Closed September 2017

What NOT To Say in the New Year

Womanscolding2 I talk to myself all the time. Admit it, you do too! Even if you don't do it out loud, you do it in your head. Sometimes that voice in your head is a much meaner voice than the audible one.

I want everyone to start the new year by thinking about how important language is to your improvement efforts. I just noticed that someone joined our online program and chose a username that was very negative, and it made me sad. I almost wanted to write to her personally to ask if she would change it… basically this person labeled herself AS something that she is trying to change. I won't embarrass the person, but imagine if you were trying to quit smoking and you called yourself "2packsaday."

Please do not label yourself with something permanent that actually is a variable thing that is within your control! The trick is catching yourself saying things that don't support your efforts and–right then– reframing and restating that to something that DOES support you.

DO THIS! For real! Remember when Willy Wonka said, "Wait a minute! Strike that, reverse it" ? (YouTube clip of him saying that here at 30 seconds in) Seriously, stop and change your language right in the moment, even if it's only in your head. Otherwise you won't break the habit.

So, instead of "2packsaday," make your username be "formersmoker." In our program, you could call yourself something like "organizedsally" or "alicetakescontrol".

Instead of "I'm just a disorganized person, I'm a mess," STOP and say "I am improving my organizing skills."

Instead of "I'll never be as organized as that person," STOP and say "I'm practicing being organized in a way that works for me." 

Instead of "I always forget to pay my bills," STOP and say "sometimes" or "often."  

When we speak in these negative absolutes we make it impossible to believe in change.

If you don't believe you can change, you won't. It's kind of like saying, "I'll Try…" (Just wrote about this sneaky little word "try" last week.)

I've quoted this before and I will quote it again:

Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.

– Author Unknown

So, if any of our members want to change their names, you can contact us on our form and we'll help you do that. You can tell us, "Wait a minute! Strike that, reverse it."

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go talk to myself. We have an appointment.  🙂

Follow me on Twitter for my Daily #ClutterTweetTip:, and see our weekly #ClutterVideoTip on YouTube at

If you are not reading this on, in your own RSS reader, or via an Amazon Kindle subscription, this content most likely is being used without the author's permission and is violating copyright law. Please do not support these scraper sites!


Janet K

You are the best! For years I called myself a terrible cook. I did this because I saw friends and neighbors who had learned more cooking skills as young women than I had. I finally got tired of hearing myself use that label and took a hard look at whether or not I was really that bad. I wasn’t. Not even close. I am no gourmet, but after 15 years of cooking for my family on most nights I have a very nice menu of dishes I can serve that taste good and don’t come out of a cereal box ;-)I’ll never love cooking like some of my friends, (but I do love baking) but I am here to say *I CAN COOK!*


Lorie, thanks for sharing. I am a mom of 5 teens to tots. Including twins. And wow let me tell you there are days. I wonder how I fit everything in. I always refer to myself as the “disorganzed mom.” But in all reality. Having three boys under 4. I have become more organized. My time, our things the childrens toys and clothes. Much better than I used to be. It just takes me 10x longer to do it that’s all. And I often do find myself discouraged that when I start to tackle an area, I can’t always complete it in a day. Like organizing my pantry the other day here I am on day 3 and finally looking like the finish line is near. But what an amazing transformation. I love the new look and confidence. Seeing my efforts and how much better I feel for doing it. I have found showing my family the results and having thier support and praise makes it so much more worthwhile.


I heard someone say that we have to tell our brain what to think some days because it doesn’t always know what to do. It’s funny but also genius. So, tell yourself what to think each day! My new mantra, “I am a happy, focused, organized person. I can handle anything that comes my way.” With three small children, a full time job, a long commute, husband, house, and complicated extended family, I don’t always feel that way but the mantra has definitely helped me through some tough moments. If you believe it, it is true.


I just finished reading Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life by Martin Seligman, which provides step-by-step instructions (and reinforcement)on how to follow Lorie’s excellent ideas this week. A must read!! Lorie, thanks for your help in starting the year off right!


I find this website VERY helpful (and, Lorie, I love your videos: music, little arrows with info on Goodwill donations and ending upbeat message). On positive affirmations, I recommend Louise Hay – You Can Change Your Life and The Power is Within You. Her affirmation which I have made mine: “As I unclutter my life, I free myself to answer the calling of my soul.”


Great post. Thoughts and words affect so many things. I know that changing thoughts is one of the focuses of cognitive behavioral therapy in psychology.

Lorie Marrero

YES!!! I am SO HAPPY to read these comments! Also at least one of our members of our program has written already to change her username– she reversed it. 🙂 My heart sings!
And Susan– wow– “As I unclutter my life, I free myself to answer the calling of my soul.”
Speechless. Humbling. Wow.
– Lorie

Eva Wallace

I’ve heard it said that what you focus on is what you gravitate toward. If we focus on negative that is what our life becomes! I’m working hard on breaking this habit now. Look at each area of your life with new eyes – the negative thoughts become habit to the point that we don’t know they are there! Find them and reverse them! Thanks Lorie!

Bernadette Black

Hi Lorie,
As I read your post I started to say is she talking about me? Sometimes it’s hard to be positive b/c I feel so behind – but if Susan does not mind I would like to use her quote and post it in my trouble spots to keep me positive! “As I unclutter my life, I free myself to answer the calling of my soul.”
(Louise Hay)
Thank you Lorie and Susan!
Bernadette Black


Leave a Reply

ParadeRachael RayInStyleCNBCFast CompanyThe Boston GlobeWomen's DayWGNToday