Stop “shoulding”Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock
Our to-do lists are made up of long lists of “shoulds,” like, “I should change my linen once a week, exercise regularly, spend 30 minutes daily reading with my children, or have a date night with my partner.” All those things can be positive and healthy, but there is a dark side to “shoulds.” They are masters at manipulation, pushing us to live in accordance with societal norms, our need to fit in or “get it right,” or unrealistic, outdated, or non-serving expectations of ourselves or others. They can have us compromise our truth, disconnect from our vision, and overcommit to things that are not in alignment with our integrity. Although successfully crossing items off your to-do list might bring moments of fulfillment and happiness, they will generally be short-lived. Living from your “shoulds” seals in your fate of living a less than satisfying life. Before you know it, you will be back on that hamster wheel running as fast as you can looking for your next to-do that will prove to the world and to yourself that you are enough. These are the sneaky reasons you never finish your to-do list anyway.
To move from your to-do list to your bucket list, instead of looking to the external world or other people for your truth or how you should be living your life, you must make a U-turn back to yourself. What are your dreams and visions? What is on your bucket list? There are many benefits of a bucket list: It inspires you to think outside the confines of your day-to-day reality, it connects with your passion, it taps into your dreams, and it helps you step into a world of possibilities. And here is the key in crafting your bucket list items: They do not have to make sense, and you don’t need to know how to make them happen or when. Bucket lists are often open-ended. Unlike the items on your to-do list, which can feel exhausting or heavy, your bucket list is grounded in spirit and inspires you. It lights you up from the inside out and acts as a motivational force that will move you powerfully forward toward the future of your dreams.