I’m finally getting around to actually doing my “word of the year” …for 2018. Yes, I’m aware that we are halfway through 2019.
I am a yes person. “Wanna join our club?” Yup. “Want to buy this useless product?” Sure. “Interested in serving on our board?” Heck yes. “Can you coach the Kindergarten soccer team?” Never played a day in my life, but I’ll watch some YouTube videos and figure it out. I am social by nature and I love to feel part of something. Pair that with my disdain for conflict & disappointment and you have the reason why I can never turn down the door to door kid selling chocolate.
Leading in to 2018 I felt I had too much on my plate so I boldly wrote out in my little journal that 2018 would be “the year of no.” Naturally, like any yes person would do, I then took a new job, and said yes to another year volunteering at an organization, signed our kids up for sports, sold and bought a house and kept on leading that small group that I knew I didn’t have the time for. I essentially spent the remainder of that year doing all the things and being super involved, but doing absolutely NONE of them well. I was giving far less than my best to my job, my motherhood, my volunteering commitments, my friendships, my spiritual life, my wife life and my health. All because I didn’t have the courage to say no.
It’s taken longer than I thought, (growing a backbone is hard, y’all!) but I’m finally learning to say no, and to not feel guilty about it. Here are 3 things that helped me get started:
1.) Separate your must-do’s from your want to-do’s. I had to make a list of everything I was involved in voluntarily or by default. What do I have to do then with the remaining time what are your want to’s
2.) Sleep on it. When people asked me to do things I would always jump to sure! Then would often find myself in a bind because I would have a prior commitment. Obviously, you don’t have to take a day for some decision, but the ones that would require a big commitment take a day or so to think about whether you really have the to give.
3.) Remind yourself it’s a season. In different stages of life you have more or less margin for extras. It’s ok to adjust! Take a little time to evaluate and reevaluate a few times a year to see what will work best for your family.