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The other night, I was lying wide awake at 2 am because of having SO MUCH to get done – and just general worrying about the state of the world.

Finally, I told myself, “Right NOW, I WILL Sleep PEACEFULLY!”

I realized that my neck was scrunched over so I straightened my head on the pillow and added, “AND, right NOW, I will breathe COMFORTABLY!”

Then I started thinking about other interesting adverb “I WILL” messages I might give myself. “Hmm. Don’t want any more broken legs, so, when I get up, I WILL Move MINDFULLY!”

Peaceful, comfortable, and interested, I kept going, “How about Eat Sensibly? Nope. Important but too much pressure and I need ‘sensibly’ somewhere else. I will try to be sensible as I tell myself to Eat DELICIOUSLY! … What about work? How do I want to work? Of course! I WILL Work JOYFULLY! … hmmm… there’s more…. Yawn … ZZZZZ…. ZZZzz….zzzz…zzz ”

The next morning, I decided to write my Adverb Messages down as my Plan for the day in no particular order.

Today, I WILL

    • Breathe comfortably.
    • Live lovingly
    • Move mindfully
    • Speak thoughtfully
    • Work joyfully
    • Eat deliciously
    • Protect strategically
    • Think creatively
    • See perceptively
    • Connect authentically
    • Plan flexibly
    • Trust sensibly
    • Lead bravely
    • Forgive compassionately
    • Assess realistically
    • Help generously
    • Listen fully


    • Sleep peacefully.

And, I AM … At least MOSTLY. Some people can just count sheep. But playing with adverbs is a lot more fun.

What about YOU? I would love to know what YOUR “I WILL” adverb messages might be. Email me at

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Published: October 14, 2021   |   Last Updated: October 14, 2021

Kidpower Founder and Executive Irene van der Zande is a master at teaching safety through stories and practices and at inspiring others to do the same. Her child protection and personal safety expertise has been featured by USA Today, CNN, Today Moms, the LA Times, and The Wall Street Journal. Publications include: cartoon-illustrated Kidpower Safety Comics and Kidpower Teaching Books curriculum; Bullying: What Adults Need to Know and Do to Keep Kids Safe; the Relationship Safety Skills Handbook for Teens and Adults; Earliest Teachable Moment: Personal Safety for Babies, Toddlers, and Preschoolers; The Kidpower Book for Caring Adults: Personal Safety, Self-Protection, Confidence, and Advocacy for Young People, and the Amazon Best Seller Doing Right by Our Kids: Protecting Child Safety at All Levels.