A small rephrasing of the "I have to..." to "I choose to...because I value..." really embodies the self-responsibility that NVC teaches.
I've been trying this out and wow, it feels so powerful. It is also a little scary at times because by changing this phrasing, I am taking full responsibility for what I am doing with my time.
Examples in my own life:
1. "I have to go to my cousin's birthday party." "I am choosing to go to my cousin's birthday party because I value my connection with him and my family."
2. "I have to fulfill these work orders." "I choose to fulfill these work orders because I value the commitment I've made to customers and my financial security."
3. "I have to clean the house before the party." "I choose to clean the house before the party because I value the comfort of others in my home."
4. "I have to write thank you cards for the gifts I received." "I am choosing to write thank you cards to the friends and family who gave me gifts because I value expressed appreciation."
5. "I have to feed the dogs." "I choose to feed the dogs because I value their health and wellbeing."
6. "I have to drink coffee to wake up in the morning." "I choose to drink coffee in the morning because I value being alert so I can contribute and be effective during the day."