As you may already know, I am a big fan of a well-placed "f-bomb" and I'm fairly unapologetic about it. But there are words that I've become much more careful about using and they may not be what you think.
Here's a list of the top 3 "bad words" that I try to avoid:
There's no such thing as everyone when it comes to health and wellness. We are biologically diverse individuals and one woman's paleo diet is another woman's plant-based diet. There are a ton of resources for exploring all the different health and wellness options out there but it can be overwhelming when headlines are telling you what you need to do to be healthy, especially when the information is contradictory. Do you need to eat 6 small meals a day or stick to 3 square meals and avoid snacking? It all depends on what works for you and what makes your body feel good.
While I do encourage all my clients to eliminate processed foods and sugar, I also encourage experimenting with different ways of eating to see what resonates with their own bodies. I often recommend trying an elimination program like the Whole30, which is a structured 30-day plan that leaves out common inflammatory foods like dairy, grains and legumes and all added sugars. I like it because you don't have to purchase any additional shakes or supplements and there are lots of support forums and recipe ideas available, from the Whole30 website to Instagram. After the 30 days are up you slowly and deliberately reintroduce foods and see how your body reacts. It's a great reboot for your system and as a bonus it teaches you how to pay attention to what you are eating in a whole new way.
You can also work with a health coach or a doctor to create your own personal elimination program based on how you currently eat and go from there. Discovering what foods are potentially inflammatory can take a while so be patient and keep tuning inwards instead of outwards for your answers. What you will end up with is an eating plan that is perfect you even if it isn't exactly what everyone else is doing.
Everyone can also be a bad word in terms of how it shows up in our minds. Listening to that little voice in our head saying things like "I can't do that! What would everyone think?" can prevent us from following our true passions and leave us standing at a crossroads in a state of overwhelm. Interestingly enough though, it turns out that the everyone in our minds is often just one or a few specific key players like a parent, your high school basketball coach or your great aunt Sally. Getting clear on who your everyone is a great way to start dissolving any invisible barriers or limiting beliefs that might be keeping you stuck in place or in unhealthy patterns.
You may have heard the term, "Don't should all over yourself." That's because words like should, (and her sisters have to and need to) can keep you frustrated and full of resentment. The good news is that learning to replace should with choose to or want to can be pretty simple and very liberating. It's helpful to remember that how we respond to everything is always our own choice. You don't pay your electric bill just because you should. You choose to pay it so that your electricity doesn't get turned off. And you don't go to work every day because you have to. You choose to go to work everyday to earn money so that you have food, clothing, shelter and everything in between. We make choices based on our values and our wants. It's as simple as that. Try changing your shoulds to want to's or choose to's. Instead of saying "I should go to the gym today," try "I want to go to the gym today" or even "I intend to go to the gym today." Notice how different they feel? Calling your shoulds what they really are is both empowering and eye-opening.
What is it about inserting the word just into sentences where it really doesn't belong? "Just checking in" "or "Just following up" are things that many people, especially women, say on the regular. It's almost like we are apologizing for something that needs no apology. Plus, when you start paying attention to the "J word" you will notice that men don't use it nearly as often as women. Ladies, it’s time to lose the 'justs' and simply check in if we feel like checking in or follow up if we want to follow up. We are strong and competent and it's time our language reflected that!
Bottom line: words are powerful and can change the energy and feeling around the things we say and do, so as we ease into 2017, see what happens when you watch your language. It's a simple but powerful shift.