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Eliminate Regrets in One Easy Step

October 7, 2013 by Diane

 eyeglasses and rose

Regrets, I’ve had a few, but then again, too few to mention…

Paul Anka’s words, not mine. From the song My Way.

Me, I’ve had more than a few; and if you’re like me you’ve got a truckload of your own. I say it’s time to mention those regrets. Here. Now. It’s time to exorcise those squirrelly voices that niggle us awake at three a.m. saying: If only you had done this instead of that, gone here instead of there, spent time with them instead of those. You shoulda, coulda, woulda, mighta–but you blew it. On and on, until you’re ready to scream UNCLE!

Go ahead. Scream.

Then take a deep breath and relax. I’ve got a prescription that will make us both feel better. I’ve got the antidote to this particular brand of squirreliness.

Are you ready?

Grab a pen and a notebook. At the top of the first page write the word “Regrets.”

Underneath that, write the words “I regret I didn’t…”

Now finish the sentence by listing those regrets, one by one. A dozen regrets.

Here are mine:

I regret I didn’t…

Act with compassion instead of anger

Accept what is instead of fighting it

Spend more time being in the moment instead of trying to escape it

Challenge my distorted thinking

Break out of my comfort zone

Set realistic goals

Honor my need for rest

Practice being mindful

Spend more time with others

Focus on the positive instead of the negative

Play more

Explore the spiritual realm


Okay. Now it’s your turn. Make your list. Write down all those regrets that are rattling around in your gut, boxing at your heart, clogging up your throat, whining in your ears, pounding in your head. Spill them. Quickly! A dozen regrets.

Then, when you’re done, cross out the word “regrets” at the top of the page.

Replace it with the world “goals.”

Underneath that, cross out “I regret I didn’t…” and write the words “this year I will…”

That’s it.

Same list, but you’ve turned your regrets into goals. Those are your intentions for the year. Your to-do list. Presto! No more regrets.  How easy is that?

Here are my intentions:

This year I will…

Act with compassion instead of anger

Accept what is instead of fighting it

Spend more time being in the moment instead of trying to escape it

…you get the picture

Now for the not-so-easy part. Start at the top of your list and work your way down.  One intention a month. For a whole year. Starting now. Do it. Your way.

And let me know how it goes.



  1. Aussa Lorens says:

    Gah my list of regrets would take much longer than ten minutes and they’re more specific… like “I regret being drunk at that thing where you weren’t supposed to be drunk.” But actually, now that I’ve written that, I see how I can make a goal:

    1. Do not go drunk to things where you are not supposed to be drunk.


    Joking aside, I do like learning from regrets 🙂

    • Diane says:

      Or how about…I regret I didn’t…arrive sober at those things where you aren’t supposed to be drunk. Now I’m curious…just what thing was it?

  2. RageMichelle says:

    Okay…THIS is a worthwhile exercise. Thanks for that!

  3. S.K. Lamont says:

    Wow Diane, what a great way to turn around the things you want to improve in your life, so simple, I love it! Thanks.

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