Putting Shoulds in Their Place

Why is it so hard to do as you know you should with healthy eating choices , regular exercise and taking better care of yourself? No doubt, you’ve wondered about this countless times. It doesn’t seem to make sense that if you know what you should do, that you don’t do it or at least not often enough. Yet whenever you don’t do something you intended, there is a good – and valid – reason.

Think for a moment of one thing you know you should do, but don’t. Does the idea of doing it feel inspiring or enjoyable? Or does it feel more like drudgery or a chore? If it doesn’t elicit desire or at the minimum some enticement, than it makes complete sense why you would avoid it. Who wants to do something they don’t enjoy or find distasteful? In fact, to follow through on doing what you aren’t inspired to do takes enormous amounts of energy to overcome the reluctance or resistance. Few people have enough extra energy in their busy and stressful lifestyle to do that. And the guilt of not measuring up to the “should” they carry around on a pedestal further depletes what energy they do have.

When you don’t follow through on a should, this is an opportunity to investigate where the should is coming from and if the rules can be changed or relaxed.
Steps to Dealing with Shoulds
  • Think of something you should do that you don’t.
  • What is it about doing it you struggle with?
  • In what way is that struggle valid, and what can you learn from your reaction?
  • What might work better for you that is a positive and healthy alternative or solution?
  • What would you enjoy more or be inspired to do that supports your real objective?

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Alice Greene
Healthy Lifestyle Success Coach

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