3 ways to keep from “shoulding” on yourself

Don’t should on yourself.


This little block painted by Carla Brown of Barefoot Studios sits on my kitchen windowsill as a reminder.

I am reminded of this phrase everyday as I look out my kitchen window and do the dishes-  AGAIN!  This little wooden block sits on the window and waits for me to notice and remember.  Some days I am too lost in my list to remember, but other days it brings me back to myself and offers a chance to check in with my priorities.

In the past, what I felt I “should” do was a huge factor in how I lived my life.  I let the things that felt like they HAD to be done move up on the list and the things that I WANTED to do moved down.

That makes life a pretty big drag!

What about the fun and what about the spontaneity???  I actually had put “be spontaneous” on my list of things I “should” work into my week!  Ha!

I can’t say that I am reformed, but I do work at it.  I notice when I am off the path and turning into a machine that only processes lists and work.  I notice when I am talking in a monotone voice or when I haven’t sat down during the day .  I rethink what will make me feel good and what can be left for another day or another time.

When you have things that drag your down but you feel like you can’t let them go, Martha Beck, “Finding Your Own North Star,” says to try the three B’s method:   “Bag it, Barter it, or Better it.”

Maybe you can “bag” that volunteer role that brought you inspiration and renewal 5 years ago when you signed on, but now feels like a chore & something that you have outgrown.  Someone else might be waiting for the chance to fill your shoes.  You can “barter” with your husband to take a chore that he hates off of his list in exchange for one that you have been grumbling over for months.  “I trade you my wash the floors for your walk the dog.”  Or “better” that job you have been dreading by turning on some music & watch your attitude change!

Don’t Should on Yourself!

This little phrase says a lot!  If your head keeps saying that you “should” have the perfect home, a clean car, a tidy office, or be at every one of your kid’s events, then maybe you would like to post a little note to yourself and let yourself off the hook once in a while.  It makes life so much more enjoyable!

YOur Turn…

Can you relate?  Do you have a long list of things that “you should do” whispering to you each day?  What helps you keep things in perspective?

Next Steps…

Tell me what you do when you get stuck in robot mode & continue to give in to that voice telling you what you should do.

READ ON…  Melissa Camara Wilkins shared a lovely post, What “You Should” Really Means , about shifting your thinking, so that when someone says “you should” do something you won’t automatically add it to the already long list of things that you want to do for yourself.

If you are faced  with a real clutter problem and want to do something about it, not because you think you “should” but because you truly desire a change that reflects the life you want for yourself, then please reach out and together we can “Better” the situation!