Is the Should Monster Sitting on Your Shoulder?


With the Holiday Season right around the corner, you may be feeling pulled in a number of directions. You’ve got your job, your family, your friends and your extended family, not to mention the events and shopping and eating. Thinking about it is enough to make you dizzy and stressed.

If you’re like a lot of my clients before they came on board, you may be dealing with a Should Monster on your shoulder. A friend of mine said his resembled the Cookie Monster, but instead of chomping on cookies, he was eating up his time. 

The Should Monster is an elusive creature. It plays the role of time keeper and task master, but under the surface it does everything to stop you from doing what you need to do. Say you decided to sit down and work on an important project. You fire up your computer and are ready to go and then The Should Monster Appears.

“Shouldn’t you be checking Facebook or doing laundry? You know you should really call your mother. Shouldn’t you pay that bill. Shouldn’t you check your email. Shouldn’t you go to your friend’s event.”

Before you know it, your energy is sucked up and so is your time – it’s 30 minutes later.

You may get frustrated and discouraged and give into The Should Monster’s requests. Ultimately that project that was so important to you is now a distant memory. You bank this experience into the “I can never get things done” or “I’m a procrastinator” or “I’m lazy” message bank for you to judge and blame yourself next time.


So what do you do with a Should Monster on your shoulder?

1)      Start with Your Values – What’s important to you and why? This is the first step in my coaching process. By understanding the core values, we have a foundation to make decision based on what’s important to us.

2)      Write Down Your Priorities – Next to each item write down the value it associates to. By giving the task an assigned value, it increases the worth and priority of getting it done.

3)      Acknowledge the Should Monster – “Hey buddy I know you want to distract me because I’m doing some big stuff and that scares you. How about I write down what you want me to do and get back to you?”

4)      Say No. Saying “No” to some things means saying “Yes” to you and your values. If something isn’t in alignment, it’s more than okay to let it go.


I’d love to hear about your Should Monster experiences and how you interact with it over the Holidays. Feel free to post about it in the comments below or send me an email about it. If you’d like to dig into your Foundation Values, feel free to book an intensive session.

Have questions, feel free to book a complimentary consultation.