If you want to set yourself up to meet goals and change your life, you may want to consider that what you say matters.

For instance, let’s discuss going to the gym.

When you embark on a new healthy-living initiative to get active and are discussing that with your coworkers, friends or family, here’s how your answer can make a difference.

The phrase that degrades: “I decided to join the gym.”

Why this holds you back: You’ve just hinted that a process of some kind that led you to action. Depending on who’s listening, the person you’re speaking to may now feel he or she has the right to question your decision-making process, putting you in a position of having to defend your reasoning for something that you might privately worry won’t get the results you want.

The phrase that empowers: “I chose to join the gym.”

Here’s why this response gives you power: You’ve made a declaration, which commands respect. It also leaves the outcome (the gym) – rather than the process – open to question, and you can present all the positive aspects of the gym, or whatever your choice is.

And just like that, with the right word choice, you’ve improved your chances of having success.