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.

Welcome back for Part 2 of Do Your Best. If you missed part 1 you can catch it here: Words To Live By #18: Do You Best – Part 1.

Last week I said all you can ever do is your best and to give yourself a break. I believe this is extremely important but I also mentioned at the end of the post that it could seem a little passive. It’s all too easy to say ‘oh well, I did my best’ and then move on, not getting the results we really want. I know, because I’m guilty of this myself.

I promised you a kick up the butt this week and that’s what I’m going to give you. So, pull up your big girl pants and lets get started.

Wondering why something didn't work out or give you the results you hoped for? Did you really do your best? Be honest with yourself, then read this post ...

Last week I could have easily justified not posting. I really had been snowed under and having a poorly toddler to look after didn’t help. But I knew in my heart that that wouldn’t be me doing my best. That would be me looking for an easy way out. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes you need to take some time out. I’ve certainly done that in the past (see my Listen to Your Body post). This time I didn’t need time off, I just needed to get my butt in the chair and write.

Always do your best. What you plant now, you will harvest later. Og Mandino

I knew that putting in the effort and pushing myself to do everything I could with the time I had would benefit me in the future. Not just because I would have another post published, but because I would be proving to myself that I have what it takes. Next time I’m in a similar situation, instead of thinking “I didn’t manage last time so I may as well not bother this time” , I will know that I am capable of working under pressure.

We don't know who we are until we see what we can do. Martha Grimes

Next time you’re wondering why something didn’t work out or why you didn’t get the results you were hoping for, ask yourself “did I really do my best? Could I have done any more?” If the answer is yes, you did your absolute best and put everything you had into it, then well done, you probably don’t need to read this post at all. I’m going to hazard a guess though that at least some (if not the majority) of you will find that actually, you maybe did hold back a little.

I have to clarify here, I’m not talking about how well you cleaned the house or whether you managed to keep on top of the laundry. I’m talking about the things that really matter to you. If there is a goal you are working towards, a dream you have, the only way to ensure you get there is to do your best. You don’t give up and say ‘oh well, I tried”. You keep trying.

Doing your best means never stop trying. Benjamin Franklin

As I mentioned in Part 1, our best will differ from day to day. The more we do something the better we become and our best improves. Likewise, factors outside of our control can mean our best is simply getting out of bed in the morning. Only you can know what your best is at any given time. If you don’t give your best the only person you are really cheating is yourself.

If you are consistently not giving your all on a project, you need to ask yourself why. There will always be a reason, something you need to work on before you can move forward. If you can’t do your best on the project itself, do your best to figure out what the problem is.

A problem is a chance for you to do your best. Duke Ellington

There are a number of common things that can hold you back from giving your all:

Need help working through any blocks so you can move forward? Download the FREE workbook below. As usual I’ve included a print out of this week’s quotes with a couple of extra ones thrown in for good measure as well.

Put this week's post into action and download the FREE Do Your Best Workbook
FREE Workbook – click to download

Now go kick ass x

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45 thoughts on “Words To Live By #19: Do Your Best – Part 2

  1. Fab motivational advice as always Alana! Thanks so much for sharing for #marvmondays. Pefect kick up the bum! xx
    Fran Back With A Bump recently posted…Marvellous MondaysMy Profile

    Posted on 20 March, 2017 at 6:58 am
  2. I had to re-read the be committed. Since I have written my novel I just refuse to go back to it or do anything about getting it published. I keep prioritising everything else. I really need to examine why, maybe it is the whole far of failure you talk about. It is like I have a mental block, I can’t face it. Another great post by you, I am glad you sued through! #mg

    Posted on 20 March, 2017 at 8:33 am
  3. Thank you for the reminder. I so often get caught up in the mindset of ‘well I’m going to fail anyway, so what’s the point in trying?’ I have to keep reminding myself that the only way I’m truly going to fail is by not trying at all!

    #MarvMondays and #mg

    Posted on 20 March, 2017 at 10:11 am
  4. What an inspiring post! Visiting here for the first time and loving the series. Will read up on the previous ones too. This series seems like a great idea to me, totally worth adopting if I may say so.

