A good reminder from James Clear on a simple shift in language that can help with healthy eating and with moving our ‘locus of control’ from external to more internal. When we say “I can’t”, we are using externally focused language – something is preventing us. When we say “I don’t”, we are making a choice – an internally focused choice.
I’ve used this latter language successfully for a number of years. When I go out during the week, my standard response to being offered a drink is “Thanks, I don’t drink (alcohol) Monday to Thursday”. It’s both a habit – I don’t even think about it – and it’s a healthy life choice.
Now I could take it even further, from negative to positive. Instead of saying what I don’t do – drink alcohol – I could say what I do. I could say “I abstain”, or perhaps “I drink water Monday to Thursday”, to make it easier for my hosts to know what to serve me.
The learning about helpful language is ongoing.