self care

Have-to vs Get-to

When I started running last year, I was very aware of that fact I shouldn’t take the ability for granted. Yes, I was slow. Yes, my asthma makes it more of a challenge sometimes, but still — I can run. I’d already been active but running was the thing I connected with my Dad, and even before his death, ALS had taken that from him.

Lest I forget that for even a moment, it seemed like nearly every time I went for a run in those first few months after I started, I passed a young-looking man cruising down the sidewalk in his electric wheelchair.

My outlook on running is that it’s a “get to.” No one is making me. No wild animal chases me. I’m choosing to do it. (Though I admit sometimes, when running in the scorching heat, I do question my sanity for doing so.)

During road race in July.
I get to run

But for some reason I hadn’t thought to transfer that wisdom beyond running until I read a post about a subtle change in wording that can bring a substantial shift in mindset.

[Ever read something really great, and then when you want to tell other folks about it and you can’t remember where the heck you read it?  Um, yeah, me neither.]

Try changing, “I have to…” to “I get to…”

It can be anything:
I have to do the laundry.
I have to walk the dog.
I have to get up early in the morning.
I have to go to work.

The new and improved version:
I get to do the laundry.
I get to walk the dog.
I get to get up early in the morning.
I get to go to work.

Granted, some of them sound crazier than others at first. But saying it that way starts to shift something. It begins to make it an expression of gratitude, if you let it.

Take it even further by expressing why you “get to” do that thing. Perhaps having laundry to do means you have an active family to be thankful for. Walking the dog means you have a furry buddy who enjoys your company. Early mornings can kick off an enjoyable, productive day. Going to work means you have a job.

Give it a try and see how it changes things.

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