. Mike

    These words of wisdom are spot-on. Faith, family and trust in yourself is something that is lacking in today’s hectic and sometimes vicious world. Your thoughts on good choices are sorely needed. I have always believed in the motto of live, laugh, love, as without these things we become less than the person we wish to be.

    • I agree, Mike. Thank you for your kind words. It is so important that we stay “grounded” in the things that are truly important. It is also important that we inspire our youth to place value on those things as well. It’s a tough world that we live in — we all need a pep talk from time to time. This post served that purpose for me personally so it is doubly nice to see that others enjoyed it as well.


  3. Beautiful post! Thank you Anne for enlightening us today.

  4. Anne, I’m sure glad you decided to continue writing this blog! I wish every child (and adult, for that matter) had your “ten commandments” of good choices before them every day. Parents used to teach these things to their kids in probably 9 out of 10 homes. Now, I’m afraid you are the exceptional exception, rather than the rule. Your many blog readers appreciate having you share the great things you are doing in your home, on your farm and feedlot, and in your community. Keep up the great work!

    • Thank you, Carol 😊. I love hearing from you and Jim. Your support is awesome and keeps me going.

      I thought of Teyha today — Meg had a track meet in North Platte. We finally got some beautiful sunshine after many many days of rain and cold. Meg cleared 8’7″ on the pole vault for the first time. Kind of like galloping on a horse but higher in the air 😉

      Take care,

  5. Great tips Anne. I try to teach those to the kids I do counseling with and try to counteract all the bad information they get each day. I wish every kid in this country or the world could have these principles taught to them. If they did this world would be the place close to what I think God would want it to be 🙂

    • I am so glad that you chose the vocation of counseling, Kim. It is such an important mentor role. I majored in psychology but did not end up getting a graduate degree or going into counseling because I wasn’t sure that I was strong enough emotionally to do it. I ended up running a feed yard instead, but the time that I spend working with kids and coaching them is treasured time for me. It is so important for adults to mentor and I truly believe that the benefits go both directions.

      Thank you for all that you do! Keep the faith 🙂

      • Thanks Anne… It is very emotional some days and other times its a very frustrating way to make a living, way more then I could have ever imagined when I was in college or graduate school… but the times when you see the kids getting better and you see they get it… those times get you though. Like you I really enjoy kids and being a part of their lives. There are many days though I would rather be out in a field with animals better yet animals and kids 😉
        I am doing my best to keep the faith and appreciate I am not in this work of mentoring/coaching/counseling kids alone… so thanks for all you do as well 🙂

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