Forget Should!

Our guest blogger Emily has shared tips to avoid overeating and fun ways to play in the rain. Now she tackles how she motivates herself to make healthy life changes.

EmilyI should exercise. I should save money. I should contribute more to my 401k.

We all do it, put “I should” before whatever activity we think we ought to be doing. I’m here to tell you to remove that word from your vocabulary! Give it the boot! Launch it into outer space!

“Should” is what we say when we measure our lives by standards that are not our own. It’s a surefire path to beating ourselves up for what we’re NOT doing rather than acknowledging all the things we’re doing right.

Instead, think about saying “I want _______ because _______!”

I want to eat yummy foods that will make me feel healthy and not gain weight!

Food is meant to be enjoyed! Cooking is a never ending science experiment. Sometimes you will have a scrumptious meal you’ve never enjoyed before. Sometimes your dog will be chowing down on whatever that mysterious lump is. And sometimes even the dog won’t touch it.

I want to be more active so I have more energy!

Exercise is fun! No, I’m not talking about hitting the gym for 2 hours, unless that’s fun for you (it’s NOT for me). I’m talking about taking your horse for a ride (my personal fav), taking your dog to the park, or playing keep away with the kids. It’s exercise and an enjoyable want, not a chore-y should!

I want to save money for an emergency fund so I will worry less!

Watching the balance grow in an account or a piggy-bank is fascinating. I don’t know why, but as soon as you have tangible money in front of you, opportunities abound. Maybe you start with pennies and that will get you…well not much in the modern world. But then it grows to dollars, then hundreds, then thousands, and suddenly you have enough for a dream trip, that massive washer and dryer you’ve always wanted, or just piece of mind, knowing that you’re financially equipped for whatever life decides to pitch.

Lastly, if you’re putting “I should” in front of something you don’t really want, then why? This is your life, which means you should want to live for yourself, right?!

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