Should. It seems like a harmless little monosyllabic.
I “should” go to the gym…
(wait for it)
*but* I will stay home and binge Netflix instead.
“Should” leaves too much wiggle room to get out of what we need to be doing.
“I will go to the gym.” That’s much better. Even if you say “I will not go to the gym” it is better than using “should” because now you have made a definitive statement. If you decide you’re not going to the gym, you can fill your time with some other constructive activity without beating yourself up for not doing what you “should” do. “I ought to” is a pesky utterance as well. My husband and I have tried to remove should from our vocabulary for a few years now. It doesn’t always work, but I find my days are more productive if I take the “should” out of my plans.
I’m also a big list-maker. I start my morning with an espresso and a pen and paper. Why? I can write things down on paper without distraction. If I use my device, a text or email can interrupt my train of thought. Distractions happen too easily. Somehow staring at a blank white page helps me focus on details. It sounds silly but writing with a pen solidifies the task more than if I type it. It gives it more importance. It can’t simply be deleted. It needs to be effectively crossed out. There is something gratifying about crossing items off my list manually. It’s just not the same as hitting delete.
Today I “will” tackle my to-do list. What will you do?