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Improve Your Mood By Replacing “I Have to” with “I Get to”

A smiling woman walking out of a building.
Rido/Shutterstock

Are you thinking of all the things you have to do right now and, maybe, even dreading them? Having to do something feels like a burden but getting to do something feels different. Here’s how you can implement this little, but powerful, change.

So, how does this work exactly? A simple example is when you say, “I have to go to work today.” This makes it sound like you hate your job and would rather be doing anything else—and maybe that’s true.

But rather than letting negativity control your day, you could say, “I get to go to work today.” True, it might be indirectly, but you get to make a difference in people’s lives. Even if you don’t love your job, you most likely love the things you can do and buy with the money you get from it.

Try some of the following tips, and see if they help you shift your perspective, so you can enjoy the things you do each day:

  • Be mindful of what you say: When you notice an “I have to,” change it to “I get to,” or “I want to.”
  • Start with the big things: Sure, you might have to do the dishes first, but then you can play games with your kids or spend time with your spouse or partner. And, hey, even having a kitchen with dishes to do because you had food to eat is a blessing, no?
  • Choose your battles: You don’t always have to say you “get to,” but over time, it will become more natural and give you a better outlook on life.
  • Think of the outcomes: What are the results of the things you do each day? Use that as motivation to go the positive route in the way you look at daily tasks. If you’re helping people or making things that help people, you’re doing something good, so own it!

The more you can see your life as being filled with endless opportunities (even the chance to get some fresh air while you take out the trash), the more positive your mood will be each day.

Yvonne Glasgow Yvonne Glasgow
Yvonne Glasgow is a professional writer with two decades of experience. She has written and edited for nutritionists, start-ups, dating companies, SEO firms, newspapers, board game companies, and more. Yvonne is a published poet and short story writer, and she is a life coach. Read Full Bio »

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