    Posted on 20 March, 2017 at 11:20 am
  5. Hi Alana, this post certainly struck a chord! Never mind words to live by, it’s this post I need to give heed to. Recently I know I have been lacking direction which ends up with me walking in circles unsure of what to do next; which is not very productive I can tell you! Reading your post was actually very awakening, and has got me thinking. Thank you.

    Debbie Roberts recently posted…Monday Morning Blog Club 20/03/17My Profile

    Posted on 20 March, 2017 at 2:53 pm
  6. Those are all really great quotes! My favorites are the second and third one because that’s how I try to live my life with those two philosophies in my brain. Stopping by from #candidcuddles

    Posted on 20 March, 2017 at 7:20 pm
  7. Brilliant, a lot of this I tell to my boys, a lot if this I used to tell my high school students when teaching. A lot of it is common sense but a lot of people still don’t try their best! #bigpinklink
    Andrea @ Topsy Turvy Tribe recently posted…Embracing ChangesMy Profile

    Posted on 20 March, 2017 at 8:51 pm
  8. I downloaded my free workbook, it is so awesome! #CandidCuddles
    Heather Keet recently posted…When those you love are no longer quite themselves…My Profile

    Posted on 20 March, 2017 at 9:07 pm
  9. I’m back with #DreamTeam
    Heather Keet recently posted…When those you love are no longer quite themselves…My Profile

    Posted on 21 March, 2017 at 7:08 am
  10. I got out of bed and braved a test! That’s a good start. Now to figure out what’s the next step… off to read place a block. #dreamteam

    Posted on 21 March, 2017 at 8:06 am
  11. I love reading your posts! This is so inspiring and so real and true! I think I am guilty of overthinking. Thank you for reminding me that doing my best means never stop trying. #bigpinklink

    Posted on 21 March, 2017 at 11:25 am
  12. I think this is a great motto to get by and hold yourself accountable. Thanks for sharing #bestandworst
    Become Mum recently posted…Becoming a mum and managing sleep expectationsMy Profile

    Posted on 22 March, 2017 at 7:47 am
  13. It’s always good to think about whether we really have done our best with a situation or whether there has been something holding us back. I do like your reminder that there are some days when just getting out of bed is doing our best but there are often times too where the things holding us back are things we have control over. I know fear and lack of self-confidence are often big factors holding me back. #candidcuddles
    Louise (Little Hearts, Big Love) recently posted…#withkindnessandlove 11 – stories of kindness and sharing some blog loveMy Profile

    Posted on 22 March, 2017 at 11:22 am
  14. I’m often guilty of not doing my best when it comes to blogging/writing, mostly due to being overtired (after a long day of working/toddler-wrangling), but I know sometimes that’s just an excuse. I really need to just try harder, even when my body wants to lie down and watch bad TV! #FamilyFun
    The Squirmy Popple recently posted…The myth of the myth of the painful birthMy Profile

    Posted on 22 March, 2017 at 1:25 pm
  15. Great reminder!

    Posted on 22 March, 2017 at 4:58 pm
  16. Very motivational – my big girl pants are up and I’m ready to get cracking! #dreamteam

    Posted on 22 March, 2017 at 5:41 pm
  17. Another great post and phrase. I was just thinking today when I felt overwhelmed “All you can do is your best” so I had to read this when I spotted it on #FamilyFun. It’s really so true!
    Angela Watling recently posted…Can I have it all or has something got to give?My Profile

    Posted on 22 March, 2017 at 9:40 pm
  18. Such a motivational post! I am reading this during a 3am night feed and you’ve made want to Spring out if bed and do all those things I’ve been putting off for whatever reason. Fab post xx #bestandworst
    Wendy recently posted…My 3 year old wants to be Peter PanMy Profile

    Posted on 23 March, 2017 at 2:59 am
  19. Oh welll done you on committing and getting it down it’s a super example of doing your best and very inspirational. I always live by this saying and I am currently trying to install it in my step daughter who is doing her GCSEs. I try to tell her that as long as she does her very best it’s ok. If she’s given it all she can she should be proud, as will we. Thank you for joining us at #familyfun x
    Tammymum recently posted…#FamilyFun…Week 27My Profile

    Posted on 23 March, 2017 at 11:57 am
  20. It’s a great quote – and one that you have really teased apart to make me think about what I focus my energy on, and when to do more (and less).
    Thanks so much for sharing with #coolmumclub
    MMT recently posted…#coolmumclub Linky week 61My Profile

    Posted on 23 March, 2017 at 7:38 pm
  21. Great post, I especially like this part….

