Release What You Should Do, Find What You Want

So, before diving in today, let me acknowledge the fact that I haven’t posted in a while. I’ve been dealing with my Dad passing away, as I mentioned in the last post, and it caused me to press pause on pretty much everything. Then, I got married! With all these changes my focus has been on taking care of myself, and only recently am I starting to add more things back into my regular routine.

Dealing with large emotional events, positive or negative, really helps you reassess your routines and the things you let into your life. When your life is filled with goodness, or with sadness, it makes the mediocre or negative things really stand out.

One big thing I’ve noticed over the past few months is how many times we use the word should. I definitely recommend watching how many times you think or say the word should in one day.  That you “should” go lift weights, “should” learn some new recipes, “should” go to the party, “should” stay and work late.

Now, let me take it a step further. If we’re letting “should” rule our life in all these small ways, how much of an impact do you think it has over time? When does it start ruling your life?

Only recently with the large life changes I’ve experienced did I realize how much of a negative impact the word “should” carries. Even when dealing with the grieving process, I only gave myself about a week until the word “should” started popping up and controlling my actions.

I should call this person. I should go to this social event. I should stick to that commitment.

When you’re emotionally raw it’s even easier to see the impact completing a “should” activity has on you. It weighs you down. It takes more energy than you expect.


After I became aware of how draining “shoulds” are, I started daring myself to replace the world “should” with “want”. Immediately I noticed how empowering the word “want” is. Instead of forcing myself to go for a run because I “should”, I switched it up and did home yoga, which I could easily say was a “want”.

Some sentences just don’t feel right with the word “want”. Like, “I want to get stuck in traffic.” But that’s the best part!

The little voice in your head that says “ha, I don’t want to do that!” helps you identify the things that you’re doing because you should. Being aware is a huge first step, and makes it far easier to start cutting out the things that are weighing you down in life.

A hugely positive life event helps you see the opposite side of this spectrum. You notice the power of doing more things that you want to. It becomes so easy to identify what you want, and feels so good when you give yourself the permission to have it, enjoy it and do it your way.

Obviously there will always be some things that you should and have to do. Yet, even replacing a few minor “should” areas with a “want” makes a huge difference.

I’d love to hear your stories about adding a few more things you want to do into your day. Write a comment or shoot me an email to share!

Petite Power meditation: “Bring happiness and joy into your life, one piece at a time.”

Happiness and Joy