Dear Shoulda, Coulda, and Woulda: An Eviction Notice


By: , SparkPeople Blogger
  :  71 comments   :  18,465 Views

We’ve all got those certain family members who pull us down instead of lift us up. You know the ones: they just don’t have our best interests at heart and, in the end, keep us from ever realizing our full potential. They're always there at a moment’s notice to provide the opportunity to keep us in our own little mediocre comfort zone with no accountability. They step in with the discouraging word, and the pessimism about our ability to get healthy. Criticizing how we eat, how we work out, and what we're trying to change.

Now before you all post about the husband, the child, the mom, the dad, etc. etc. till the sun goes down, maybe you should read a little more. The family members I’m talking about are part of a terrible trio of doom and disaster that hold you back—and they are all in your family because you let them be there.  So did I for a long time; I sometimes still let them visit.

So who are they? I’ve dubbed them the nasty triplets – Shoulda, Coulda, and Woulda.  How many times have we said, I should have eaten better today? I would have gone to the gym today except XYZ came up at the office and I was tired. I could have cooked a cheap, healthy dinner instead of eating at the burger place, but it smelled so good when I was driving by that I just had to have it. The list could go on and on with the triplets making up all kinds of excuses not to live the healthy life. They never run out of ideas on how to give you what you need to excuse your life away.

It’s time to give the nasty triplets an eviction notice! 

Dear  Shoulda, Coulda, and Woulda:

I’m writing to inform you that you are no longer welcome in my life.  I know I’ve used you countless times when it was convenient, and this letter may come as a surprise, but I’ve decided to move on.  I’m tired of excuses. I’m tired of being tired.  I don’t want to give any more minutes of my life over to the three of you.  I’ve discovered that life is meant to be lived with gusto, not with excuses. I realize now that no one was holding me back but me. Every time I gave you permission to take control, I lost a little part of me that could have been.  No more. So get out!


And P.S.  Don’t come back

I’ve decided to adopt three new family members – I Will, I Am, and I Did. 

These are the family members that encourage me to be the best that I can be.  I hold the power to use them at will regardless of who is around and what they are saying.  I WILL be able to eat healthy and stay in my calorie range.  I AM living a new life and doing new things.  I DID run another race last weekend.  It feels good to write those things, and to be able to say them out loud – 30 months into my journey on SparkPeople. 

Shoulda, Coulda, and Woulda periodically show their ugly faces and I can now recognize what is happening in the moment.  If I find myself mentally making an excuse not to work out, now I decide to say I WILL find a way to work out and not let an excuse steal my opportunity to do the right thing. Don’t get me wrong: I still mess up, but the difference this time around in my life is that I don’t give up. There are still people around who would judge, discourage, and criticize, but I realize I can choose to give them the power to usher me to the door of defeat, or I can retain my power and run up to the door of Success and burst right in with a big smile, shouting ''I AM here – make room for me!''  

Which relatives are you hanging out with?  Is it time for you to issue your own eviction notice?  How can you take back your power today?  Are you ready to ditch the excuses and exercise your power to achieve your dreams?

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    Thanks for the encouragement! Great motivation! - 10/24/2017   9:15:31 AM
  • 70
    Cute way to write it. - 9/10/2017   9:23:48 AM
  • 69
    Very true. I love it! Thanks for posting. - 4/30/2012   11:35:53 PM
  • JPEARL127
    I had never thought of how I allow negativity and excuses to control my thinking. My weight-loss goal is 50 pounds, which is not that much when I read about some of the success stories here, and I need to think of it as a game of pounds and inches--the smaller me is inside just screaming to come forward! - 4/28/2012   10:26:16 AM
  • 67
    Hey! I found their cousin "Wanna" conspiring with Woulda, Coulda and Shoulda

    - 3/17/2012   1:59:54 AM
    I love this post. So motivating and positive. Thank you so much. - 3/16/2012   2:17:41 PM
  • 65
    such a wonderful post. I love the eviction letter. Im on the search for a process server to now help me deliver and enforce this eviction... lol Guess thats another excuse huh.... - 3/13/2012   6:48:45 AM
  • 64
    To true.Change in many ways to make our self over.We have So many sayings we have to change.Learn a more constructive way to talk to our selfs. - 3/11/2012   5:06:27 PM
  • 63
    Entertaining and educational! Thanks!! - 3/11/2012   4:15:51 PM
    great letter - 3/11/2012   10:45:50 AM
  • 61
    Brilliant!!! :) - 3/10/2012   4:28:10 PM
  • 60
    I used to be the Shoulda, woulda, coulda queen. Since I have been on Sparkpeople (one month today) I see things so differently. I was worried about staying motivated, so I checked out the motivation page and found a quote that I printed and keep at my desk at work and in a prominent place at home: "There's a difference between interest and commitment. When you're interested in doing something, you only do it when it's convenient. When you're committed to something, you accept no excuses; only results." - Kenneth Blanchard.
    I hope this helps at least a few people the way it helps me to stay focused and committed. Best wishes, everyone! - 3/10/2012   12:24:24 PM
  • 59
    Wonderful blog! I pasted a link to one of my teams. :) - 3/10/2012   8:10:18 AM
  • 58
    What a delightful way of looking at things...all too often, I have let the terrible triplets visit and now will make a conscious effort to show them the door. Thanks so much for a great blog!
    - 3/9/2012   10:51:44 PM
  • 57
    Perfect timing for me to read this!!!
    Thank-You :-) - 3/9/2012   10:41:41 PM
  • 56
    I LOVE the eviction letter. I am going to save that. I try to remember these things daily, but they are easy to forget when you get down. I will post this letter where I will see if. - 3/9/2012   3:56:48 PM
  • 55
    Great Advice!! Will adapt right now!! - 3/9/2012   1:35:17 PM
  • 54
    I agree wholeheartedly but want to add another... "Lata" as in "I'll go for a walk but lata (later)". I'm a great procrastinator, especially when it comes to exercise.
    - 3/9/2012   1:11:43 PM
  • 53
    thank you for the great idea im givin evictions today. - 3/9/2012   12:16:04 PM
  • 52
    Thank you for this reaffirmation and reminder about the evil triplets.

