Have you set a New Year’s Resolution for yourself? How about the resolution to resolve the word “should” from our vocabulary…

“We either do or we don’t do.” A great quote from YODA in the movie Star Wars. The word should brings out the Yoda in me. You should do…… You should have. . .. Makes me shudder.

There are two uses to the verb “should”. The first is to criticize, the second is to indicate a prediction. I am good with the second…

“Should” when it is a criticism of ourselves leads to dis-empowering thought patterns. “Should” is judgmental. If you are the type that rises to a challenge in the face of “you should”, then go for it. If you are the type that acknowledges I should but….. This is a verbal sticking point. “Should” this be you, I invite you to create a new habit around this word.

‘Should’ stories are self-undermining. Have you heard yourself say some of these?

    • I should consider dieting or exercising to be healthy.
    • They should explain better.
    • They should support more.
    • I know I should eat better but….
    • I should exercise more but….
    • I should relax more; meditate/pray/ journal/do service) except…..
    • I should look for a new job.
    • I should break up with ……

Try these alternatives on for size:

  • I am too busy to start dieting and am ok waiting a bit to figure this out.
  • I am planning to eat healthier by adding one more vegetable to my meals daily.
  • I feel better when I exercise and finding the time is so challenging.
  • Meditation relaxes me even when it’s for 5 minutes. I wonder how I can carve out 5 minutes a day.

Using language where you own your experience and make choices can essentially turn your life around.

Want to have more agency in your life? Then either “do it, or don’t. Either is ok. Get help if you feel stuck.

Set yourself up for a Fruitful New Year!