Just say No! Isn't that the general rule? We've heard time and time again. Well I've
thought long and hard about it and I'm here to suggest an addendum to the timeless
statement made famous by the late Nancy Reagan herself. It isn't enough just to say no to
drugs, alcohol, and the collection of destructive behaviors we know so well. We too need to
learn to say no to the little things that aren't good for us. This qualifes as anything that
makes us unhappy, instills self doubt, and in the long run, isn't fulflling nor making us
appreciate ourselves at a higher level. Of course there are a lot of things that we would like to
say no to, like paying bills, taxes, and the like. While we would like to pick and choose,
sometimes being keen about what is necessary can be the key to less stress. In turn, saying
no to the necessaries can lead to an anxious realization of "how did I get into this sticky
situation anyway?!". The trick is knowing when to say yes, and learning how to say no. Here
is a little guideline for deciphering between the two, and making responsible choices, that
lead to success and happiness.
Don't put of doing the really important things. You know what they are. Make a list of
priorities every week, as well as a reward plan for when things get done. Make sure to be as
disciplined with both your plan to do the necessary chores, and then be just as disciplined
about giving yourself something to look forward to once they are fnished. Incentive for
responsibility perpetuates greater consciousness in being accountable for ones actions.
Plan your attack to get things done early. When you learn to plan ahead you are so
much less likely to feel pressured about the task at hand. You eliminate a ton of anxiety by
not procrastinating with items that need to get done. If you know it has to happen, it's
always better to get it out of the way. You'll feel so much better about yourself when you do.
You will also have a much greater gauge of how much time you have leftover and
overbooking your schedule is less of a concern. You automatically improve your time
management skills and prevent feelings of being overwhelmed. Any foreseeable extra time
can be put to use more wisely, with a deliberate plan and a desirable purpose.
How does one decide on a well-rounded plan and unveiling their true purpose?
Besides what is absolutely necessary, think about what serves you, your interests, and long
term goals. Learn to weigh the importance of requests and favors and say no without feeling
guilty based on these goals. Turning down extra duties, even if you want to be helpful, can
reduce stress and that desperate feeling of needing more time. Keep this up until you're
absolutely ready and certain you want to take more on your plate. Making regular
appointments for yourself is key. It isn't lying to say that you're busy. By setting regular
appointments for yourself with yourself, you learn the value of your own time and stop
wasting time that you know could be put to greater use. Its really ok to be the most
important person in your life. There is only one of you, so it isn't selfsh to want to make the
most the one life you have control over.
Always ask yourself - What can I do right now? What can I postpone? What can I
eliminate completely? Put stressful situations in perspective by fguring out what is really
important in the moment. What items in your life are bringing you closer to your goals and
the future you are deliberate about? Stay true to your ideas and desires to manifest these
goals. Stay true to spending time working toward these goals and cutting out the nonsense.
When you make a practice out of fltering the wants from the want-nots, everything comes
Experiment with diferent methods of relaxation. Just 5 minutes a day of stillness can
re-energize the body and mind to have greater productivity. Deep breathing techniques,
progressive relaxation, guided imagery, yoga, reciting mantras, and visualization are all ways
of fnding stillness. Reminding yourself to fnd stillness throughout your day is benefcial for
your body and for clarity of the conscious mind.
Set goals for seasonal activities and make a plan of action for reaching them. Goals
that have a three-four month fulfllment process are extremely benefcial for generating that
feeling of long term accomplishment. As you get better about achieving your goals in threefour
months, you slowly instill the idea that you're capable of achieving goals in six months
to one year and so forth. Focus your attention on those activities that you know will bring you
joy and excitement in the short and long run. Connect only positive feelings to the actions
you execute no matter how long they will take to fulfll, and commit to the end goal.
Make time for the simple things. Execute a daily plan of fve-ten minutes to commit to
something simple that brings you joy. When you fnd yourself stressed or anxious, fnd that
one positive way you know can release the tension. Perhaps by doing just fve-ten minutes
more of the simple activities you enjoy, exercising, or learning to write in a journal, you will
fnd yourself less stressed more often.
Always have at least one support system. Two is even better. Share your thoughts with
the people you trust to give you their honest advice. Family, friends, clergy, co-workers, and
anyone that is a good listener, can help you see the problems you are dealing with in a
constructive way. Never be afraid to ask for guidance when you need it. Receiving feedback
on a regular basis is empowering and builds the confdence to continue in positive
Never push your body beyond its healthy limits. Pace yourself with all things, and
listen to your body and what it feels comfortable with. Always schedule a time for self-care
and rest. This is not weakness. It is a necessity of the human body. Always remembering that
you are human, and have limitations like everyone else, is an important part of life. Don't be
too hard on yourself. Remember to only do what you can do, what you want to do, and the
things that ultimately make up the life you want to live. "No" can be a very positive tool,
when used to eliminate the unhealthy noise, and allow someone to say "Yes" to themselves.
Say "Yes" and always "Yes" to the most important person in your life – you!