When it comes to wellness and nutrition, most of us have a general idea of what’s good for us: Dial back on sugar and white carbs. Add more plants to our diets. Exercise regularly. Get at least seven hours of sleep a night. 

It can be hard, though, to fit it all in. Especially when there’s a long road between where we’re starting out and where we want to be in terms of our wellness goals, just getting it all together can feel like a lot of pressure.

So when we use the word should, we’re only adding more pressure, more guilt, when we’re already feeling a bit defeated.

I should go to the gym more. I should cook at home more. I should be keeping a food journal.

We feel as if we’ve failed when we haven’t successfully accomplished what we’ve told ourselves we should be doing. Yet we’re so overwhelmed by our laundry list of *shoulds* that we don’t even know where to start.

So here’s what I suggest to friends and clients who have a tendency to overuse the “S” word:

Focus on the positive, on all of the incredible things that are you are doing. Give yourself the credit and recognition you deserve, just like you would if a friend shared these very same accomplishments with you.

And instead of saying that we *should* do something, start to shift our words and our perspective to say that we would like to do xyz. Or that we plan to do this. And recognizing that it’s okay if it doesn’t all happen immediately – or at all.

Freeing ourselves from the confines of *should* immediately lightens our load, removing the cloud of burden hovering over us, leaving us lighter, happier, and ultimately more satisfied with all that we truly have accomplished.

Molly Kimball, RD, CSSD is a registered dietitian + nutrition journalist in New Orleans. Tune in to her podcast, FUELED | Wellness + Nutrition and follow her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at @MollyKimballRD. See more of Molly’s columns + TV segments at www.mollykimball.com.

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  • Molly Kimball, RD, CSSD

    Registered Dietitian + Nutrition Journalist

    Thrive Global

    I’m Molly Kimball, registered dietitian and nutrition journalist with a passion for making it easy for people to live their healthiest, strongest lives possible.  In New Orleans, where the party never stops, that goal can be daunting… but I love every bit of the challenge!    As a Lifestyle Dietitian and a Board Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, I have managed the nutrition program at Ochsner Fitness Center in New Orleans for more than 20 years, working with thousands of clients ranging from people like you and me, to professional athletes. I’ve learned what drives us, what motivates us, what works and what doesn’t, and what derails even our best intentions. Having the ability to dial into these behaviors and challenges fuels my work in our community and serves as the inspiration for all that I do.  As a writer, I cover all things related to nutrition and wellness, including the new Eat Fit Cookbook, a collection of chef-inspired recipes for the home. I also have been the nutrition expert for New Orleans’ ABC affiliate WGNO since 2009, with weekly TV segments on WGNO’s Good Morning New Orleans, Get Fueled with MollyAnd now you can catch me on my own podcast, FUELED wellness + nutrition with Molly Kimball