I’ve kept every resolution I’ve made on Jan 1st for the last 10 years. I keep it simple by recycling the same one every year.

‘I’m going to give up smoking.’

Some of my 100% track record may be down to the fact that I have never smoked. I’m also prepared to admit the smug satisfaction of never failing feels a little empty.

So last year I made a new resolution. I then went right ahead and failed it every single day.

‘I’m going to stop should-ing on myself.

The list goes on and on!


‘Should’ is a word that keeps you locked inside your own personal Shame Prison or maybe a Shame Prism. Sure, there are plenty of windows, but each one slightly distorts the view. Your perspective starts with not being good enough, and grows into guilt. Everything you see reminds you of what you could have done better.

Having spent a considerable amount of my personal vacation time there I can tell you, well, it sucks to be honest. More than anything else, it’s totally exhausting. I finally got tired of being tired and started the mammoth mindset shift required to break out.


The problem was that, although I was clearly in prison, I got to walk around with the straights. The prison was hidden safely inside my head, so on the outside I functioned like a regular human being. In fact, so skilled was I at compartmentalising what I said and did away from what I thought and felt, I enjoyed an amount of success.

See, living with that old mindset for so long was actually great training for getting things done, no matter what. So that’s exactly what I focused on. What I was great at. Doing stuff. In fact, I became much better at being a Human Doing than a Human Being.

But that’s all it was, success. Success lacking the most critical element – fulfilment. That’s like having ‘always ice cream, never sundaes’. It’s functional, but lacking in joy.


This year, instead of ‘I should’ I’m using ‘I’d like to’. Such a small language shift but with mahousive impact.

‘I’d like to exercise more.’ 

That reframe suddenly opens a door of possibility. Even better, it avoids the trapdoor of shame completely.

Try it. Go on, turn one of your ‘shoulds’ into a ‘like to’ now, Out loud.

It sounds positive doesn’t it? What’s more, it feels possible. It’s a quick, easy and free tool to shift your mindset and elicit real change.

Listen girlfriend, 2017 is your year.

If you really want to make a difference to the lives of others, board a flight to Selfish Island, Population: 1, and follow the advice of the woman flying your plane:

Put your own oxygen mask on before attenpting to help anyone with theirs.

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