Learn to say NO…and still smile! :)

Wow…the past few weeks have been so hectic and busy!! They’ve been filled with sadness, love, comfort, joy, blessings, family, strength and so much more – all wrapped up in a nice little bow.

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Have you ever felt this way? Or do you currently feel this way?

It’s amazing how busy time becomes and no matter what we think we have “handled”; it always throws us a curve-ball and seems to speed up as we continue. But what I have been learning is that we can only handle so much.

And that should be our limit.

Too many times, myself included, we tend to have a mistaken sense of ability. We think we can handle much more than we truly can carry. This is where learning to set limits for ourselves comes into play. It not only helps us succeed more along the way; but it helps to set the example for others to follow too. It’s all about paying it forward, right? 

So that being said, what do you tend to set up for yourself in a given day; week; month and year? Do you pile up the responsibilities and think that you are superhuman and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound?

Well…reality check time: YOU CAN’T!!

Nope..not even YOU! (seriously)

When we try to take on more than we can handle, what we are really doing is breaking ourselves down. We are saying in non-verbal ways that we aren’t important enough to consider when asked to do more “things” for others. We are saying that we can keep on going and carrying the load for everyone else because we feel we lack the respect in some hidden and strange ways.

Does this apply to you too? (hint: it pretty much sums up all the women I know these days!)

Here are some tips to help you take control back for yourself, and still get the things done that mean the most to you and your family.

Ready?

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#1: Start each day or week with a “to-do” list and keep the top 5 priorities as your “non-negotiable” things to accomplish no matter what and then list the remaining 5 things you’d like to accomplish as time allows. The secret is, to get those non-negotiable 5 things crossed off first, before attempting to add the next 5. If time allows, start with 1 of the other 5 and go down the list as you are able. Anything that is left on your list, goes to your next day. If, after 3 days, you still don’t get a task done and it’s not a priority in your life, cross it off or delegate to someone else. (chances are, it’s really not that important to you anyway)

#2: Learn from a 2-year-old. Start to say “NO” 🙂 Well, you don’t have to actually sound like a 2 year old, but learning this simple word can take loads of stresses off your shoulders and out of your life. Think about it; when someone calls or asks you for a “simple” favor, do you respond in the knee-jerk way with, “sure!” ?? If so, that stops TODAY!! (not tomorrow!) If you are bold enough or feel strong at the start, a simple, “I’m sorry I can’t, I have another appt/meeting/plan at that time/day” can free you from the request without feeling guilty (and you honestly should never feel guilty for saying no because guilt is actually a result of doing something wrong, and taking care of your needs is never wrong!) But if you are someone who feels too much of an urge to say, “yes” every time, start with this reply: “Let me check my calendar and get back to you on that.” This way, you aren’t saying yes or no…but you are giving yourself some time to breathe and come up with a logical response that keeps you (and them) happy either way. You could give yourself some time (but not too long or you start another issue of guilty discomfort from avoidance) and then respond with the above statement of “I’m sorry but I won’t be able to”. No reason is ever necessary. Period. If you think you must give a reason, then let me ask you this; do they pay your bills? NO? Then you don’t owe them an explanation. This will  become easier as you continue to practice but you must begin today!!

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#3: Plan time for you. This can entail anything your little heart desires. If it’s to just sit in silence or have some time to watch tv, then so be it. You deserve to have some downtime. You deserve to sleep more, eat better and set time for your fitness habits. Nothing extraordinary is needed, just a simple walk and some time for you is key to your happiness overall. Have you ever noticed the more you tend to take on, only creates more of a stressed out feeling in your body? Have you ever exploded at those you love most for no reason at all? NO? ummm…then me neither! LOL

but, really, I have!

#4: Set goals for yourself to reach each day, week, month, quarter and year. Having goals helps us to separate what is most important from just “busy” work. If you don’t know where your loyalties lie at this moment, I challenge you to check out your checkbook and see where your money is going. That’s priority 1…and then look back at the last month’s calendar of what you planned and what you’ve done. Those are your priority #2.

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If you don’t like those priorities then only YOU can change them! so, what will your coming month’s priorities show? Plan ahead and you won’t have to guess or be surprised anymore.

 

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