The Power of “And” Statements on Habit Change


In a few months time we will all be wishing each other “Happy New Year!”

And 2024 is going to be different, right?

You are going to get up earlier.  You are going to eat 3 fresh home cooked meals a day.  You are going to make it to the gym 3x a week.  You are going to meditate 1 hour a day.

We’ve all seen this movie before, haven’t we?  We know the ending and it usually is a sad one.

The initial will to change is there, but then why don’t those new behaviors stick?

Taking action towards a goal requires bravery, no doubt.

Maintaining action, however, requires a whole new framework for interacting with yourself and the world.

Given that willpower will only last so long to keep you motivated towards a goal, you’ll need to build skills and practices that can help you sustain action.

The Power of “And”

Failure is part of life and while our greatest loses and mistakes are our greatest teachers, how we speak to ourselves during those painful or discouraging times matters.

Building a mindset that is tough and resilient requires self-compassion, first and foremost.

Treating yourself with kindness allows you to bounce back from defeat, get back on the horse, and keep moving down a positive path.

A simple way to begin shifting your mindset in this way is turning away from “but…” statements to “and…” statements.

“But…” statements are like wet blankets dampening the joy and wonder of a new journey.

Examples of “but…” statements:

I started running today, but I was so slow.”

“I am ready to start lifting weights, but I can’t go to the gym because people will judge how out of shape I am.

I gave that big presentation at work, but it sucked.”

Not very forgiving, these “but…” statements.  Here’s how we can transform them and your mindset by using “and…” statements.

“I started running today AND I got one step closer to my new goal!

“I am ready to start lifting weights AND the gym is MY space and time to work on ME!”

“I gave that big presentation at work AND I showed myself I can prepare and execute something difficult!”


Big transformations happen after the accumulation of little daily habit changes.  Start small, earn those tiny victories, AND you’ll arrive at your goal sooner than you think!

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