You know this. You know that there’s a big difference between saying to your toddler…
“You can’t do anything right.”
“Whoops! That’s not right. Let’s try again.”
That’s why it’s important to remember this when you’re talking about yourself too.
The words you use can truly have a huge impact on whether you reach your fitness goals or find yourself – yet again – wondering why you can’t just do the things you say you want to do.
If it feels like you’re constantly saying “I don’t know why I can’t just exercise more!” then it’s time to make some changes.
And the most simple place to start is to change how you talk.
Here’s what I mean.
Instead of saying, “I’m trying to exercise more.” Try, “I love feeling strong! I strength train 3 days a week.”
Rather than, “I’m hoping to get outside for a walk today.” Go for, “Walking helps me de-stress and just get a break. I go for a morning or evening walk at least 3 days a week.”
In place of, “I bought a gym membership so here’s hoping I actually go enough times to make it worth it.” Opt for, “It’s so important to me that I stop putting my own needs on the back burner. That’s why I bought a gym membership at that place with the great childcare so I can go workout without being constantly needed. I’m going tomorrow morning.”
Replace, “I just can’t seem to find the time.” With, “I want to exercise. It’s important to me. I’m going to look at my calendar and make it happen this week.”
These may seem like minor changes and surface fluff that won’t really make an impact on your results, but habit research suggests that these small shifts in how you talk about yourself can actually make a big impact.
The key difference is that one way of speaking makes it something you’re trying to do, the other version makes it more about who you are.
Instead of saying “I’m trying to workout more” it’s like you’re saying “fitness is a part of who I am so I make it a priority.”
Because in order to become a healthier, stronger, happier person you need to adopt being a healthy, stronger, happier person as part of your identity.
It’s not something you’ll do someday. It’s someone you are. Right now.
It doesn’t matter if this is day one, you’re just starting out, you haven’t even picked up a weight since you gave birth 5 months ago.
Today is the day. No time like the present. Up and at ’em.
You get to decide who you are and that means that you get to decide if your identity revolves around constantly wishing you were more active, or being that active mom you’ve been waiting to become.
No one is naturally motivated to do all the things, all the time.
But the people who have the easiest time making fitness a priority are the ones who adopt fitness as part of their identity.
Being active is who they are, not something they hope they’ll do.
So pay attention to your language.
Choose words that reflect the kind of person you want to be (not the person you think you should be – this isn’t about forcing yourself to be someone you don’t actually want to be. It’s about recognizing what goals are important to you – like working out more – and adopting the language that can help make those goals a reality).
This may seem overly simple – and it is.
But the truth is that being a healthier, more active person doesn’t typically happen because of one big event.
You don’t wake up one day and overnight you’ve become a totally different person.
It happens because of tiny habits that pop up day, after day.
Like how you speak to yourself and about yourself.
The words you use once may not change your life.
But the words you use over, and over, and over again will.
So do yourself a favor and choose words that help you become more of the person you would love to be.
P.S. Did you like this post? Please share it with your friends – especially the ones who constantly say things like, “I wish I could just workout more!”
Jordan Richardson says
Really needed this. My son is now 15 months and it has been a struggle since day one with his sleep. He’s just not a sleeper. Some nights are much worse than others. But all nighter or up for at least 5 hours is very common and the regressions almost killed me. So getting back in shape after him just never happened and I have kicked myself everyday about it and I began to just say it won’t happen. But the last 3 weeks I’ve really tried to get moving and eat better. Thanks again for the reminder of how powerful our words are!
Jenna Dalton says
I hear you, Jordan. Lack of sleep is such a hard reality that impacts everything! Please don’t beat yourself up for not exercising as much as you wanted to. Motherhood is hard enough without the lack of sleep! I hope things are at least a bit better now and he’s sleeping more, so you can can sleep more. I’m glad you’re taking some steps to get back into things. Remember, we do the best we can with the time and energy we have. Keep doing your best. You’ve got this. 💜