When Should Becomes a Must

How to Kick A** This Year

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I have a confession. In the midst of a terrible political climate, major change at the business I own, and familial loss, my life got better. I changed, in many areas of my life (work, physical, financial) for the better. This happened because I decided to change. With 40 on the horizon, I saw some things I wanted to change and I did it. I am so humbled and grateful that hard work can change things.

The most significant change that I made was (is!) changing my “shoulds” to “musts.”

Here is what typically happens:
We make a list of all the “shoulds”… (and often times this is amplified by our holiday experience of stress, family and over indulgence.)

  • I should exercise
  • I should eat healthier
  • I should drink less
  • I should create consistent routine
  • I should change…something

And then life starts happening. We go back into the routine of work and school and we go back to our belief systems. The “shoulds” start to wane and we begin to repeat patterns. And we get frustrated, we beat ourselves up, and we repeat negative behavior.

So let’s take a look at that sentence. “I should…”

Change it. Switch the “should” with a “must.”

Consider how powerful it is when we change “I should eat healthier” to “I must eat healthier.”
or… “I should start saving money.” To “I must start saving money.”

Changing the strength of your language also changes something else, your standards. When you raise your standards, you will be able to make permanent change in your life. Raising your standards will change your should to a must.


The standards you hold are a direct reflection of your life. The way you manage everything – health, finances, your environment, your appearance, your values. How you communicate yourself to the world is a communication of the standards you hold.

How do you start doing this? Get a paper and pen and ask yourself some questions:
(doing this now will let change start to happen NOW)

  • Figure it Out:
    • ​What do I desire to achieve? What will happen when I achieve this goal? What will change in my life?
    • What standards do I have to hold for this action to happen?
  • Reality Check
    • ​What are my current standards?
    • Where am I not living up to my expectations?
    • Are these standards mine or did someone else establish them for you?
    • Re-write your standards for your life.
  • Challenge Your Beliefs.
    • ​How can I be better? Where could I do better?
    • Re-write your beliefs and standards. Write it enough times that you feel yourself start to believe them.
    • What will I accept and no longer accept from myself?
    • What will I accept and no longer accept from others?
    • What will I accept and no longer accept from situations and relationships?
  • Write it Down. Say It.
    • ​Tell someone! Declare it.
  • Don’t Re-Invent the Wheel
    • ​When you realize what you want, find people who have done it. Don’t reinvent the wheel, take their example and set standards/actions accordingly.
    • Read books!
    • Surround yourself with positive, successful people.
  • Accountability
    • Get a coach (oh hey), or an accountability partner or a friend to hold you accountable.

Here’s to having the most amazing life you deserve. You MUST do it! 

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