I’m really not big on New Year’s Resolutions. Learning how to succeed at new goals is hard work! And like most people, I normally give up on them after just a few months (or sometimes, a few days!). But this year, I discovered that by changing just one word when I’m working on new goals can transform my ability to succeed in them.
It doesn’t seem like one word should be able to impact your life that much, right? But studies have shown that most of us use about 13,000-16,000 words every day. . . and that’s just the words we speak. Think about all the words we e-mail, read, post on facebook, and text every day! The numbers add up quickly. And with so many words weaving in and out of every day, the ones we choose have a huge impact on our lives.
Often, the most powerful in my life are the words I say to myself. Psychiatrist call this “self-talk” – we all do it, and for me, it’s one of the main factors for how I do on new goals. If I start using negative self-talk, I get discouraged. For example, if the words in my head are saying “I’m never going to stop yelling at my kids” or “Getting out of debt is impossible”, I find it hard to take actions against those things.
But this week, I changed one word. Are you ready for it?
I started saying ‘WHEN’ instead of ‘IF’.
Seems too easy, right?
But I have found that with this transformation, I assume something is possible, instead of always questioning if I can do it. That simple assumption really helps when I want to succeed at new goals.
Now I say:
When we get out of debt, we will have less anxiety about money.
When I start walking with a friend every day, I will feel healthier.
When I stop yelling at my kids, we are going to all enjoy much fuller relationships.
By using the word ‘when’, I inspire myself! I start making plans for the dreams and goals I have. Saying ‘when’ means that it will happen. It’s realistic, because I know it won’t happen instantly and it probably won’t happen overnight. But it will happen one day. And that knowledge is enough to make me keep trying again, every day.
What goals do you have for yourself or your family this year? Are you using the word ‘when’ to inspire yourself to succeed, or are you using hopeless self-talk and feeling stuck? Try changing your words and see if it helps transform your ability to succeed in goals!