Are you failing to listen to the should and the could's in your life? By transforming our shoulds into "do's" and "will"s we may accomplish many things. However, sometimes our should and coulds are things we might want to avoid doing entirely.
1. Take a look at your shoulds and coulds.
Spend some time over the next few days listening to your inner talk and
your external communications. Take note of the number of times you
express or think the word "Should" or "Could". If you have a high
frequency of shoulds or coulds, (Perhaps 5+ a day) you may want to spend
some "thinking, development and planning" time around them.
2. Delve into the shoulds and coulds.
After you have listened to yourself over the last few days, you may find
some frequent shoulds and coulds. Take time to jot them down in
I should get more sleep at night
I wish I could keep my desk clear
We could buy a new car
3. Analyze your should and could's for future work and change.
Let's say you want to get more sleep. How can you go about making it
come to fruition? By brainstorming you may come to some possilble
I should get more sleep - To get more sleep, go to bed earlier
or stay in bed longer. The should becomes a will when you decide to go
to sleep earlier or set your alarm for a later morning wake up.
We could buy a new car - Deciding to buy a new or different car,
is a process and project. You may choose to get a new car when your
current car reaches a certain mileage, or if maintenance fees exceed the
cost of a monthly payment. Your new car might be more advantageous when
you have to start driving to your new company's office (which is
further away) to keep fuel costs down. A new car might make more sense
after you have paid off other debts or saved a certain dollar amount.
The could becomes more of a strategy and plan development when you look at the when and why components.
4. Transform your should and could's to wills, when's,
why's or later decisions. If you formalize and bring these shoulds and
coulds to the next phase you will allow more space for things to
5. Erase your negative should and could's from your mental
and verbal vocabulary. Sometimes we have stuck should and could's
which can not be easily transformed into action or do not warrant
further thought about.
I should have said ..... instead of ......
I could have read the directions three times and caught my mistake (after improperly assembling a complex piece of furniture)
Spend some time working on your should and could's and you will likely transform your life.
This is a best of post from 2009