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Throw the caution flag on shoulding


I'm going to warn you - this is really hard to stop when you start. I should go to bed earlier. I should get up earlier. I should exercise. I should walk the puppy. I should eat more greens. I should stop eating ice cream. I should stop drinking Diet Coke. I should contribute more to my retirement. I should plan more for my retirement. That was less than 30 seconds of me - shoulding all over myself. Now imagine how much that can add up to throughout a day, a week, a lifetime? A whole lot of should.


And what is it telling us? You should be better. You should improve. You should surpass. Basically, you really aren't good enough, you aren't doing enough - do better. My struggle with the shoulding isn't as much the "do better" but where does want come into play? I have a love / hate relationship with should.


Should can be very powerful. Should is the master motivator - a great mover and shaker - an energetic achiever - an enthusiastic cheerleader! The master motivator in your head telling you, you should get the laundry done and put away on Sunday night. Should has the right intention - it just gets in the way of desire. What do you want? How do you want to spend Sunday night? If it is doing laundry - awesome, your should and your want coincide - fantastic! But what if you really want to spend Sunday night vegging out on the couch watching standup comedy? This is when the shoulding happens and it is less of a mover and a shaker and more of a first class ticket on a (guilt) feel bad about yourself trip.


Please don't get me wrong, a lot of times, maybe more times than not, shoulding is not only important it is necessary. You should budget enough money from your paycheck to pay your mortgage. You should pull over when an officer is behind you with lights flashing. This time there isn't the struggle with want, it is truly just follows the definition of should - (verb) is used to indicate obligation, duty, or correctness; indicating a desirable or expected state.


I just worry - in our current day and age - people, women especially; face shoulding on a daily basis . I am literally going to walk us through six sigma steps - defining what to do with all the shoulding going on. Determine if this should is helpful, is it inspiring, is it motivating? Before you start your shoulding for the day, be self-aware. Where are the shoulds coming from and why? Are they necessary? Who are they necessary for? (see six sigma) When I hear myself shoulding, the yellow caution flag comes out. ⚠️ Time to slow down and evaluate. Answer the important WWW (six sigma again) questions to determine if the should (mortgage time) is critical (i.e., not shoulding, but necessary) or if the should (a little ice cream is okay) is an okay-to-pass-on should.


A clear process in identifying and defining your shoulds should help tremendously. Yes, you saw what I just did there! I should've'ed myself.


In all seriousness though. I think us ladies need to take interest in the shoulds coming at us in life, throw that yellow caution flag and pause for further inspection. Those few WWWs will allow for more of your wants to creep in and by doing so, help with your balance, harmony, and happiness in your life. Balancing your wants with your shoulds - will hopefully impact your overall well-being. Give yourself a little grace! Remember there is always something to be grateful for and always keep pushing through!

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