    “factors outside of our control can mean our best is simply getting out of bed in the morning. Only you can know what your best is at any given time. If you don’t give your best the only person you are really cheating is yourself.”

    As a mum sometimes my best is actually getting out of bed brining kids to school and chilling out for the rest of the day because I’m bone tired and I always ask myself am I ok with this or just being lazy today, if I’m being lazy I give myself a good talking to listen to one of my mp3’s for energy and get on with it.

    You’ll always know when your are cheating yourself because the guilt hits and you can’t sleep that feeling off😬

    Posted on 23 March, 2017 at 8:59 pm
    1. forgot to add the #ablogginggoodtime

      Posted on 23 March, 2017 at 9:34 pm
  22. Oooo yes – some really good comments here. I love the Ellington quote – it’s new to me. The Og Mandino one I also love – I have it up on a poster in my classroom. Thanks as always for the boost. xx #ablogginggoodtime. xx
    Hayley@ Mission: Mindfulness recently posted…International Day of Happiness Post: The Great DreamMy Profile

    Posted on 23 March, 2017 at 9:45 pm
  23. Back again for #familyfunlinky xx
    Hayley@ Mission: Mindfulness recently posted…International Day of Happiness Post: The Great DreamMy Profile

    Posted on 23 March, 2017 at 10:06 pm
  24. Great post. I can get myself in a serious rut with the “do better tomorrow”s. Thanks for the motivation!
    Anne – Just Only Home recently posted…The Importance of Reading with ChildrenMy Profile

    Posted on 24 March, 2017 at 12:43 am
  25. Doing your best was something that my parents always stressed, but probably because I used to give myself so much stress about not achieving that they felt I didn’t need that pressure – as long as I’d tried my hardest then that was ok. I think that was the right approach to take with me at the time – I was a very anxious child! Thanks for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove
    Katy – Hot Pink Wellingtons recently posted…What to pack in your hospital bag (and what to leave at home!)My Profile

    Posted on 24 March, 2017 at 10:24 am
  26. Today come hell or high water I am going to be my best me!

    (I can promise that because Grandma is coming to help 😉 )

    kristin mccarthy recently posted…Politics and Princesses – Small Town Fight from WithinMy Profile

    Posted on 24 March, 2017 at 1:23 pm
  27. These a great! I’m currently in need of a motivational kick up the ass! #MarvMonday
    Liane recently posted…Thankful Friday – Week Two.My Profile

    Posted on 24 March, 2017 at 7:03 pm
  28. What a fabulous post Alana! Really, bookmarking this and using with my kids. Perseverance is everything and doing your best while doing it! I say strive to be brave rather than perfect. Love this, and thank you!

    Posted on 24 March, 2017 at 7:43 pm
  29. I have had to push myself recently to do my best. Monday is my only “free” day to get stuff done (that’s what I told myself). I work 4.5 hours on a Tuesday and Weds-Fri I am only at home in the morning. It felt like I didn’t have time to work on my blog. Last week I really got my act together and focused on writing and contacted brands and it has been so successful, I even managed to fit the cleaning in too. Sarah #FabFridayPost
    Sarah Stockley recently posted…A year of #ExplorerKidsMy Profile

    Posted on 25 March, 2017 at 6:49 am
  30. Love this! I was saying to my husband the other day that fear of success is a real issue for me. It’s something I’m working on, because I really do think the idea of success scares me more than the fear of failure! x #CandidCuddles
    Madeline (This Glorious Life) recently posted…9 cheap and free things to do with your kids at EasterMy Profile

    Posted on 25 March, 2017 at 9:13 pm
  31. Just what I needed-a kick up the ass 😆
    Definitely guilty of overthinking things!
    Helen @talking_mums recently posted…Striking a balance with EducationMy Profile

    Posted on 26 March, 2017 at 7:18 am
  32. I really enjoyed this post – this is something that I definitely something that I struggle with not because I don’t want to try my best but fear and self confidence always hold me back. I am worried about putting myself out there for fear of what people will think and I know this is something that I need to work on. #mg
    natalie recently posted…It’s a Boy.My Profile