    Keep on keepin' on! - 3/9/2012   12:08:13 PM
  • 51
    I had to save this to my word document and will even email this to myself.... I am closely associated to those relatives, actually we hang out daily LOL.. I think after reading this.... I myself will be giving them the boot!! Thank you! - 3/9/2012   10:55:22 AM
  • 50
    love it!!!!!!!!!! - 3/9/2012   10:50:13 AM
  • 49
    Very well put :)

    Move over triplets you are being replaced by the "new" triplets....pack your bags and!!! - 3/9/2012   10:29:52 AM
  • 48
    Old habits die hard, but need to be replaced with good ones. - 3/9/2012   10:24:41 AM
  • 47
    Thanks for this - very helpful! I've experienced this myself in personal changes - it's not enough to just say "go away" when it comes to the habits that are holding me back. I need to find a positive alternative to them and do that (i.e. I Will, I Am, I Did). - 3/9/2012   10:00:04 AM
  • 46
    Loved it! Full of great info. - 3/9/2012   9:42:32 AM
    Well said! - 3/9/2012   9:06:42 AM
  • 44
    This type of thinking is the same as I give my pscho-social groups at work. I have given so many talks about the Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda Clan that they are more than happy to let me know when I am making excuses! I congratulate them on pointing it out as it shows that they have been listening in group. I like it because it reminds me to follow my own good advice. - 3/9/2012   9:02:13 AM
  • 43
    Great article! - 3/9/2012   8:44:42 AM
    I am adopting your three new relatives, I AM, I WILL, I DID. Shoulda, Woulda and Coulda are packing their bags as we speak. Thank you for helping me kick then out. I know they will sneak in back door when I am not looking but I will be paying more attention now. And I did check the dresser drawers to make sure that they left nothing behind. thanks star - 3/9/2012   7:04:53 AM
  • 41
    Loved this! Destined to be one of my new mantras... - 3/9/2012   7:00:45 AM
  • 40
    great read - 3/9/2012   3:59:06 AM
  • 39
    Never thought of this - but it makes sense! Good bye terrible triplets and hello I Will, I Am, and I Did! My new best buddies. - 3/9/2012   2:15:47 AM
  • 38
    I just joined Spark People this week and this is the first blog I've read. What a great and inspirational article!!! I added it to my favorites so I can read it as often as needed.Thanks! - 3/9/2012   1:53:28 AM
  • 37
    Great blog- I resolved this year to not accept the word "Should" from anyone. Its an annoyance to me... when someone says "We should get together" or "We should do this again sometime" or "We should start blah blah blah" but then we go on our merry way and don't make a PLAN. I decided I am just as much to blame so the word "Should" is outlawed. "Should" really just means "it won't happen." If I catch myself or anyone else using it, I am calling them on it. If the "should" is a priority, we need to make a plan right here, right now. The word used is "Let's". If the "should" is just one of those fakey fakey things you say- then say what you really mean. Not "We should go to lunch" but "I'd make a plan to do this again, but I know my schedule is too busy right now. When I can fit it in again, I will give you call."
    Woulda and Coulda I just tune out... It gets really old to hear from the same people over and over. - 3/9/2012   1:10:21 AM
  • 36
    Great Blog, thanks. - 3/9/2012   12:36:39 AM
  • 35
    Fun and creative blog that really made me think! I WILL evict the ugly triplets and I AM going to adopt the three new relatives who will help me find the success I need! - 3/8/2012   11:31:28 PM
    Didn't realize how those nasty family members have become so commonplace and how good it feels to have them move out! Thanks for sharing. - 3/8/2012   10:43:40 PM
    I think I'll adopt these new family members also. Thank you for this blog. - 3/8/2012   10:39:55 PM
  • 32
    wonderful! - 3/8/2012   10:26:22 PM
  • 31
    excellent! - 3/8/2012   9:37:22 PM
    Iíve decided to adopt three new family members Ė I Will, I Am, and I Did.

    This is a great idea, I can, I will and I did. - 3/8/2012   2:14:13 PM
  • ANGELA2720
    Love it!! - 3/8/2012   1:52:56 PM
  • 28
    Loved it! - 3/8/2012   12:45:47 PM
  • 27
    great blog and love the comments too! - 3/8/2012   12:29:04 PM
  • 26
    Reminds me of a line from a seminar many many years ago: "Don't Should on me". Either I did something or I did not; either I will do something or I will not. It is my responsibility to choose the direction. Should only adds guilt or regret to the equation, neither of which I need. - 3/8/2012   12:08:48 PM
  • 25
    Love this blog! My favorite part was " Iíve discovered that life is meant to be lived with gusto, not with excuses." OMG! Love It! - 3/8/2012   12:05:54 PM
    Thanks for posting this. I've got to start treating my other three family members, I Will, I Am, and I Did, with more respect. - 3/8/2012   12:01:05 PM
  • JUDYM10
    This is just the spark I needed. I've been saying shoulda, coulda, woulda a lot lately! Time to change my mentality - NO EXCUSES! - 3/8/2012   11:30:33 AM
  • 22
    Love this blog!! Thanks for the reminder that we all need to find out who,what, when, where and why we are listening to and make changes in all areas to reach our full potential!! Real encouragement to me today!! - 3/8/2012   10:52:21 AM

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