Sorry Shondra, the ‘Year of No’ is a real thing (that’s a witty reference to Shondra Rhimes “Year of Yes” book for my non-literary friends.) Often on the weekends, I’m stressing about the projects that I need to complete in order to be prepared for the upcoming week. When my friends want to kick it and have fun, I am hyperaware of the things that I could be doing in order to be productive over relaxed. The balance between overwork and productively is a tough line to straddle and I find myself having to say no more often than I would like to in order to be truly present in my downtime. Here is a beginner’s list of things you need to start saying no to.
Trust me, I get it – you want to say no, you really do, but the FOMO is real. That queasy, uneasy, all-consuming feeling that something is happening and you are not a part of it and by your own will! No one chose this for you or intentionally left you out, nope this one is all you. The FOMO phenomenon plagues all of us, but in an era where you know that self-love is essential, there is a line that you have to start saying no. This is where you should start:
8. Unhealthy Habits
I used to spend my lunch breaks working at my desk and chowing down on a chicken-avocado wrap (with buffalo sauce, duh) and now I have replaced 2-3 of those lunch hours with a workout. Step away from your bad habits and replace them with healthy ones. It will make you feel better about yourself and if nothing else, slightly more productive.
7. Plans Every weekend
If your friends are like mine, every weekend is a marathon. From dinners Friday night to sporting events on Saturday and game nights on Sunday – we really focus on spending time together and catching up on each other’s lives. I love spending time with my friends, but often pass up 1-2 events just so I can be really present for the ones I can attend. #TacklingFOMO
6. Toxic Friendships
It can be hard to break off friendships with people, especially if you’ve been friends for a while or run in the same circles. Toxic friendships come in many forms and it’s essential that you part ways with them in order to really move forward with your best self. Make sure you read my How to Break Up With Friends Like a Damn Adult post here.
5. Holding Onto The Past
Not everyone’s childhood was full of unicorn toys and loving parents. Our circumstances have shaped who we were but don’t have to impact who we can be. Revoke your invitation to a pity party for one and focus on how you can propel yourself in your future. Remember Oprah, RBG, MJ, and so many others came from humble beginnings.
This means negative self-talk, negative talk about others, and negativity as a whole. Nothing good ever came from speaking ill of yourself or anyone else. Replace the gossip about people with a discussion about the latest podcast you listened to or share a recipe that a friend has to try. There are so many beautiful things to share with others, why not focus on the good?
You’re busy, tired, stressed, sick, traveling, or generally uninterested. All valid excuses, but still excuses. If you sign up for something then say no to your excuse and just knock it out. Remember, it’s always impossible until it’s done.
Easier said than done, I get it. For what it’s worth I think that at times stress is inevitable, but there are steps that you can take to prevent unnecessary stress. Feel like your plate is overfilling? Make a list and separate your tasks out by the week, day and hour. Sometimes when you visualize things it takes the urgency out of your head and on paper instead.
1. The Snooze Button
Aside from the alarm clock, a lot of us live by the “in 5 minutes” paradigm. Don’t postpone what can be done right now to a later time, it breeds procrastination, and more often than not, it never gets done. Try to employ the rule. If it can be done in 5 minutes or less, do it now.
Final Thoughts On Things You Need to Start Saying No To
Remember that your intuition is your greatest strength and trust yourself when you know that you are stretching yourself too thin.
I’ve learned that there is a difference between being there and being present. If you are questioning your decision to attend a certain event or activity you may not be present even if you are physically there. People can feel your frustration, urgency, or stress and that type of negative energy isn’t beneficial to either party.