Dear Shoulda, Coulda, and Woulda: An Eviction Notice

By , SparkPeople Blogger

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?