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Chris LoCurto


January 23, 2012

I Plan To Do That

January 23, 2012 | By | 27 Comments">27 Comments

Here is a great post by Joel Fortner. Not only is he one of the top commenters on, but he’s also a great blogger. You can guest post as well! Read how to here.

Do you know how I can tell that I will actually do the thing I’m talking about? By the words I use. In particular, by the verbs I choose. Why? Because the words we use are indicators of our true intentions at the time.

For example, you’re at a party talking with someone. They finish telling you about their new business and you say, “I plan to do that some time.” It’s not going to happen. If you are reading a book about the power of goal setting, and you think, I should do that,  you won’t.

In my experience, “planning to,” “I should” and “I may” are a far cry from “I will” or “I’m going to.” The latter expressions indicate action. They’re words of commitment. They’re words we use when we’ve emotionally decided to act. Yes, emotionally.

The Bible says, “But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart.” (NKJV) Do you get that? From the heart. Anytime we decide to tackle something important, it’s emotional. We put our heart on the line.

I often tell the story of when I decided to get out of debt. My wife and I were dating, and I was standing in her kitchen, stressed out. We were chatting about money, which was quite common considering she worked for Dave Ramsey at the time. During our talk, I remember thinking for probably the ninety-sixth time, Where is all of my money going? And I got mad!

After years of making dumb financial decisions, including financing a BMW I couldn’t afford followed by financing my dog, I finally got emotional enough to do something about it. I immediately canceled my credit cards, cut them up, roughed out a budget and wound up making 18 months’ worth of car payments in five months.

On that day in her kitchen, I sidelined thought and put my heart in the game. I traded in “should” for “will.”

The words we use are powerful. I never would have paid off the car early by “planning to” do it. This year, I encourage you to tackle your goals from the heart. If necessary, get mad. Use words that build the bond between you and whatever it is you want to achieve. Make this year the year of “will.”

Question: Has changing the way you talk about something changed the result?

  • Laura Johnson

    I grew up as such an extreme introvert that most of what I say, does happen. (I’ve gone through a huge process, over a period of time, in my head before the words come out) What I have noticed through observation…. People who say “I should” or “I plan to” or even “I will some day” and don’t follow through on hardly anything, get mad when others ask them about those things. I think it does reflect a bit on the person’s growth in the areas of responsibility, commitment, and self-discipline.
    btw, Joel, love how you shared your story :)

  • Misty

    YES! I find changing the way I talk in my head, changes the way I react and act. It starts on the inside and then comes out. You can’t fix one without the other. Thanks for the post Joel! Hope to hear more from you.

    • Misty Gilbert

      darn…didn’t log in first! ugh…

    • Joel Fortner

      You’re welcome! Glad you liked it.

  • Anonymous

    Perfect illustration: I “planned” to comment on this post yesterday and it never happened. Planning in my case is an excuse to make a mental note and feel like I did something without really accomplishing anything. I accomplish things better when there is that “from the gut” motivation: I can’t spend another day looking at the mail that has piled up on the counter, it bothers me that I haven’t phoned a friend, I’d rather tackle one pile of laundry today and not five on the weekend… And so on. I’m working on being intentional and being accountable. Thanks for this action- provoking post!

    • Joel Fortner

      You’re so welcome. It’s funny how we compete with ourselves.

  • Jon Stolpe

    I try to say “I get to do ______” instead of “I have to do _______.”

    Try it:
    I get to work with my team members. OR I have to work with my team members.

    I get to travel for work this week. OR I have to travel for work this week.

    Can you see how it sounds so much better one way as opposed to the other?

    • Joel Fortner

      Totally! Good suggestion.

  • Anonymous

    Several thoughts, Joel:
    1. The order of behavior is this: thoughts, words, actions, habits, character, destiny. Gotta control those thoughts! II Corinthians 10:5 says “we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ”.
    2. You financed your DOG? what kind of dog?
    3. “Should” might be one of the most irritating words in our language.
    4. Thank you for the inspirational words!

    • Joel Fortner

      1. Love this so much! Great verse choice!
      2. Yes. A puggle named Belle. She’s ridiculous.
      3. Agreed!
      4. Thank you for the thoughts!

      • http://www.SevenPillarsOfSuccess.Net Louise Thaxton

        I think you should write an entire blog post on financing your dog – That is hilarious!

        • Joel Fortner

          Yeah I’m a moron. Other people can definitely learn from the old me! Thank God for my wife and her influence on me. Now I’m a Dave nut!

          • Anonymous

            I like the Dave nut term. We attended FPU and we’re kind of nutty about it too! Glad your wife’s influence helped you and that you share what you’ve learned with all those dog-financing people out there :)

            • Joel Fortner

              Glad to help!

  • Uma Maheswaran S

    Very true, Joel! We need to intentional and conscious of acheiving our goals. And, journey of reaching our goals begins in our mind. We need to set the right attitude and right tone to commence that journey. The words “I will” and ” I am going to” reflect our perspective and prioritization towards our goal and it will be a great factor in deciding our success.

    • Joel Fortner

      Well said. Absolutely!

  • Anonymous

    Very good thoughts Joel. I notice in my life, it does matter if I say the “will’s and going to’s.” It is very much a commitment on your part.

    • Joel Fortner

      My wife is thankful I said, “I do.” =)

  • Loren Pinilis

    This is great, Joel!
    I think the words you say transform the way you think about your choices. Telling yourself that a choice is not an option leads to lots of determination.
    I think we also need to remind ourselves of the choices we’ve made. Motivation is an emotional fire from within, but so often it’s stoked by the simple, practical actions we take throughout the day.

    • Joel Fortner

      Amen! Man, you’re one with the words. Such a good writer.

      • http://www.SevenPillarsOfSuccess.Net Louise Thaxton

        I second that amen!

  • Jon Edlin

    Wow! You’re right…when I say “I will” do something instead of “I should” do it…I have made a commitment. I never thought of it that way! Great post!

    • Joel Fortner

      It even feels different! Thanks, Jon!

    • http://www.SevenPillarsOfSuccess.Net Louise Thaxton

      “I will ______________” is a powerful phrase isn’t it?!

      • Joel Fortner

        I will never finance another puggle!

  • Joel Fortner

    Thanks, Louise! On commitment, I think you’re dead on the mark.

  • http://www.SevenPillarsOfSuccess.Net Louise Thaxton

    GREAT post, Joel! And a great way to illustrate how powerful our words can be. I feel (at least for me) that many times we fear “commitment” so we say “I ‘plan’ to do that”. And if we don’t follow through, the ‘plan’ just didn’t work out. Instead of just using the words of commitment – “I WILL do that – and I will do that NOW!” THAT’s commitment.