One Word Swap That Will Boost Your Willpower

When you try to change a habit, how often do you say “I can’t have that” or “I can’t do that”? Believe it or not, that language could be sabotaging your results.

A study in the Journal of Consumer Research found that almost 80 percent of women successfully completed their workout plan for 10 days when they used the phrase “I don’t” instead of “I can’t.” By saying “I don’t skip workouts,” you’re putting yourself in a position of power and control. Your mind doesn’t feel deprived or annoyed; it just hears the fact and goes for it. Saying “I can’t skip workouts,” however, makes your brain feel resentful and irritated because the phrase makes you feel like you have no say in the matter.

This little trick can work with anything. Try it next time you’re having trouble sticking with a goal. “I don’t eat processed foods.” “I don’t sleep less than 7 hours a night.” I guarantee you’ll feel more empowered to make good choices the first time you try it.

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