I am entering into my last couple of months of my twenties and I often find myself living for others in order to not feel guilty, instead of just living for me. While there is a very popular book out there called the Year of yes, which I have not read it, I am doing the exact opposite I am having a year of no.
Not that I will say no to everything but I will NOT say yes to everything, like I currently do. And when I do find myself saying no I am going to be honest. I am not going to try to make up excuses. I just really need to focus a bit on me this year and making sure that I am happy and living my life for me.
I was talking to my friend Candace this week and often as bloggers we will choose a word for the year and write about it encouraging our readers to do the same. She asked me my word and I thought about it and a half second later I said my word is “no.” She immediately got it and gave me the best advice.
“You have put your air mask on first. On airplanes, they always tell you that you need to put your own mask on BEFORE helping others, even your child...because if you don't make sure you are cared for, you will become a liability to others in the end. No is a good choice!”
How am I going to do this?
Know where I’m at mentally
Is my plate full? Is my tank almost empty? Have moments where I check in with myself. Being aware of my mood, sleep and workload is a good thing. It can help create balance in my life and realize when I need a moment to pause.
Don’t shut people out…Compromise
Saying no is a balance. You can’t always say no to seeing your friends or family. Often times my friends will want to meet out for dinner, a movie or shopping. I will almost always say yes which can push my budget a bit or take me away from my warm and cozy house. So ask myself why do I not want to go? Is it because I don’t want to go out or to spend the money? Do I want to see these people? When I figure out why I want to say no I can say no but I can also offer another solution that might fit me better. Like why don’t you guys come over?
What are my priorities at the moment? Does this fit into them? Now this can apply both to your professional and personal life. Prioritize your jobs before saying yes to new projects and be aware of your timelines. Also prioritize your life. Where does my kitchen renovation fall in terms of priorities over spending time with friends or offering to host thanksgiving? Where does rest and relaxation fall in all this? Where do you strike the right balance? And maybe you don’t know but there is only one way to find out.
Alternative ways to say no
Funny enough Candace sent me this article today on 50 ways to say no from Claire Diaz-Ortiz. Here are a few of my favorites.
Apologies, but I can’t make it. – It’s polite enough that maybe they won’t ask questions
Maybe another time. – Offering the promise of I do want to hang out with you but just not right now.
Thanks, but no thanks.- I think this might be the equivalent it’s not you it’s me.
I’m not taking on new things.- Will this work in my professional life? Maybe I’ll give it a whirl.
Just a simple No can also suffice.
So this year if I tell you no, know that I am coming from a place of saying yes to myself. Making sure that my tank is full before worrying about yours. It’s my time to be a little selfish. This year I want to not be over extended, not be run down, I want to focus on making my house a home, concentrating on healthy relationships and truly finding happiness whether it be with my friendships, my family, my passions or in love. So please do not take it personally.