I Resolve to Stop “Shoulding” all Over Myself

January 7th, 2015 by Joan Maiden

My New Year’s Resolution is to stop “shoulding” all over myself. This time of year we are inundated with a long list of shoulds.

 

 

 

I should lose weight
I should exercise more
I should eat healthier
I should get out of debt
I should be more organized
I should meditate
I should, I should, I should—the list is endless

As worthwhile as the shoulds are, the problem is that instead of looking inside to see what goals and behavior changes we are ready to make and are important to us, we listen to all of the “shoulds” which then leads to self-defeating guilt.

Most resolutions are made to change a behavior or to reach a goal. Any resolution that involves making a decision about future behavior is a waste of time. We don’t live in the future. We live one day at a time—one choice at a time.
This year I resolve to live in the moment—to stop putting life on hold until I’ve accomplished my “shoulds.” Are there behaviors I plan to change and goals I will reach? Absolutely. What makes this year different is:

 

  1. I’ve set the goals that are important to me. What anyone else (even the experts, family or friends) says is irrelevant.
  2.  I’ve decided specifically what behaviors I want to change.
  3.  Every day, I review my goals and write down specific action steps I can take that day that will help me achieve those goals.
  4.  I take responsibility for the choices I make.

Habits are only changed by practicing new behaviors and goals are reached by the choices made—one day at a time—one moment at a time. Will I make some bad decisions and poor choices? Of course–no one is perfect. But I realize that they were what I chose to do in that moment and it is my responsibility to make better decisions and choices in this moment.
This year, I will enjoy the moments and stop “shoulding” all over myself.


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