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?