Each week we change the words/quote/saying that we are displaying on the noticeboard in our kitchen; these are the words we try to live by individually and as a family that week. Some weeks may focus on lifting our mood, others may be about motivation or attitude to life; something that speaks to us on some level and that we can directly apply to our lives. Changing the words each week stops them from becoming just another thing you walk past without really seeing, it keeps things fresh and stops them losing their power. This series is where I share those words with you in the hope they may help you and your family too. If you a new to the series and want to learn more, you can read the first post here, or check out the Words To Live By tab in the top menu.

All anyone can ever ask of us it that we do our best, read on for more ...

This week’s post almost didn’t happen. When I first started this series I never knew in advance what the words would be. I often wrote and published it all within 1-2 hours on a Monday afternoon while L napped. As the series took on a life of it’s own and I learnt more about blogging and making graphics the posts naturally took longer to write and edit. And then I decided to create workbooks for each post in the series too.

Apart from the Happy Days posts on Saturday’s I try not to write over the weekend so that I can spend more time with the kids. This meant writing on Friday afternoons. Then L gave up her nap (see 5 Signs Your Toddler Is Ready To Give Up Nap Time – Even If You’re Not) and I have to snatch bits of time throughout Thursday and Friday now in order to get this post and the accompanying workbook ready for publication on a Monday. (I’m getting to the point I promise, stick with me.)

So, in the week that this post needed to be written the Friday was out because Hubby was finally coming back from Sea and I would be picking him up from the airport (yay!!). The Thursday was also out because we have toddler group in the mornings and then I would be frantically cleaning the house in the afternoon and doing all the jobs I can’t do with a toddler running around once the kids were in bed. So the plan was to write the post at the start of the week. Then L became ill yet again and has been extremely clingy; the lack of sleep was seriously addling my brain.

For obvious reasons I considered not posting. Aside from the lack of time and energy, I also didn’t have a clue what words to focus on.

Then it happened. As it so often does.

M was upset about some work he’d struggled with that day and the fact his teacher had told him off for not trying hard enough. I asked if he had tried and he said he had. I asked if he’d tried his best and he assured me he had but they were making him use a pencil grip to improve his writing and it had slowed him down because he found it painful to hold. She was expecting him to produce the same amount of work he was normally capable of without taking into account that he was struggling with an added variable outside his control. Just because it wasn’t as good as his previous best, doesn’t mean he wasn’t still doing his best.

Which leads us to this week’s Words To Live By:

Do Your Best

We can all be hugely critical of ourselves at times and think that we ‘should’ be doing more, but all anyone can ever do is their best. And our best may change from week to week.

Some days we are ill, or our children are. The car might break down. An unexpected workload may get dumped on your plate. Something in your personal life may be praying on your mind and making you distracted. All of these things will have an impact on what you can achieve. We need to stop being so hard on ourselves and realise all we can do is our best.

Do-Your-Best Quote 1

I had so much on my plate this last week I didn’t know how to do this post justice. At the same time I knew I really wanted to get something out. So, I’ve done my best. It may not be the best post I’ve ever written, but it is the best post I’ve been able to write in the time I had available.

Do-Your-Best Quote 2

Some of you may be reading this thinking it all sounds a bit passive. From the title were probably expecting more of a motivational kick up the butt to do better. Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered, just not this week. Come back for part 2 next Monday and I’ll give you all a jump start to your week.

In the meantime, stop being so hard on yourself and do what you can. I’ll leave you with this great poem:

Do-Your-Best Quote 3

Have a great week everyone, and remember to check out the FREE workbook below for a printout of these quotes (and more) and a couple of exercises to help you with this week’s words if you want try them x

Do Your Best workbook

UPDATE: Part 2 is now live, read it here: Do Your Best – Part 2


Pink Pear Bear

Reflections From Me
Cuddle Fairy
3 Little Buttons
Two Tiny Hands
Run Jump Scrap!
Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday


Capturing Moments


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57 thoughts on “Words To Live By #18: Do Your Best – Part 1

  1. Oh I couldn’t agree more. I always say to my children to do their best, not anyone else’s best, but theirs. It gives them that sense of pride too which is so important if they are to thrive in life. It also stops them comparing themselves to others. That sounded really tough for your son with the pencil grip and teacher comment. We all need to step back sometimes and think about this. Wonderful words of wisdom yet again! #BigPinkLink
    justsayingmum recently posted…Mess and Merlot Talks Teens!My Profile

