I have learned a ton and helped many clients transform their health habits by using the psychology of behaviour change. As a certified health coach, I’m aware of one particular word people use that hurts their ability to live their life to the fullest without guilt. The thought and power of this one word makes people feel shame and regret. Why would you want to waste your precious life and time on earth living like that?

What is that word? SHOULD. Do any of the following sound familiar?

Health“I should go work out.”
Nutrition“I should not eat that.”
“I shouldn’t be eating this. I should be healthy.”
Career“I should talk to my boss.”
Wellness“I should get more sleep.”
Family“I should call my mother.”
Personal“I should write my thank you notes.”

So, how can you free yourself and your mindset from the “should” trap?

I recommend replacing “should” with CAN. Here’s how that sounds:

Health“I can go work out.”
Nutrition“I can eat a little bit of that.”
“I can eat this instead. I can be healthy.”
Career“I can talk to my boss.”
Wellness“I can find a way to sleep better tonight.”
Family“I can call my mother.”
Personal“I can write my thank you notes.”

The next time you are having a conversation (with yourself or someone else!), notice the number of times “should” is part of your dialogue. I challenge you to start right now to remove “should” from your vocabulary. I challenge you to stop “should-ing” on yourself. Put an end to negative self-talk, drop the word from your vocabulary, and see just how freeing life can be.