Change your words; Change your life

Your choice of words can impact your overall attitude and perspective on life, says Tanja Shaw

How many times in a day do you say, “I have to…,” or “I should…,” or “I can’t…?”

Think about it.  You’re lying in bed and think, “I have to get up now.”  Once you’re up you say, “I should eat something for breakfast.” And then, “I have to go do my workout.”  Later in the day it’s, “I have to make dinner now.”  Maybe you have general thoughts like, “I should lose weight,” or “I should eat healthier,” or “I should be more grateful.”

The words are small, but they pack a lot of power.  And your choice of words can impact your overall attitude and perspective on life.  Words like, “I have to,” “I should,” or “I can’t,” strip a very important power away from you: the power of choice.

I’m not going to say you should change the way you talk to yourself.  But, if you want to, you could consider paying attention to how you speak to yourself and experiment with a few simple swaps.  Here are three very small changes that can dramatically change your outlook on life.  I’m going to focus on nutrition and fitness, but the concept can apply to many different avenues of life, from relationships, to household chores.

1. You could replace, “I have to” with “I get to.”  This change is perhaps one of the most powerful.  The words “I have to” are a joy kill.  They quash any potential for being grateful, being excited for, or simply enjoying the task.  “I have to go for a walk” means you have no choice, you have to.  Some external force is making you do it.  “I get to go for a walk,” however, implies that you have a choice, and it’s something you are lucky to be able to do.  The words ‘get to’ naturally create a sense of gratitude for the task.  No one says “I have to go to the spa now.”  And when you really think about it, you are fortunate to have the ability to go out for a walk.

2. You could swap “I should” with “I want to,” or “I could.”  How many times do you think you should do something?  “I should eat better,” is different than, “I want to eat better,” if you actually want to eat better.  Again, “should” implies that an external force is making you do something that you don’t really want to do.  If you’re not quite ready for “I want to,” what about “I could?” That at least puts you back in the driver’s seat to making a choice.

3. You could switch “I can’t” or “I shouldn’t” for “I choose not to.” For example, if you’re out at a dinner party and someone offers you some chocolate cheesecake, you can either think, “I can’t eat that,” or “I choose not to eat that.”  In the latter thought, you’re acknowledging you have power over your decision because you could eat that, but are actively deciding not to.  And, on the other hand, if you choose to have the cheesecake, you are making that choice.

Acknowledging that you have a choice is simple and very powerful.  However, remembering to actually change the words you choose is not always easy.  Experiment with it, and try to pay attention to your words (if you want to).  By choosing different words, you get to impact your outlook on daily tasks and dramatically improve the enjoyment of your day.

 

Tanja Shaw is a supportive health and fitness coach, Rotarian, passionate entrepreneur, mom, runner, and owner of Ascend Fitness Inc.  Tanja and her team of expert fitness coaches inspire and educate Chilliwack residents to make positive and power changes in their lives through physical fitness and sound nutrition.  Visit Tanja  at www.ascendfitnesscoaching.com and www.tanjashaw.com.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Federal government contributing nearly $4 million to First Nations community centre

The S.A.Y. Health and Community Centre will be built on a piece of land off Chilliwack River Road

Chilliwack fire crews extinguish blaze in mobile office unit

Crews from 3 halls were out in the early hours of Sunday morning to put out the fire on Railway Ave

PHOTOS: Historic look at Chilliwack activities we are missing in the pandemic

Images from the Chilliwack Museum & Archives show sporting events everyone hopes to get back to soon

VIDEO: Car goes off Highway 1 and into a ditch in Chilliwack

Eastbound vehicle left the highway ending in the ditch on south side of Luckakuck Way

Emergency crews respond to ATV rollover near Harrison

ATV rolled over on or near Harrison East Forest Service Road near Harrison Hot Springs

B.C. accommodators need phone lines to light up as in-province travel given green light

Travel restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic have decimated the tourism and hospitality industries

300 Cache Creek residents on evacuation alert due to flood risk as river rises

Heavy rainfall on Canada Day has river rising steadily, threatening 175 properties

Friends, family remember victim of Langley possible triple-homicide fire at memorial

Memorial held for one the of three found dead at a house fire in Langley Meadows last month

Fraser Valley Bandits, CEBL bringing pro sports back later this month

Abbotsford-based basketball team kicks off CEBL Summer Series on July 26

Family and friends mark birthday of teen who died after being discovered in Langley park

Carson Crimeni suffered an apparent drug overdose, his final moments broadcast on social media

First glimpse of Canada’s true COVID-19 infection rate expected mid-July

At least 105,000 Canadians have tested positive for COVID-19 since the coronavirus was identified

Semi and BMW collide on South Surrey highway

At least one person to hospital, both vehicles sustained significant damage

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Migrant workers stage multi-city action for full status amid COVID-19 risks

‘COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis’

Most Read