Have you ever wondered why some people seem to effortlessly maintain good habits while others struggle to stick to their goals? Well, the answer may lie in the way we speak about our habits.
You see, our words have a powerful effect on our actions and behaviors. When we speak about our habits in a negative or self-defeating way, we reinforce those patterns and make it harder to break out of them. On the other hand, when we use positive, empowering language, we can actually rewire our brains and make it easier to adopt new, healthy habits.
I learned this the hard way when I was on 75Hard. If you wake up every morning telling yourself you’re not good enough, but you need to be, your brain remains in a constant state of repair and fixation instead of progress. I hade to retrain myself to see each day as a step in the right direction, wrong direction or simply no direction. This one life-changing action took me from 285 to 239 in 75 days and changed my personal habits for the better. I’ve not been perfect, but better. And that’s the walk I wanted to walk.
Let me give you an example. Say you’re trying to eat healthier, but you slip up and have a donut for breakfast. If you say to yourself, “Ugh, I’m such a failure. I can never stick to my diet,” you’re reinforcing a negative self-image and making it more likely that you’ll continue to make unhealthy choices. But if you reframe that thought and say, “Okay, that wasn’t ideal, but I’m still committed to eating healthier. I’ll make a better choice for lunch,” you’re acknowledging the slip-up without letting it define you, and you’re empowering yourself to make a better choice in the future.
This may seem like a small difference, but it can have a big impact on your habits over time. By using positive, habit-forming language, you can build momentum and create a virtuous cycle of healthy choices. You’ll start to see yourself as someone who is capable of making positive changes, rather than someone who is stuck in old patterns.
So, how can you start using habit-forming language in your own life? Here are a few tips:
- Use positive language: Instead of saying “I can’t” or “I shouldn’t,” say “I choose not to” or “I prefer to.” This puts you in the driver’s seat and gives you a sense of control over your choices.
- Be specific: Instead of setting vague goals like “get in shape,” set specific, measurable goals like “run a 5K in under 30 minutes.” This gives you a clear target to aim for and makes it easier to track your progress.
- Focus on what you can do: Instead of dwelling on what you can’t do or what you’ve done wrong, focus on what you can do in the present moment. This empowers you to take action and make positive changes.
By using habit-forming language, you can transform the way you think about your habits and start building a better future for yourself. So go ahead, give it a try, and see how it can make a difference in your life!