alwaysdoneitthiswayHow many times today did you find yourself saying, “I should do this” or “I should do that”?

The definition of should is an obligation, duty or expectation. Once something is an obligation, it becomes a part of the world of DEBT! Yes, each and every ‘should’ in our life is a debt and can only produce more debt. It is impossible for a ‘debt’ to morph into abundance!

Shoulds typically are applied to activities that wear us out just thinking about doing them. Can you hear yourself saying:

  • I should exercise more!
  • I should pray more!
  • I should get to bed earlier!
  • I should not argue with my husband.
  • I should save more!
  • I should be a better mother!

By the time a few dozen of those ‘debts’ are given life, we have a raging headache, we feel exhausted and we end up doing the opposite of everything we thought. Our stress levels increase, which impacts every stress hormone – especially cortisol, which impacts weight gain and sleep. Our digestion is hindered and bowels either tighten up or just let go. We prematurely age and we wonder why we have no energy!

Every time we speak (out loud or in our mind) a ‘should,’ we give life to that debt and we impact our health, finances and relationships.

Step 1            You Have Options!

Years ago, I discovered the correlation between should and debt. As a result, I decided to eliminate the word ‘should’ entirely from my vocabulary. It was a challenge. I discovered I said it far more than I realized.

What could I say? I decided to play with several words. I played with the word ‘could’ and found it gave me some freedom and that felt kind of nice. Wow – – the beginning of freedom felt really good after years of ‘should’ and debt!

Then I discovered that I had a CHOICE! Isn’t it interesting that God gave us free will choice in the garden, yet it is something we rarely exercise or use?

The challenge became, how could I choose when others wanted me to do something different? That is when I discovered the root of debt driving the ‘shoulds’ in my life. I wanted to please people and keep everyone happy. Of course, that didn’t happen but at least it felt better.

As I pondered the cost to my health, my energy and even my relationships, I realized that the lack of honesty coupled, with the debt, was costing me far more than any perceived benefit.

Since those early years, I’ve learned that I not only have a God-given right to choose, it is also gift to be stewarded.

Step 2             Ask a Question

When that word, ‘should’ pops up in your head, allow a moment to breathe. Ask yourself some questions:

  • What would I really like to do?
  • What has ‘life’ on it?
  • What would I counsel someone else to do in this situation?
  • If I’m really honest – – do I have the capacity to do this?

Step 3             Make a Choice!

Once you are honest and have explored your options (you always have options), then make a choice. It is ok if you feel awkward in the beginning. Every new behavior feels ‘uncomfortable’ when you first start.

Over time, you will come to love the freedom of making a choice that has life, that has vitality and can create more of what you want! It will free you of the bondage of debt and shoulds!

Freedom feels great once you realized you always had the gift of CHOICE and have begun to exercise it daily!


Cheryl Townsley coaches other women to have real breakthroughs in a real life, especially in the areas of weight loss, inflammation and lifestyle habits. And, as always, she helps the process be easy and practical!

Cheryl and her family live in The Colorado Springs, Colorado area. Connect with her on Facebook for recipes and daily tips.