When I was a kid, I always got excited when one of those “Homes of Tomorrow” shows or cartoons came on. Everything by now was supposed to make our lives so much easier. But, we are busier than ever! We have autopay for all of our bills, robots that vacuum, and we have more computing power in the palms of our hands than was used to launch the Apollo Space Missions! Hell…I don’t even have to check my oil anymore, the care just tells me. All of these modern advancements, yet we still don’t have time for ourselves and what is important to us.
NO is not a Bad Word
Today I want to share with you a little secret that can help you feel like you have more control over your time and actions. This one little thing is SO Powerful that it can not just free up your time…it can even make you healthier, have more energy, and lose weight.
What is it?
The ability to say NO more often. That’s it! All you have to do to free up time for yourself and all the things that matter most to you is to Just Say No to all the things that you are not 100% interested in. If you are constantly feeling like your schedule is completely full, and there’s no way to fulfill all your obligations…it’s time to take back control. Saying NO is the first step.
Now…you may be wondering what all of this has to do with health and wellness. After all, this is a fitness website. Believe it or not, it has a lot to do with health and wellness!
Here’s the deal: When you are overcommitted and over-obligated with your time, you begin to feel overwhelmed, stressed out, and physically and emotionally drained. You slowly begin to “check out”, because it becomes impossible to give your best effort towards everything on your list. You cut corners to get everything done, and that includes your quality of life.
The majority of people out there say that they don’t have time for self care. No time for eating properly, exercise, meal planning, etc. And, the reason is…not saying “NO”.
If you were to start today, and only did the things that fulfilled you, excited you, and the things you truly valued, you could greatly improve the quality of your life!
How to Start Saying NO
The best way to start saying NO more often is to discover what your priorities are. This is an often overlooked detail to a happy life. When I work with new clients, we devote an entire session to just nailing down what you really want in life. Understanding your desired state outcome is key to being able to say no to things that don’t align with your goals.
What is it you are working on? Focus on those things first. I’m not saying you don’t do all the things that aren’t a priority…but they do need to be lower on the list. Once you have your priorities in mind, and understand them, it’s easier for you to say YES to the things that fall in line with who you want to be and add value to your life. It also becomes easier to say NO to all of the things that don’t fall in line with your priorities. And you’ll know if it was the right decision to say NO if you feel relieved after saying it!
Balance is key. If your top priority is your family, then you need to focus on making sure you are healthy and have a stable career, as it’s your responsibility to provide for them, be a good role model, and be healthy.
The Art of Saying NO
Like I said above, if you say NO to something and feel relieved…it was the right thing to do. But, a lot of people still have trouble saying NO. It’s the physical act of verbally saying the N O word that gets some people. So…here’s a trick.
Learn how to say NO, without actually saying NO.
For example, let’s say that a co-worker wants to go out for drinks after work on Wednesday. If you don’t want to go you might say, “I don’t go out during the week”. And leave it at that. You have declined the offer without actually saying “NO”.
Basically, using this type of language sets a clear boundary. When your boundaries are up front, people are more likely to accept them, and give less push back.
Here’s some more examples:
- “I don’t have time to attend the bake sale this weekend.”
- “Weekends are strictly family time.”
- “There’s no way I can shuffle around my schedule to attend that event.”
I want you to remember that along with your health, your time is the most precious commodity you have. You can never get back the days, hours, and minutes you spend on doing things that are not aligned with your priorities and who you want to be. Guarding your time like precious gold is one of the best ways to take care of yourself.
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