One of the Christmas gifts I bought for myself this year (ahh, the joys of motherhood) was a 6-month set of Lara Casey’s Powersheets. I somehow stumbled upon Lara and her shop a year or so ago, probably from something Jess Connolly posted in Instagram. The Powersheets are an awesome tool to help people with intentional goal setting and achieving big goals by staying on task and taking action each month. You all might remember my post about goal setting a couple months ago…it is definitely something I am trying to be better at and now that I don’t really have anyone else to report my goals to I thought I would give the Powersheets a try. I do love them so far and am excited to see how the first couple of months go.
There is one quote in the Powersheets workbook that I have a bit of a hard time with, though. Lara says “There is nothing magical about January 1st.” I understand why she says that. Basically, she is trying to convey to the reader that goal setting isn’t something that you have to start at the beginning of the year. You can set goals and decide to start fresh any day throughout the year. She is reminding us that we are the masters of our own destiny. The changes we want to make in our lives, the dreams we want to achieve…none of that will happen unless we start working towards them TODAY.
Like I said, I get all that. However, I do feel that there is something magical about January 1st (besides it being my mother-in-law’s birthday). The end of the calendar year is hectic for most people. Between the holidays, the extra shopping, the trying to beat traffic, the shorter days, the unending to-do lists, everyone is always so busy. It can be stressful and exhausting. And once it is all over, we are faced with the turning of the new year. One can’t help but think of the blank slate that lies ahead and dream up some ways that life might be different for the next 12 months.
And so, whether you have already set your sights on the new year or you’re just now thinking of goals you might like to set, I have a list of six words you should consider removing from your vocabulary in 2016. I’m planning on doing this myself and I have already felt just a little more positive.
Resolution: Notice how I didn’t use this word at all in my commentary above? It was a real struggle, I’ll be honest. We’ve been programmed to think about our resolutions whenever we hear the words “new year.” The turn of the year is a dream for so many businesses. Just convince people that they need to make a new year’s resolution and then provide the product to help them reach that resolution. Gym memberships skyrocket this month. Fitness attire is super discounted right now.
Unfortunately, our society has also come to believe that a resolution is a temporary commitment. We’re led to believe that resolutions are meant to be broken. Can’t seem to keep up through February whatever you committed to do in January? It’s no problem, you weren’t really expected to anyway. And there’s probably a product out there to help you with the fact you weren’t able to keep it.
Instead of saying you have resolutions for the year, you could use other words like “commitments” (that’s my new favorite word) or “goals.” If you want to get serious about keeping your intentions for the year, you could call them “promises.”
Diet: Speaking of words associated with temporary things, let’s talk about the word diet. After all the crazy delicious food and overload of sweets that always seem to accompany the holiday season, it’s no wonder that losing weight in the new year is one of the top (if not the top) goals people make every year. Unfortunately, just like the associations with the word “resolution,” it appears that society has made the word “diet” a temporary thing. Saying that you are on a diet means that you are making changes in your eating habits to reach a certain weight goal. That’s great, but my follow up question would be what are you going to do once you hit that weight goal? You’ll need to maintain it, otherwise you might find yourself slipping.
Now, you might take one look at my picture and think that I am in no place to start talking about diets and whatnot, but hear me out. Relationship with food is a very personal thing and everyone deals with it differently. I have had the tendency to eat a lot of junk food and processed foods in the past and while the effect might not show outwardly I usually have lower energy and feel sick often. My biggest weakness is breakfast…and Nutella. And it’s typically Nutella (on toast or with a banana) for breakfast. And coffee, coffee, coffee. Last year I felt a real difference in how I felt throughout the day after what I ate for breakfast so this year I’m making the commitment to be healthier throughout the day, but especially during that meal.
That’s just it. If you want to look healthier and (most importantly) feel healthier, it is going to require a lifestyle change, not a diet.
With that being said, I’m all for looking into different diets and programs. Those programs are successful for a reason but if you can tweak your thinking away from using these plans to lose weight and think of them as ways to help establish good eating habits, that small shift will go a long way.
This year I’m making the commitment to establish better eating habits, especially at breakfast. Less processed food, more real food. If getting healthier is on your list for 2016, too, I suggest staying away from the word “diet” and embracing phrases like “healthy habits.” Small change, big mental difference.
Maybe: When I think about this word, I think about Facebook invites. The dreaded “Maybe” response, where either they may or may not make your event but have decided they can’t commit one way or the other. Either that, or they know they really won’t be able to make it but are afraid of saying “no.” I’m 100% guilty of this.
Let’s get rid of the “maybe” in our lives this year. Not only will this help us be more assertive, but it will also help us be more honest about our limitations with our friends and family.
Try: A couple of years ago my husband came back from a work training and stated that he was going to stop saying that he would try to do things. Instead, he would just do them. It was a small change in his vocabulary, but it made a huge impact on how he carried himself. I have worked to implement it as well. It goes along the same lines as saying “maybe.” Also, because Yoda says so.
But: I want to stop using “but” because it tends to discount whatever you’re trying to say in the first place. I guess I don’t use it very often to begin with; however, whenever I do use it or hear others use it, it sounds like an excuse and makes the first statement not nearly as strong as it should be.
“I know, but…”
“I love you, but…”
“I’m sorry, but…”
If you do need to qualify something you are saying, trying using another word like “however” or “yet” or “still.” Those words will get the point across and perhaps you’ll use them a little more intentionally.
Stupid: Growing up we were not allowed to say this word, so this one might just be a personal preference. Because we weren’t allowed to say it, it never really has become part of my vocabulary and I am grateful for that. If you are saying something, or somebody, is stupid, it’s a put down. When it is said, it is meant to be an insult or not nice. If you are going to put down something or someone, it better be for a good reason. And if it is a good reason, then for heaven’s sake use something a little more creative or intentional like “foolish” or “obtuse.” Or, follow on the footsteps of one of my good friends and come up with some well crafted Shakespearean insults. :)
What do you guys think? Agree or disagree? Anything I left out? I’d love to hear. Post a comment or shoot us a message any time. :)
Til next time,