Out With The “Have To”

In an earlier post, I wrote on the importance of eliminating the shoulds out of our vocabulary, Now, I will share with you one other phrase that I strive to eliminate and has been a game changer for me.

Have to

  • I have to go to work.
  • I have to go to the gym
  • I have to clean the house.
  • I have to go to the store.

When you really think about it, what is the first word that comes to your mind after seeing the similarities in these phrases? In my case the first word was obligation. Starting sentences with “I have to” normally is associated with some sort of negative connotation.

I became aware of this negative connotation when I was living in Zaragoza, Spain going to my daily Spanish course. Many days I would not sleep until late and considering my class was early in the morning, I woke up many days with this attitude of, “I have to go to class today.”

It was not until I started being aware that I was saying these simple two words that I started to see a dramatic change in my life.

I didn’t HAVE to go to class, I GOT to go to class.

Consciously choosing to change this one word every time I found myself saying it changed my attitude. I no longer felt an obligation to go to class, but rather an opportunity.

Look at the difference in the following phrases with “get to” compared to the last bulleted ones:

  • I get to go to work (Because I have job, am making money and it allows me to support myself)
  • I get to to to the gym (Because I have a wonderful body that can walk, run, exercise and do amazing things)
  • I get to clean the house (Because I have a beautiful home and a safe place to go)
  • I get to go to the store (Because I have money to buy what I need for me and my family)

When we consciously make the choice to change one word we can go from feelings of obligation to seeing the things we need to do as opportunities.

Don’t forget to also read: 


  • Do you drag along, doing things out of obligation or do you intentionally try to see each activity you need to do as an opportunity?
  • Will you work to change some of your “have tos” to “get tos?”
  • Share below! 
Sarah - thenomadicdreamer.comOut With The “Have To”