Change Your Words, Change Your Life

Part 1: The power of one little word swap

AM Costanzo
Jul 1 · 4 min read

If you really want to change your life, accomplish more, improve your situation, then you need to begin speaking differently. The power your words and thoughts hold is immense, affecting more in your world than you give it credit.

This is powerful stuff I’m about to lay down, so make sure the kids are occupied and I have your full attention. This is serious stuff and it’s going to change how you go about reaching your goals, for-ev-vah!

Step 1: Pay Attention

I want you, going forward, to be as real as you can with yourself. When the time comes to get something done, to make a change and to follow through, I want you to listen very closely to how you speak to yourself.

When you totally decide to give it your all — and you know those moments, you’re inspired, you’re pumped, you’re totally enthusiastic and you can take on the world — I want you to pay attention to what you say.

But not right away. Wait about a week, maybe two weeks later. Notice what’s happening.

I bet your enthusiasm is waning a bit. You’re no longer as pumped or psyched to get on with crushing your goals. And a little word has started creeping in and quietly begins to take over.

All of a sudden you start saying “I should” a lot more and you’re beginning to “I should” everything for one reason or another.

I should really go for a run today but…

I should make dinner but…

I should take the stairs up instead of the elevator but…

I should really be eating a salad instead of this pizza but…

The overwhelm of following through is beginning to take hold. It’s beginning to become too much. You’re starting to crack.

Ok, deep breaths, in and out. Don’t let the overwhelm paralyze you. Don’t let it pull you back down. Now is the time to dig your heels further into the ground, and re-commit to your goals.

This is where you begin to change your internal dialogue.

Step 2: Change One Word

I want you, from this point on, to rephrase your sentences.

Instead of starting out by saying “I should…” which is defeatist, and undermining, I want you to replace that with on little swap.

Say “I won’t

Now we’re being honest, brutally honest. Let that sink in for a moment.

Because “should” has the power to make you feel like you’re less than, not good enough, and unworthy, but by saying “I won’t…” you’re owning your situation. You’re actually giving yourself power.

Should is a disempowering word and we’d all be better off striking it from our vocabulary.

It’s like telling ourselves, Well yes, I know what I want and I know what’s involved in getting there, but I’m not going to do what it takes because it’s proving to be too difficult and I can’t do it.

Stop “Shoulding” Yourself

So now instead of saying, “I should work out today, I should make the time”, you say, “I won’t work out today, I won’t make the time.”

Now you’re calling it like it is. How does that feel?

It stops the conversation in its tracks. You just delivered to yourself a dose of brutal honesty.

It’s time to get real and to own your sh*t so you can realize that maybe the true reason why things aren’t happening the way you wanted or expected them to is because of the words you’re using and the effect they’re having on you.

That one-word change puts the onus exactly where it needs to be, right on YOU!

I’ve used this word swap on myself and it doesn’t make me feel good when I say to myself, “I won’t workout today.” Or “I won’t get up early to get work done before the kids get up.

Then what am I to do if I don’t do those things? How am I going to go about getting the things done that I want to get done?

Maybe there are other solutions, or maybe we realize that we do indeed have to do the uncomfortable things to get what we want from life.

The end result here is that by being brutally honest with yourself can you then put yourself in the driver’s seat and begin to navigate a new path to your goals.

Words are power. Remember that. They can lift you up or they can literally knock you off your feet. When you begin to take ownership for what’s going on in your world and stop making excuses, then you can begin to really make the changes that you want to see happen.

So tell me, will you try this out? Will you find out if it’s helpful for you? If so, please let me know in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you!


This is my first post in a three post-mini-series on how to create a powerful mindset so you can learn strategies that can take you from where you are now, to where you want to be. These strategies can help you go from 20 lbs overweight to being happy and confident in your body. It can help you to stop making excuses to taking action every single day.

Project Slim Waistline

Intertwining fitness, nutrition, and a powerful mindset to help you create a healthier lifestyle

AM Costanzo

Written by

Weight Loss & Health Coach, Personal Trainer, imperfect mommy, compassionate listener, purveyor of building inner strength, foodie! www.amcostanzo.com

Project Slim Waistline

Intertwining fitness, nutrition, and a powerful mindset to help you create a healthier lifestyle