    Posted on 26 March, 2017 at 8:32 pm
  33. I always feel so motivated after reading your posts! I agree on doing your best. I love how you exclude doing laundry & house work lol thank goodness for that! There are always so many things to be done as a mother isn’t there?! I always say the same thing as you – if you are doing your best then that is amazing! Thank you for sharing your quotes with us at #candidcuddles xx
    Becky, Cuddle Fairy recently posted…Reflections on Cuddle Fairy’s 2nd Blog Birthday…My Profile

    Posted on 27 March, 2017 at 10:46 am
  34. I always say the best is all you can do and if it’s not good enough then tough! #bestandworst
    Crummy Mummy recently posted…More reasons Mother’s Day is a bad ideaMy Profile

    Posted on 27 March, 2017 at 11:53 am
  35. Oh I love this! You already know how much I love your series but this is spot on. I always encourage the kids to try their best but also to reflect on it when things don’t go quite as well as hoped. I find that hard to do myself but such a positive way of thinking of it. Thanks for linking up to #dreamteam x

    Posted on 28 March, 2017 at 10:05 am
  36. I remember my mum always saying to me that as I long as I could go into my heart and say that I did my best that was ok. We can only ever do our very best and as long as we know that we truly did and didn’t hold back, then that is ok with me. I know that I am guilty as an adult for holding back at times. Thank you for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove
    Laura – dear bear and beany recently posted…Introducing #CraftyCorner…A New Linky!My Profile

    Posted on 28 March, 2017 at 1:44 pm
  37. This is very inspiring and thought-provoking – I know I’m guilty of not always doing my best so I’m trying to figure out what’s holding me back. I’m a terrible procrastinator which doesn’t help, and I’m also quite bad at organising myself and my time. My head seems to be all over the place sometimes. #CandidCuddles
    Mummy and the Mexicans recently posted…40 Things I’m Grateful for at 40My Profile

    Posted on 29 March, 2017 at 3:10 am
  38. Wise words (as usual). This really is such a fab series. I love that you clarify that your best can differ from day-to-day. As a perfectionist, I often push myself too hard because I’ll think “I managed to get 20 posts published last week, therefore I should be able to manage 20 this week” (diclaimer: I’ve never published anywhere near 20 posts per week but you get my point! Haha). I think you have to learn to do your best with the time and resources you currently have. But being driven to do your best is key.

    Massive congratulations on being added to the #blogcrush linky AGAIN!
    Lucy At Home recently posted…We’ve Been Given The Blogger Recognition Award!My Profile

    Posted on 29 March, 2017 at 3:02 pm
  39. This post is great. Lots of great advice, I will be taking heed of some of it.
    Ali Duke recently posted…A Day In My LifeMy Profile

    Posted on 29 March, 2017 at 8:33 pm
  40. Some lovely and important words to live by. as long as you have done your best it will always be enough
    Thanks for linking to #ablogginggoodtime
    Mummy in a TuTu (@mummyinatutu) recently posted…#LionessMama Week 20 Round-Up!My Profile

    Posted on 29 March, 2017 at 9:01 pm
  41. Such an inspiring post. I needed a read like this today!

    Thank you for linking up to #KCACOLS I hope to see you back again on Sunday x
    Maria recently posted…Pulp Wine subscription boxMy Profile

    Posted on 30 March, 2017 at 9:38 pm
  42. I really enjoyed this post. Lots of wise words!


    Posted on 31 March, 2017 at 8:04 am
  43. I love the quotes you’ve used in this post, I’m a big believer in doing your best but you’re right when you say it’d be easy to say ‘well I’ve tried my best so that’s fine’. I like the turning of a problem into an opportunity the most, it’s such a positive way of thinking about it! #kcacols
    Devon Mama recently posted…The Soundtrack Of My LifeMy Profile

    Posted on 31 March, 2017 at 9:15 am
  44. I love your post Alana. I really really do want to kick some ass. But here is my drawbacks: Fear – of failure; Overthinking; & Overworked/tired. I will need to have a read on your notes on these points. Thank you so much for linking up with us #FabFridayPost and keep being inspirational. xx
    Su {Ethan & Evelyn} recently posted…#FabFridayPost #78 {07.04.17}My Profile

    Posted on 7 April, 2017 at 2:10 pm