Leadership Nudge® 371 – Say I Don’t Not I Can’t

January 19, 2022by Sandy Wilmer

Changing behavior and keeping resolutions can be hard. Watch David explain how using different words can help.


Hey everybody! Hope you’re doing well. Happy New Year! I’ve got something to help you maintain a New Year’s resolution, or just be able to maintain your resolutions or change habits easier. And the trick is that when either talking to yourself or to others you say “I don’t” do something as opposed to “I can’t” do something. So figure for example, let’s say you’re doing dry January. Say, “I don’t drink.” It’s better than “I can’t drink.” Studies show that people who say “I don’t” do something will have more stick to it and more maintenance of the resolution than people who say “I can’t.” Why? Here’s what’s going on. When I say “I don’t,” it’s intrinsic. It’s coming from within. It’s more powerful. “I can’t” is – “Oh, some external force is preventing me from . . .”, “Oh, I can’t drink” versus “I don’t drink.” Plus, when you say I can’t do something, people could argue with you. “Oh, I can’t go to that meeting.” “Oh, yeah, you can.” “Oh, I can’t do that.” “Yeah, you can.” It’s “Look, I don’t go to that kind of meeting.” Who could argue with that? So if you want to maintain something, empower yourself with” I don’t do it” versus” I can’t do it.” And it’s okay to say it out loud when talking to others. I’m David Marquet. That’s your Leadership Nudge. I’d love to learn from you guys what you’re deciding to do better for the new year. So far, I’ve heard things like not push the snooze button, stop drinking, drink less, lots of dietary and health things. But hope all goes well.

Sandy Wilmer

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Intent-Based Leadership International, LLC • 1435 E. Venice Ave #104-173 • Venice, FL 34292 • +1.941.408.0311

Intent-Based Leadership International, LLC • 1435 E. Venice Ave #104-173 • Venice, FL 34292 • +1.941.408.0311

Intent-Based Leadership International, LLC • 1435 E. Venice Ave #104-173 • Venice, FL 34292 • +1.941.408.0311