Forget Should! What Do You Want?

A Life of Value

Summering is coming to a close and with fall many of us dread getting back to “work mode” and watching our “to do” lists grow and grow.  Have you ever stopped to analyze your to do list?

Deanna Howard Gonzalez MBA, RD, LD, CDE

I want you to meet Deanna Howard Gonzalez MBA, RD, LD, CDE who is the proud owner of Emerald Coast Diabetes and Nutrition Center. She is happiest when she is with her family and they are getting along. 😊

Deanna’s list of work shoulds:

This list could be miles long actually…
I should be putting more effort into the business.
I should be marketing more for the business.
I should be participating in Chamber events and meetings.
I should be calling and visiting providers.
I should be sending letters to past patients.
I should be following up more on insurance claims.
I should be analyzing referrals.
I should be doing a better job of bookkeeping. 
I should be reading more journals on diabetes.
I should be reading more research studies on IE, HAES, eating disorder.
I should have a fine tuned business plan.
I should have 5, 10, and 15 year goals for the business. 

Deanna’s personal shoulds:

I should be in bed. 
I should get into a better habit of going to bed earlier.
I should be making plans to work out more often.
I should be cleaning or organizing something.
I should be spending more time with the little one.
I should walk the dog.
Seriously, this list could go on and on and on.  I think you get it. 😁

Shoulds are those things you think you have to do, but don’t really want to do. Big should — I should exercise. Bigger should — I should lose weight. I should make more money. My favorite should — I should be happier. Shoulds can feel heavier than the pounds on your scale and can zap your energy.

On the other hand… wants give you energy and can be your life’s sweet spot.

Shoulds Versus Wants

Based on things you think you ought to wantBased on things you think are important to you and fulfilling
Based on shame, duty or guilt and are dead goalsBased on who you are and are full of life
Externally prompted (your ego, spouse, boss, parent, society)Internally prompted (your values)

How to start?

First, Identify your top 5 values.  

Why identify your values? Values hide in plain sight. You act on them without knowing what they are, or you overlook them and head off in the wrong direction. When you live your life aligned with your values you feel energized and alive. You know what to say yes to and what to say no to. Knowing your values helps time poor people become time rich because their “to do”  list is aligned with their heart and their values. They feel happier and happier people are more productive!

Deanna’s top 5 values are:

Family, balance, compassion, making a difference and hope.

Second, identify key actions to make each value come alive in your life.

Annual family vacation
Have dinner together 4 nights a week
Dinner with my brother and sister and nephew at least 2 times per month
Call my parents once a week
Plan a trip home.

Deanna and her family

Finish my progress notes at my office
Keep work to home office and not work at the dining room table
Have someone clean my house every other week
Will have a new fun activity like more golfing

Golf with my husband once every other month
Complete the self-compassion workbook
Write a letter to 1 provider per month

Making a Difference
Take a motivational interviewing course
Reach out to friends once a week
Make lunch or dinner plans with friends once a month
Volunteer at the clinic monthly

Write one positive affirmation each day
Read 5 to 10 minutes of my devotional each night
Delete social media accounts that do not give me joy

“Knowing my values has helped me eliminate some shoulds, and turn some shoulds into wants. I now have a better understanding of where I would like to place my time and energy in my life.” 

This fall create your to do list with WANTS instead of SHOULDS. 

Remember your to do list creates your life… your relationship with you and who you are and what you WANT to be are at the heart of a joyful, balanced and purposeful life. The life that just makes you really  WANT to jump out of bed in the morning.

So get out that paper and start to create your wants that reflects your values, your deepest joys and the real you. If not this fall…when? When will be the time for you to fall in love with your life?

If you are ready for more happiness, Go to the Value Finder.

And use the code value10 to get $10.00 off the Value Finder so it will only cost you $19.99 and you will be on your road to a happier more intentional life!

Better get busy — you only have one life to live. Imagine if it was one you loved.


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Can’t wait to hear your values and how you are living them!

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