I talked last week about this ONE WORD that’s sabotaging your fitness goals, and can’t begin to tell you how powerful it’s been to replace that word (and all its sneaky friends) with something better.
You know the the “FIND AND REPLACE” function in a word processor? (No? Yeah. Me neither until a week ago.) It finds an unwanted or outdated word or phrase, and replaces it with the correct word or phrase. It’s hilariously simple and saved me about 45 min when I finally figured out how to use it. Best part: you can use the same process internally to reach goals that have been evading you for years.
Close your eyes, and quickly scan your day (or hell… the last five minutes) and find each time you said any of the following:
- I should ____.
- I need to ____.
- I would ____ , but ____.
- I can’t _____ because ____.
(Chances are, you won’t remember all of them. I’ve gotten so conditioned to using some of these – until I started working on this – I didn’t even notice when I used them.)
Now repeat what you said, replacing the sneaky sabotuer with one of the following phrases:
- It’s time to ______.
- I am _____.
- I will ____.
- I can do _____ today.
Then sit with that for a minute. Just take a breath and notice what it feels like to (kindly and firmly) replace a cop out with some ownership and forward momentum.
Next step: set up sticky notes, a rubber band on your wrist or an accountabiltiy buddy, and every (EVERY!!!) time you use a “should/would/can’t” phrase, restate the sentence outloud with the new phrase. (Note: You gotta replace the self-sabotage words with truthful, easily actionable statements. “I SHALL NEVER RUN A YELLOW LIGHT AGAIN” is bullshit, because we all know I’m gonna be late at some point. “I will slow down sooner next time” is a better option.)
Replace “I’m exhausted. I really should eat more protein” with “It’s time for me to have more energy. I am downloading a nutrient tracker app right now.” Then replace “I should track my protein.” with “I’ll enter my lunch data when I get back to my phone.”
Over time, you can actually rewire yourself to take tiny steps every day that add up to massive changes, instead of making big, empty verbal guestures or self-depricating verbal camoflauge.
To be honest, the number of times every day I still correct myself is pretty obnoxious… and totally explains why I’ve been spinning my wheels in the areas I use them. (My current favorite is “I really should fix those contracts.” I feel embarrassed that I haven’t fixed the problem yet, and “should” is just a fantastic way to close my computer and pretend I’m not neck-deep in a challenge. I’m constantly having to replace the should with, “I can ask for advice / look into new options / do five minutes of this today.”)
One note :
I got the “It’s TIME.” phrase from this amazing woman and colleague. How much freaking power is in that statement!?
Words have power. SO. MUCH. POWER. We hear ourselves talk and think all day! Imagine if you heard someone else talking that much… you’d believe them, right!? Changing your words can radically change the wiring in your brain, how you see yourself and the ways in which you care for yourself.
So here’s a mini-challenge : Pick ONE thing and use the find / replace function for three days. Shoot me an email and let me know how what you picked / how it went. I’ll reply and share mine with you as well, accountability buddies.
You’re LOVED!! Go be strong.