    Posted on 13 March, 2017 at 9:22 am
    1. So true, thank you x

      Posted on 20 March, 2017 at 11:09 am
  2. It’s been a little while since I stopped by so I haven’t seen your workbooks yet. Great idea. I really am going to start this weekly quote in my house when Lilly is old enough to understand. I love it and I love seeing what you come up with. Do your best is good. I can relate too, since I haven’t been blogging as much as I would like lately, but I am doing my best 🙂 #mg

    Posted on 13 March, 2017 at 11:51 am
    1. Thank you, its all any of us can do x

      Posted on 20 March, 2017 at 11:10 am
  3. I always enjoy these. This is one of my favourites. I think your best is all anyone can ask of you and it is the thing you deserve to give yourself at all times. Do your best.

    Posted on 13 March, 2017 at 1:36 pm
    1. Thank you, you’re so right x

      Posted on 20 March, 2017 at 11:11 am
  4. I’m going to say these words to myself all the time. Guilt is for when you haven’t tried, otherwise you have to cut yourself a break and know you did your best. #CandidCuddles
    Heather Keet recently posted…All the things you didn’t know you knew…My Profile

    Posted on 13 March, 2017 at 7:09 pm
    1. Very well said Heather x

      Posted on 20 March, 2017 at 11:11 am
  5. Doing the best we can is all anyone can ask, getting enough rest makes me relaise this, without sleep nothing seems good enough and everything feels too much. #BigPinkLink
    Fiona Cambouropoulos recently posted…Epidavros and the healing powers of AsklepiosMy Profile

    Posted on 13 March, 2017 at 8:13 pm
    1. Defintely, being tired always makes everything seem so much worse.

      Posted on 20 March, 2017 at 11:12 am
  6. I love the idea of a family message each week! I always tell my boys that their best is always good enough; we can never do better than our best. But I never thought to point out to them that what our best is can vary from time to time and day to day. It’s so very true!
    Mother of 3 recently posted…Art Project #78– Painted PandasMy Profile

    Posted on 13 March, 2017 at 8:59 pm
    1. Thank you x

      Posted on 20 March, 2017 at 11:13 am
  7. I completely agree. I’m a (casual) runner and one thing that we always tell ourselves in our group is to compete only with yourself, and be the best that you can be in that moment, at that time. Lovely post, I’m glad that you shared it! #bigpinklink

    Posted on 13 March, 2017 at 9:07 pm
  8. I’m back with #DreamTeam
    Heather Keet recently posted…All the things you didn’t know you knew…My Profile

    Posted on 14 March, 2017 at 6:15 am
  9. Being on a course of antibiotics now, these words seem well aligned.#mg
    Helena recently posted…What are your go to remedies for self care?My Profile

    Posted on 14 March, 2017 at 1:06 pm
    1. Oh no, hope they did the trick and you’re feeling better now x

      Posted on 20 March, 2017 at 11:13 am
  10. Great, inspirational post. I always *try* to do my best. Aside from when I’m feeling a bit lazy! #bestandworst
    Rach recently posted…Night Time NostalgiaMy Profile

    Posted on 15 March, 2017 at 9:08 am
    1. Ha ha, we all have those days!

      Posted on 20 March, 2017 at 11:14 am
  11. Do your best is such a great motto as it’s encouraging. We regularly tell the Tubblet that as long as she does her best, that’s what’s important

    Posted on 15 March, 2017 at 3:14 pm
    1. Thank you, we can’t do any more x

      Posted on 20 March, 2017 at 11:14 am
  12. Definitely. We should never be too hard on ourselves if we try our best, put everything into it and work hard. What a great series! #familyfun
    Andrea @Topsy Turvy Tribe recently posted…Malaga Port, Museums & Beach with ChildrenMy Profile

    Posted on 15 March, 2017 at 7:53 pm
    1. Thank you x

      Posted on 20 March, 2017 at 11:15 am
  13. So true, it is one of the hardest things when I am sick to accept that my best is not equal to when I am well. We get so self critical, as a mum as you know there is no time to be sick, so I get frustrated at myself which only makes me feel worse. Great post! #mg

    Posted on 15 March, 2017 at 10:56 pm
    1. Thank you. Yes, these words are even more important to remember when we are ill or we just tie ourselves in knots x

