do as I say, not as I do

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do as I say, not as I do

proverb Model yourself after my instructions, not my actions. The phrase implies that the speaker is imperfect and makes mistakes, so one should follow their advice but not imitate them. My dad, a big smoker, always told me not to smoke. "Do as I say, not as I do," he used to say.
See also: not
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

Do as I say, not as I do.

Prov. Take my advice, even though I am acting contrary to it. (Sometimes used as an apology for behaving hypocritically.) Jill: Why are you walking on the grass when I told you not to? Jane: But you're walking on the grass. Jill: Do as I say, not as I do.
See also: not
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

do as I say

Obey my instructions, as in Never mind about the other mothers-you do as I say. This admonitory order is sometimes followed by a self-deprecating phrase, Do as I say, not as I do, meaning "don't imitate my behavior but obey my instructions." This order first appeared in John Selden's Table-Talk (c. 1654): "Preachers say, 'Do as I say, not as I do.'"
See also: say
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

do as I say, not as I do

Follow my advice but not my example. Although the idea is undoubtedly older, this specific phrase first appeared in print in 1654: “Preachers say, do as I say, not as I do” (John Selden, Table-Talk: Preaching). Parents have been saying it to children ever since.
See also: not
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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