Checklist for Moving Forward: Be Responsible for Yourself [2 of 7]

Checklist for Moving Forward: Be Responsible for Yourself [2 of 7]

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 [Taunya is a registered nurse, an author, and a mother to three children. This post is an excerpt from a non-fiction text Taunya is working on periodically entitled From Me to You: A Mother’s Legacy to Her Daughters. Find her author page at]


Believe me. This check will make everything else you do so much easier.  When you think about it, who can you control? Yourself!  You want to be “grown”? Let me tell you what “grown” folk do.

Point 1:  Stay Out of Trouble

No longer will you get a slap on the hand or that harsh talk from your mom or dad when you step out of line.  When your mishaps become more than just breaking a vase and trying to cover it up or breaking curfew, the consequences also become more intense.  After your sixteenth birthday the law looks at you differently as far as punishment for breaking the law.  Being involved in things like stealing, drunk driving, possessing drugs, doing drugs, assault, etc. are not responsible acts.

AA045890Depending on the violation you may have a fine to pay, have to go to court for a hearing, or spend some time in jail. More than just the embarrassment or the penalty, as a grown-up, you will also miss time from work creating another problem. If you lose your job, bills will begin to mount into another problem.  Having a record of crime is not the path to success. Recent criminal postings do not encourage employers to hire you. Your careless acts do not just affect you and you right now. They also impact those around you and you into the future. Avoid the FIRST mistake, stay out of trouble.

Point 2:  Honor Your Commitments to Family

Commitment to your family goes without saying, but I will say it anyway! I am not simply speaking about your promise to love them.  I am talking about actions beyond those you take on a daily basis to provide for their basic needs (shelter, food and clothing). You also need to show up for them and take care of your business.

Quality time is an important component of relationships. Have the courage and competence to recognize how your every-day interactions, from your words to your mannerisms, impact the quality of experience when others interact with you. Make those around you better by intentionally improving your habits.

Speak with hope and expectation. Act with faith and preparation. Evaluate your steps with praise and constructive critique.

Handle your business! More than just paying the bills, organize your debt obligations, your time, your money, and your work and play commitments. Consider that your daily responsibilities run much smoother when you are organized and intentional. Whether or not anyone says anything about what you do, your actions instruct those around you.  You have the choice to affect someone’s life negatively or positively by ordering your life as chaos or order.

Point 3:  Honor Your Commitments to Others

When I say others I am talking about those you obligated yourself to as an employee or volunteer.  These are important relationships and should be treated as such.  Consider them to be stepping stones toward your end goal.  You should be someone your boss can depend on to be at work, on time every day you are scheduled to work.  You should also be the type of person that can be depended on to do a great job when you are there.  Pride in what you do causes others to think highly of you. Even if you are not in the job you want, approach the current work as an audition for the experience that you desire.