      Posted on 20 March, 2017 at 11:16 am
  14. I promise that I will do my best… is the first line of the promise that 1000’s of girls make every week in Girlguiding. I don’t volunteer any more because, hey I’m a Mum, but I did for 10 years and I loved every minute of it. I dare say 100’s of girls made this promise in front of me and they meant it. After all all we can hope for is to do our best! Alana this post is the same quality as your rest if you’d said nothing about part 1/2 I’d never have known! Enjoy family time xxx ‪Thank you for linking up to the #familyfunlinky‬ and a hello from #candidcuddles
    Karen | TwoTinyHands recently posted…Back On The Bike #FamilyFunLinkyMy Profile

    Posted on 16 March, 2017 at 6:01 am
    1. Aww, thank you Karen. So true, I’d forgotten about the Girl Guides! x

      Posted on 20 March, 2017 at 11:17 am
  15. I agree lovely, we can only do our best. We are bound to make mistakes but as long as we do the best we can & try each day to do our best then we are doing a great job!! Thank you for sharing your quote with us at #candidcuddles xx
    Becky, Cuddle Fairy recently posted…Blogger Club UK 59My Profile

    Posted on 16 March, 2017 at 10:55 am
    1. So true, thank you x

      Posted on 20 March, 2017 at 11:18 am
  16. Doing our best is all any of us can do, but doing our best is positive. When we are doing our best, no matter the outcome we can be proud of how we have worked.
    Ali Duke recently posted…Things That Have Made Me Happy: Week 6My Profile

    Posted on 16 March, 2017 at 1:59 pm
    1. Very true Ali, thank you x

      Posted on 20 March, 2017 at 11:19 am
  17. Love Zantamata’s quote and yes these are very wise words…. All we can do is our best…. and we must be kind to ourselves about what our ‘best’ looks like. Your poor son and his ‘pencil grip’ – my heart went out to him… he had tried his best and sometimes when we are learning we go back a few steps in order to go forwards…. I’m surprised a teacher didn’t recognise this but maybe they were having a bad day.

    I really liked getting an insight into when you find time to write your posts… I am really struggling getting more than 1 a week written at the moment 🙂 xx #familyfun
    Hayley@ Mission: Mindfulness recently posted…Brain Awareness Week Post: Mindfulness and NeuroplasticityMy Profile

    Posted on 16 March, 2017 at 9:22 pm
    1. Thank you. We’ve a had a few similar instances with his current teacher but this is her first year teaching and she’s been given a very demanding class full of very loud and boisterous boys (well and truly thrown in at the deep end) so I’m giving her the benefit of the doubt x

      Posted on 20 March, 2017 at 11:23 am
  18. I love this post! It definitely made me think and re-think. I am guilty of thinking that doing my best should be the same whether I am healthy or ill, whether I have issues or not, or if something unexpected happens but you’re right. It shouldn’t be, and it would change. Your best has helped me see that I need to be kinder to myself. Thanks for sharing with #bigpinklink
    Agent Spitback recently posted…8 Sure Fire Ways to Get Your Toddler To SleepMy Profile

    Posted on 16 March, 2017 at 10:46 pm
    1. Aww, thank you. We are all so self-critical at times it can be hard but we do need to give ourselves a break. Hope it has helped you be kinder to yourself x

      Posted on 20 March, 2017 at 11:24 am
  19. Agreed. Some days are better than others but once we’ve done all we can, we can be proud and know we’ve done our best. It’s enough! #FabFridayPost
    Sinead (shinnersandthebrood.com) recently posted…My Nametags Review & GiveawayMy Profile

    Posted on 17 March, 2017 at 8:38 am
    1. So true x

      Posted on 26 March, 2017 at 1:46 pm
  20. I love this idea of allowing our ‘best’ to change according to our circumstances. We have to try our best yes, but sometimes we also have to go with the flow and accept that our best this week might not be the same as it was last week! And for what it’s worth, I really enjoyed reading this post!
    Madeline (This Glorious Life) recently posted…3 ways school French lessons prepare you for parenthoodMy Profile

    Posted on 17 March, 2017 at 3:38 pm
    1. Aww, thank you. And yes, you are so right x

      Posted on 26 March, 2017 at 1:47 pm
  21. Big hugs Alana! xx Somedays / week, I feel totally the same. It’s like clockworks that never ends. Yeay! That your husband has come back home. Enjoy your weekend! #FabFridayPost
    Su {Ethan & Evelyn} recently posted…#FabFridayPost Linky #75 {17.03.17}My Profile

    Posted on 17 March, 2017 at 6:43 pm
    1. Thank you Su x

      Posted on 26 March, 2017 at 1:47 pm
  22. OK Alana, you should NEVER be hard on yourself about your posts. They are always uplifting and thought-provoking, even if the idea is very simple. I’ve never thought much about how “our best” is an evolving kind of thing based on many factors…..

