You know what you should be doing for your health, right?
Eat properly, exercise frequently, be mindful, no caffeine, no dairy, no sugar…
I think I’ve heard some version of the “shoulda, woulda, coulda” from almost every woman I know at some point. And I am very much including myself in that!
How about you?
I should have ordered the salad.
I would have gone to the gym if I had the time.
I could have said no to that glass of wine.
The subtext is always the same: I am weak. I am undisciplined. I am lazy.
And I am calling ENOUGH on this particular brand of self-criticism.
Let’s stop beating ourselves up, shall we?
We all know how to be healthy, or at least have an idea of how we might find out that information or who we need to talk to. Sometimes I think that’s the most annoying thing about trying to take care of yourself.
Because the truth is, we might know better, but a lot of us are just too damn busy to implement those good intentions.
Or we don’t have the energy.
(Particularly at this time of year. Here in the UK, it’s a hell of a lot easier to curl up on the sofa with a piece of cake than take the dog out for a long walk. Who wants to scrape the ice from the car to get to the gym? Who wants to go to a yoga class on a dark cold evening? No thanks, now where’s that corkscrew?)
The problem is that because we know what we should be doing we can feel pretty crappy while we’re busy not doing it.
Which, let’s face it, can sometimes feel like most of the time.
I should have had herb tea and not hot chocolate.
I would drink plenty of water but I was running around all day.
I could go to bed early but I’ve too much to do.
So what’s the answer?
When you know what you should be doing for your health…
What would happen if we dropped that story about how useless we are – and instead, chose to celebrate all the things we do achieve?
So you skipped the gym, or had a full fat latte mid-afternoon. So what?
The fear for many of us is that once we start “letting ourselves” off the hook that’s it. Before you know it we’ll be eating cookies for breakfast washed down with prosecco…
But how realistic is that?
The truth is, it’s absolutely possible to create changes in your life without falling for that old self-criticism chestnut. Just because you know what you should be doing for your health, doesn’t mean you need to punish yourself for “failing” when you don’t.
After all, there are probably good reasons for it!
We can learn different ways to motivate ourselves that don’t make us feel like crap.
And we can find ways to shift the habits of a lifetime that DON’T feel like we’re depriving ourselves of all that’s good and joyful in the world.
I’m going to be sharing some of those tools in our upcoming free worshop, Unlock Your Vitality – happening online on 20th November. Get the full details and register for your free spot here.
But today – I invite you to play with radically subverting this whole “shoulda woulda coulda” thing – and seeing how that tiny shift can change things.
We have been conditioned to view failure to do what we should and would and could as a weakness. To find fault in ourselves whenever we fall short of perfection. And it’s not helping us.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
The shoulda, coulda, woulda antidote
If you feel like you spend too much time apologising to your body or beating yourself up for this perceived weakness then try this instead. Yes, you know what you should be doing for your health. And you can also choose to look at those times when you make different choices using these 3 magic words:
I can. I will. I am.
I can eat this slice of cake. I will drink water as soon as I get home. I am usually pretty good about going to the gym.
As long as you keep sight of your personal big picture then you absolutely can indulge yourself.
You can be mindful of your bad habits without letting them get you down, or telling yourself stories about how terrible you are.
You know that you won’t be eating mince pies every single morning (at least I hope not!) so why spoil that moment of indulgence when you get in from the school run in the rain? You deserve it.
I can treat myself. I will benefit from it. I am being kind to myself.
Want to discover a new way to health?
If you’d like to discover a radically different way to create vitality, energy and health make sure you come along to Unlock Your Vitality.
It’s a free online workshop happening on 20th November – and you can register for your free place here.
How are you rewriting the script?
I’d love to know what “shoulda woulda coulda” you’re shifting into something more positive. What can you do, what will you do, and what are you doing?
Come and celebrate yourself in the comments!
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