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Home > Note from Tonya: Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda

Note from Tonya: Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda

by | Feb 27, 2023

Recently, some very dear friends of mine, who also admire great mentors who inspire and motivate, connected me to Rhea Wong.  I am hooked on her message delivery, wit, and gems of wisdom!  The title of one of her recent messages was “Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda”, and while this article mostly related to fundraising and our connections within a community, it really made me think of life-all of life, and the everyday choices that we make.  Some we regret having done, and others we regret putting off.  How many times have we chosen motivation over procrastination? If only…

Around this same time, and I’m sure it was not by coincidence, I also heard a friend of mine say, “I almost blocked my blessings!”  Whoa. Are we coulda, woulda, shoulda’ing a lot of good stuff away?

In a post entitled “The Meaning of Regret”, Bruce Grierson states that “some studies show…[that] regret is the second most common emotion people mention in daily life. And that it’s the most common negative emotion.”

How many times do we put off doing something that we really want to do, or maybe we are putting off those things that we are hesitant to do because of an unknown outcome? How many times do we put off doing things because we “don’t have time for it?” This is a BIG one. Is it time to adjust what we are and are not available for?

In her article, Rhea went on to share these prompts, and for some of us, these may be some healthy challenges:

I’ve decided to start getting much more intentional about my time.  I also preface it with, “I AM UNAVAILABLE FOR…”

I AM UNAVAILABLE FOR people who don’t uplift, energize and inspire.

I AM UNAVAILABLE FOR wasted hours on social media.

I AM UNAVAILABLE FOR smack-talk, backstabbing, gossiping and generally creating negative energy.

I AM UNAVAILABLE FOR activities that aren’t about making my dreams come true or spark joy.

I AM UNAVAILABLE FOR changing people who don’t want to change and didn’t ask for help in the first place.

I AM UNAVAILABLE FOR spending mental time and energy on all of the things that could go wrong.

I AM AVAILABLE FOR thinking about what happens if everything goes right.

Perhaps we also need to add a new outlook on our decisions. Maybe instead of right and wrong or “I really blew that one”, our decision inventory should be a little more flexible.

Another one of my favorite mentors, Simon Sinek, shares:

When we change our language from good or bad to ahead or behind, it’s a mindset shift. This too shall pass, but in our day to day we can still live with an infinite mindset.”

We’re not going to be 100% satisfied with every decision in life. However, we often react as if we expect to be. Making a “behind’ decision doesn’t make you a bad person nor does it make you incompetent- it just means that tomorrow you have a fresh start to make more positive decisions!

I’d love to hear some things that you’re no longer available for and how tomorrow will be an “ahead” day! Email me at

-Tonya Hitschmann- Managing Director, Care Services

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