    I must admit to being ticked off at your son’s teacher. Never a good thing to casually throw out a comment like “you’re not trying hard enough.” For a child who IS trying and not meeting his teacher’s expectations (or his own), this could be a big ole kick in the gut. Sounds like you handled it beautifully with him and reinforced this very essential point.

    Great stuff, as always! #FabFridayPost

    Posted on 17 March, 2017 at 9:24 pm
    1. Aww, thank you so much. I did say a few choice words in my head about the teacher but this is her first year teaching and still learning so I’m giving her the benefit of the doubt x

      Posted on 26 March, 2017 at 1:49 pm
  23. Ah I love this series. That last poem is great. I want to print it out and look at it every day!! #FamilyFun
    Susie – This Is Me Now recently posted…What I’ve learned this week #20My Profile

    Posted on 18 March, 2017 at 5:10 pm
    1. Thanks Susie x

      Posted on 26 March, 2017 at 1:49 pm
  24. Congratulations this was one of the most clicked upon posts from the #mg linky this past week! Stop by Monday to garb your featured writer badge, and thank you fro supporting #mg it means so much lovely xx

    Posted on 19 March, 2017 at 7:11 am
    1. Yay! Thank you so much, I love #mg x

      Posted on 26 March, 2017 at 1:49 pm
  25. Oh yes I totally agree, as long as you try your best that’s all that matters. Some days the best you are capable of may be different to others and that’s OK. I love this series xx #KCACOLS
    Wendy recently posted…FUM – children’s book reviewMy Profile

    Posted on 19 March, 2017 at 8:08 am
    1. Thank you x

      Posted on 26 March, 2017 at 1:50 pm
  26. Love it! We must be on the same wavelength, because this is exactly what I’ve been focusing on this week too! I love your idea of posting words to live by each week. Do your kids really get into it? Great idea!

    Posted on 19 March, 2017 at 11:23 am
    1. Ha ha, you know what they say about great minds! My oldest (8 next month) really gets into it some weeks and others he’s not really interested and my 2 yr old is a bit too young yet. I find having it up on the board though acts as a reminder to me and I use those words to help the kids deal with things that come up over the week.

      Posted on 26 March, 2017 at 2:01 pm
  27. These are definitely words to live by and a reminder I need. I can be a bit lazy and disorganised and I think I don’t always do my best. I know I can do better with a better attitude. #CandidCuddles
    Mummy and the Mexicans recently posted…3 Thoughts for my Three-Year-OldMy Profile

    Posted on 20 March, 2017 at 5:42 pm
    1. Ha ha, you sound just like me x

      Posted on 26 March, 2017 at 2:01 pm
  28. Thankyou. I needed to read some of these posts, life is crazy at the moment. Thanks for linking up to the #bestandworst

    Posted on 20 March, 2017 at 8:53 pm
    1. Aww, thanks. I hope everything is coming together with the house now x

      Posted on 26 March, 2017 at 2:02 pm
  29. The poem at the end is brilliant! I find myself constantly annoyed with what I see as a small achievement throughout my day, especially when being poorly like we have all been recently. This really is a great little motivator, especially for someone like me that may not always focus on the good and accomplished 🙂
    Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday
    Amie recently posted…Amelia’s 2 Year UpdateMy Profile

    Posted on 27 March, 2017 at 4:47 pm
  30. I’ve missed seeing these. Love the quote at the end. And you’re right – they don’t always need to be butt kicking do they #KCACOLS
    Nicky Kentisbeer recently posted…Has Mary Berry Lost Her Cherry?My Profile

    Posted on 27 March, 2017 at 5:21 pm
  31. Great life lesson. Our best is all we can do. #FabFridayPost

    Posted on 29 March, 2017 at 2:08 pm