Forget about "I should"

Unlock Your Life: Forget About What You “Should” Do

This headline is provocative, I realize. There are tasks we “should” do, even when we are not drawn to doing them?! Let’s take a closer look on how to unlock your life.

The word “should” is almost always used for things we think we need to do… but don’t feel like doing them right now. Or, we tell ourselves we don’t have time for it right now.

For example:

  • I should exercise.
  • I should drink more water.
  • I should call my friend XYZ.
  • I should follow up with a business prospect.
  • I should pay that health bill.

Do you have some “should’s”? Chances are, the answer is yes. I admit I do, too.

Okay, then, how do we get out of this rut? Let’s forget about what we “should” do. Let’s unlock your life – and mine. 

I invite you to write down three to five “I should” sentences. You can look at my examples as inspiration if you like. My guess is you will discover your common “should’s” quite fast.

Why Do You Think You Should?

Then let’s look. Why do you think you “should”? Is it indeed important to you, or maybe it is not after all?

I’m reading a book right now by Dr. Livinggood entitled “LivinGood Daily.” He says we need to shift from “should” to “must.” I agree. 

It is not that we “should” move – we must move. That is unless living in good health, seeing your kids grow up, playing with your grandkids, and doing the things you enjoy are not crucial to you. He also talks about health issues being the #1 reason for bankruptcy in America, even for people with insurance. Furthermore, what kind of emotional trauma does one put one’s loved ones through when one has a severe illness or has to fight for one’s life? (I know these are not pleasant, yet important thoughts to consider).

In other words, the first step is for you to consider WHY you think you “should.” 

Decide (!) whether it is a “must.” 

  • If yes, do it. 
  • If not, stop telling yourself you “should.”

If calling friend XYZ has been a “should” for a while, maybe it is time to examine how important is that friend to you? I know, I know. You are busy. Me, too. Yet, do we keep “should-ing” on ourselves and dragging ourselves down?

What about paying that health bill? Let’s say you have to check whether the insurance company paid its part. Is the bill you got correct? That can be a hassle, for sure. I’m guilty of putting such a thing off at times. For whatever reason, I don’t particularly like doing it. The dialogue in my head is something like, “I know I should do it. I must do it. Well, I will do it later. I got something else that is more pressing to do right now.” 

What is the cost of this attitude? This task doesn’t go away until I have handled it. If I don’t get to it on time, it could escalate to handling even less pleasant matters. In the meantime, how often do I think “Oh shoot, I still have to deal with that bill!” (The same applies to health-related “shoulds” – no time to walk now? You will have to deal with chronic diseases later. In the meantime, you feel all this guilt?!)

Forgetting About What You “Should” Do Is About Reframing

Forgetting about what you “should” do is about reframing. Look at your “should’s” a different way. Either strike them from your mind because you decide they don’t matter to you. Or decide they do matter and that you must do them. 

Perhaps this inquiry even leads you to realize that you WANT to do them

  • Walking feels good! 
  • Feeling vibrant feels great. 
  • Envision the doctor and the medical staff – they helped me, right? Why would I hassle them by not paying quickly? 
  • Even a short call to a friend you haven’t been in contact with for a while could feel amazing.

We Will Start a New Challenge Next Week

I invite you to unlock your life. Next week, I will launch a new challenge. 

  • It is about doing one thing per day that you thought you “should” do. 
  • You switch it to “I must” or even “I want” to do it. 
  • And then you do it! 🙂

I’m Curious

  • How often do you have ” should” sentences on your mind?
  • Will you take part in the new challenge (beginning next Monday)? 

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