Jordan says that I often have the problem of saying “YES” to everything. Even when I don’t have another inch on my plate or another ounce of energy to give, I have this uncontrollable habit of just saying yes and putting myself through whatever I have to to fit it all in. I think we’re all guilty of this on some level. We want to please people, we want to help them out when they are in a bind, and in some ways you might find motivation from the idea that someone or something needs you and your skills, expertise, etc. But what happens when you say YES to too many things and people? Is there a point when the plate truly becomes too full or the juggling act becomes too cluttered?
Speaking from my own experience…Yes, there is a point where you can start to yes to too many people and things that results in not saying yes enough to what you need to be at your very best. For me, I let my yes list grow and fill and my anxiety grew right along with it. I was overwhelmed and while my intentions behind saying yes to everything might have been good, the results for myself and others was not. You can’t be everything and do everything for everyone and you have to give yourself permission to say yes to yourself! You have to recognize that in order to give to others, to help others, and to support others…you have to give yourself the time to build your own strength and fulfill your own needs. That’s not being selfish but is instead simply preparing you so that there is truly more of you to give.
But how do you resist the temptation of falling into old habits and saying yes to it all? Especially with the holiday season knocking at the door, we wanted to share some tips on how you can say YES to who and what truly matter and NO to the things that aren’t serving you in a positive way.
- Yes/No List: You know we’re all about lists around here and this one might be our favorite! Use the notes page at the end of each month in your Happy Balance Planner or just use a random sheet of paper and make a running list of what you are going to say NO to so you can make room and time for the people and things you want to say a whole lotta YES to! Get rid of the things that are not serving you or working for you and start giving more of yourself to what truly matters! Imagine the act of writing these things downs as your declaration for change! This is the first step to cutting out the noise and distractions so that you can continue to carve out and define your balance that truly serves you!
- Don’t be afraid to say NO!: This might seem inherent in a Yes/No list but you’d be surprised how it can be hard to actually put big ticket items in the NO category. If you think about it, you’re trying to break a habit when you declare that you are going to say NO to something and it can be a hard habit to break. For me, not working till midnight ended up being much harder than simply writing the words down on my list and it has been a gradual change. I felt like I was wasting time just sitting on the couch in the evenings, even with a book in hand, and I have actually had to train my brain to give myself permission to just sit without a computer. You have to give yourself permission to say NO! You might feel weird, you might feel selfish, but ultimately you should feel lighter and more able to tackle the dreams and goals that mean the most to you.
- Be Honest With Yourself: When you are making a Yes/No list, truly take the time to self-reflect and be honest with yourself. If there is something that isn’t working for you or is becoming a road block? Give yourself permission to try something new! What might help with this is to go back to your foundation…Your WHY! What is the fuel and passion behind each of your days? Maybe it’s a goal or maybe it’s a person. Our WHY for Sherbert Shop is our compass and our home base when we have to make a Yes/No decision and it helps us stay mindful and intentional in our work. Sometimes that means we can’t give everything to everyone…that is OK! You will find that, as always, it is quality over quantity and when you aren’t spread thin you can give more fully and be more present to what you do say yes to!
- Accountability Partner: While it’s easy to write these changes down, it’s also just as easy to tuck the page away after a day or two and revert back to your old habits. Find someone that you trust that you can share your list with and that will hold you accountable. Jordan and I find that when we say one of our goals out loud to each other it suddenly becomes very real because someone is watching! But it doesn’t have to be literal eyes on you…maybe you have a friend that can text you a simple check in that holds your feet to the fire. Knowing that someone cares enough to ask should also be motivation to continue also holding yourself accountable!
- Evaluation and Maintenance: Never think of your Yes/No list as a static list. It should constantly be evolving and changing to match the season that you are in and your needs. We recommend evaluating this list at least once a month and thinking of it like maintenance. Evaluate if you need to break something down into smaller parts or if you need to be more specific about something. For me, I wrote down that I was saying No to working until midnight but I didn’t match it with what time I was saying Yes to. Closing up the computer at 11:30pm might as well be midnight so I’m now working on deciding what time I want to say Yes to. You want the list to work for you, to guide you and help support you, but just like everything else, it will need maintenance to keep up with your changing needs and goals.
Most important about the decision of saying yes or no to something, remember that you are always in control! You are always the director. You are presented with choices every day and it is up to you whether or not you decide to engage with those choices. Sometimes we put pressure on ourselves thinking that we MUST say Yes to every opportunity but remember that if it doesn’t add value or purpose to YOUR life, it is up to you to kindly pass and save space and time for something or someone that fuels your soul! Protect your time, protect your dreams and protect your true “YES’s” so you can continue to create the balance that you crave and deserve!