We’re all overwhelmed with so much to do and craving more simplicity in our lives. We are overextended, exhausted and have way too much on our plates at any given time.
Technology has given us both advantages and disadvantages. We have nearly anything we want at our beck and call at any point in time.
Saying no and setting boundaries and limits to where we spend our time, energy and money can create the space we’re craving.
Saying no sounds simple
It seems like saying a simple 2 letter word would be easy, yet it’s so hard for so many of us. The reason being that no is often tied to relationship and connection. We worry about how our “no” is going to impact the people around us.
But here’s the thing…
For every yes you are saying you are saying no to something else.
You better be sure that you’re using your yes’s and no’s wisely. Because while it may feel simpler and easier to say yes to an opportunity that comes your way, you ARE saying no to something else by saying that yes.
Saying yes and no is all about intention. It’s about knowing your priorities. Knowing what means the most to you and making decisions that align with those priorities.
So how do we take the sting out of saying no?
Set your priorities and intentions
What matters the most to you?
You have to know what your priorities are in order to give your time to the thing that matter most. Spend time thinking through these. Really allow yourself to evaluate what you want your life to be made up of. At the end of the day or the end of your life, what do you want it to be marked by?
You also need to write these down so that you can see them and they are concrete. It’s easy to think we know what our priorities are but never actually have them visible in front of us. This step IS important.
Start saying no to small things
Start with things that don’t matter much but give you the opportunity to stretch the no muscle. Saying no to people or responsibilities that create a burden on someone else are going to be the most difficult. So don’t start there!
Not everyone is going to be okay with your no. Other people are going to have different priorities. They may have expectations of you based upon their own priorities and ideas. Ultimately, their expectations of you are up to them, not up to you. You are responsible for yourself and what you do with your time and how you delegate it towards your priorities.
Acknowledge that saying no can be uncomfortable but as time goes on and you stretch this no muscle, it will get easier. As you start to say no more often, you will begin to build momentum.
I started with a saying no to a few simple things I was adding to my calendar like webinars and playdates but as I continued on, I realized how much freedom I was gaining and began to cut more and more from my calendar in order to create that space that I so desperately wanted. So much of my life is now focused on simplification and saying no to not only things on my calendar, but in my home and in my mind. (If you want to know how I started creating more space in my home, download my 5 Steps to Break Free From Clutter)
What you cut from your calendar is going to be different than what I’ve chosen to say no to because we all have different priorities. Don’t compare your calendar or life to someone else’s because at the end of the day, we all have different priorities.
Where can we say no
Calendar/Where we spend your time
Not every opportunity that comes your way needs to be on your calendar. Trust your gut, God, intuition, to determine whether not something needs to go on your calendar. Only add those “heck yes, I want to do this” things onto your calendar.
No matter how amazing something may seem, it doesn’t mean that it’s right for you.
A major strategy I use are calendar blocks. You can designate where your time is going to go by giving each chunk of time throughout your day a task. This allows you to be intentional about creating space for your priorities. Each priority or task has a block on your calendar designated for it.
What is your time worth?
No matter how hard it may seem to cut something from your calendar, it is possible. But you only have 24 hours in the day and you cannot get time back. So start seeing time as irreplaceable, and you’ll start to value it more.
Do you need to delegate things that don’t bring you joy and aren’t worth your time?
There is always an option to offload those tasks that don’t bring you joy, that don’t align with your priorities, or aren’t worth your time. Evaluate your calendar and schedule to determine which tasks you could hire out, trade out, or delegate.
Focus your energy. Use blocks of focused time without distraction to increase your productivity in certain times. Allow yourself to focus 100% of the time and give all your attention to the task you are focused on, whether that’s your kids, laundry, or the bills.
You not only save money but you create less clutter in your home by saying no to purchasing new things. Target and other stores make it super easy to buy random stuff that clutter your home and take money away from your bank account.
Each time you consider buying an item, weigh the value of the item against how purchasing it will impact your life and space. For instance, purchasing a new décor item will take money away from your vacation that is a priority for you but it will also need to be cleaned and take your time away from your family.
Think before purchase.
Sleep on your purchases at least 1 night to avoid impulse buys. T
Be intentional about saying no to the technology that is infilitrating your days. Say no to social media, your phone, or TV at certain times of the day.
Decrease the distraction of the technology in the evenings. Have intentional adventure days so that you can connect.
Set it aside for awhile. Even when the phone or technology is near you it drains your mental capacity.
We don’t need to be living with our phones all the time. Leave your phone in the car. Turn it off so that you can be fully present.
Saying no in your relationships can be the hardest places to say no. But it’s incredibly important for you to begin to distance yourself from the toxic relationships in your life.
You don’t have to completely cut off people in your life but you can begin to distance yourself from negativity that’s going to bring down your energy and your mindset.
If the relationships that are weighing you down are close family, seek professional help so that you can continue to move forward and protect your energy without completely cutting those people out of your life.
Say no comes out of making decisions based in your priorities. It is about aligning your life and the activities you are involved in because they truly matter to you. It’s about making decisions to direct your life and create the life you want now.
Saying no isn’t always easy. But trust me when I say this….it will give you more freedom. Less is more.
When you say no, you are saying yes to that which matters most to you. Choose your yes’s and no’s wisely!
Gain access to all my fave personal development books here