#24 I Say NO to That - So I Can Say YES to This


Today we are going to discuss saying ‘NO’ to more things so that you have the space and energy to say ‘YES’ to things you value and want.  And of course this will include action you can take today.  That’s right, you can get started changing your life right now.  


In this episode you will learn:

  1. How to shift your mindset about saying ‘NO’
  2. 6 things you can start saying ‘NO’ to right now
  3. How to figure out what to say ‘NO’ to and what to say ‘YES’ to


Saying no to things can be really freaking hard!  But when we say no to some things it gives us the space to say yes to other things. 

When I first started my business, I said ‘YES’ to everything and anything.  Most of it for free.  When you have skills like mine (yoga, Ayurveda, stress management, coaching) you get asked to do a bunch of stuff for free.  I want to serve.  I love helping.  And so I said ‘YES.’  What happened?  I was spending time and energy on things that were not furthering my actual goals. I was depleting myself.  And most of the time I was doing it for people who didn’t truly value me or what I offered. And I was doing it all for things I did not have to do.  


If you were to ask me what the most important thing is in my life, I would answer with (like many of you): “The health and happiness of myself and my family.” 

That’s the driving force. That’s the purpose.  That’s everything!  And yet I was actively making decisions that worked against that!  Every freaking day. 

And of course I have specific definitions of what that means to me and my family.  One of those things is that I bring in an income to support us.  And when I was saying ‘YES’ to all of these things that took up my time and energy but didn’t lead to an income, I was saying ‘NO’ to this main purpose of the health and happiness of myself and my family. 

I had this realization several years ago and I put it on a post-it note above my planner desk - “The health and happiness of myself and my family.”  And when I make plans, if it doesn’t fit into that broad goal and what it means to me, then I’m not doing it.  This includes work, clients, people I spend time with and let into my life, activities, and behaviors.  

Am I perfect at it?  Ha!  I’ll say ‘NO’ to that.  But it is something I use to check in with how I’m spending my time.


A few things about saying ‘NO’

  1. You are allowed to say ‘NO’ to things.  
  2. When you practice saying ‘NO’ it becomes easier.
  3. You don’t have to give a reason why.  “Thanks for thinking of me.  Unfortunately, I can’t make it.”
  4. Saying ‘NO’ to things allows you to have the time and energy to say ‘YES’ to other things.


Say ‘NO’ to these things, so you can say ‘YES’ to other things:

Things that are distracting you from your purpose or goals.  It’s so easy to get lost in the day-to-day activities of our life that we might lose sight of our life’s purpose and larger goals.  If your life is anything like mine, there are probably some things that you can start saying ‘NO’ to today. 

  1. Social Media - I’m guessing none of your life’s goals include things like, “I’d really like to spend more time on social media,” or “My life’s purpose is to get more likes.”  Saying ‘NO’ can be as simple as saying ‘NO’ to social media first thing in the morning or ‘NO’ to social media anytime but between 1-3pm daily.  Whatever works for you.  I did a podcast about how to stop drowning in information and made a free worksheet to help you ditch information overwhelm.  It can deplete and distract.  
  2. Shiny things - If you are running your business it can be easy to be distracted by shiny things, new things.  For me, I LOVE to take courses.  Love love love.  But those don’t get me closer to my business goals, they distract me from them.  I’ve started saying ‘NO’ to more courses so that I can have space to say ‘YES’ to other things.
  3. Saying ‘NO’ to work - You are passionate about your business, but sometimes it’s good to say ‘NO’ to work.  ‘NO’ to the client who wants to meet when you are supposed to be exercising.  ‘NO’ to working past 5pm because you want to be able to have time to cook a healthy meal for you and your family.  Your business success should not come at the cost of all of your other goals and your life’s purpose.  If I was to ask you, “What’s the most important thing in your life?” you might respond with something like, “The health and happiness of my family.”
  4. People who don’t make your life better.  
  5. Things you hate doing.
  6. Things you do because somebody told you ‘you should’ -sometimes the person saying that is you.  Always investigate your ‘shoulds’ - where did they come from? 


Here are some reflective questions to help you figure out what to say ‘YES’ to:

  1. What are your goals?  
  2. What is most important to you?
  3. What are your values?

Here are some reflective questions to help you figure out what to say ‘NO’ to: 

  1. What’s realistic?  What do you have both the time and energy to do?
  2. What depletes you?
  3. What things/activities/people in your life do not contribute to #1-3?

When you work through these questions you will discover so much.  


What will you say ‘NO’ to?

What will you say ‘YES’ to?

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