Dec15

The Practice of No

Author // Clare Monteau

It's my guess you have more things vying for your attention than any other time of year. It's a true Christmas miracle you are even reading this. End of year work deadlines, kids commitments, and "100 ways to make your Holidays special". And if that wasn't enough, truth is most of us are addicted to busyness, addicted to saying we are busy, and like any addiction, there's often a part of it we dont actually want to give up.

But just in case you do want a momentary glimpse of freedom from this cycle........here are 3 quick ways to free up some of your never-more-valuable energy.....and place it exactly where you want it.  

1. Make your should list. Set a timer for 5 mins: at the top of the paper right I should.....and start your list. Start with today, what should you do today? What about tomorrow, the weekend? What would make your Holliday better? What about that friend you should call, the bathroom that needs cleaning, and those vacation pics you've been meaning to put in an album? Write it all down.  Now, pick something from that list and decide you just ARE NOT GOING TO DO IT. Maybe it's trying to meet someone for coffee before the end of the year, maybe it's making a trip to a particular store to get a gift, you choose. 

2. Make an end of year North Star (you can do this each month or week too). There are going to be many pressing demands for your time. Instead of in the moment trying to weight each new demand against the 147 others you have lined up, create a guiding statement for yourself that you can use to quickly decide whether it's a yes or a no. For example, if my North Star through the end of the year is 'Creating a nurturing, loving environment in my home", and I have the thought "I could review that document at home tonight"- I can quickly ask myself "does that align with my North Star?". I can still do it, but I'm measuring everything against the same criteria, that I CHOSE as my most important. 

3. Practice your no. If you dont say no a lot, likely you dont feel good at it and nothing stops us from doing something more effectively than feeling like we don't know how. If "no" doesn't feel like a complete sentence to you, here are some lines to practice-and of course make up your own. 

"Your time is valuable, and I can't give that the attention I'd like to right now so I'm going to decline". 

"I want to enjoy the time I spend with you, and at this time of year I know my mind will be elsewhere. Can we plan something for January?". 

"I'm playing a game with myself for the rest of the year and saying 'no" to anything I can't give 100% to." 

I'd love to hear your 'No" experiences. Pop on over to Facebook and share. 

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