shoulds into coulds

Get your priorities right

Decide what you need to change and why

Priorities Right - Change your "should"s into "could"s

It can be hard to work out what to do to change your life. Some things are important, and some are just habit. This change exercise helps you to get your priorities right. It gives you a structured way to identify why are doing what you are doing. Then organizes thing to help you get your priorities right, and identify what will help the quickest. Have a go. You might be surprised.


How to get priorities right!

Get a bit of paper and divide it into three columns.

At the top the first column write the words 'I should....'.

Then in that column write down all the things that you feel you should be doing. The list can be as long or as short as you like. Look at your list and rearrange them in order starting with the most pressing, the ones that you have the most trouble sticking to.

Then, beside each 'I should...' statements, ask yourself 'Why?'

and write down the answer in the second column.

Then for each Should statement ask yourself 'Says Who?'

and write the answer in the third column.

I should...Why???Says Who???
Spend less time onlineI not achieving anythingEverybody
Go to bed earlierI usually feel tired in the dayMy friends
Look after my mumIt's my responsibilityIt's just expected.

Doing this exercise will let you find the basic drivers of your own behavior.

The 'Says Who?' column will challenge your assumptions about what you think you must do. Examining your own answers might show you how you have been trained to believe certain things that can now see just aren't true.

Now go through the list again, but this time rewrite all statements in the form 'I COULD....', and decide how much priority to give to each one.

I could...Why???How important to me??
Set a time limitForce me to do other thingsImportant
Use my phone as alarmGet up on time every dayWorth a try.
Call mum every dayAvoid criticism that I don't careGet rid of my guilt

Changing shoulds into coulds will target exactly the things in your life that you need to work on, and let you ignore the stuff that really is someone else's problem.

Scroll to top