“When you say yes to others, make sure you are not saying no to yourself.” – Paul Coehlo
Imagine the following scenario: it’s a Friday night and all of your friends are going out to dinner after work, and begging you to join them. Your boss wants you to stay late to help him with a project that he’s behind on. Your mom wants you to come home and spend time with her. But you really want to spend the night working on the business you’ve been building for the past 6 months.
What do you do?
There’s going to be a give and take, and you’re going to have to tell some people no. So how do you make your decision?
Do you say no to your boss and disappoint him?
Do you say no to your mom and disappoint her?
Do you say no to your friends and disappoint them?
Do you say no to your dreams and disappoint yourself?
Saying no matters. It’s an art that you need to master sooner rather than later because it will enable you to prioritize the things that are important to you without getting overwhelmed, distracted and feeling guilty.
Are you ready to start saying ‘no’ to others so you can start saying ‘yes’ to yourself?
Here’s how you can do just that:
1.) Create a Set Schedule and Stick to It
List out your goals and priorities, and then use them as a guiding board to create a daily, weekly and monthly schedule for yourself.
By having a set schedule, you’ll always have clarity when it comes to what you want to do and accomplish, AND you won’t fall behind on your personal goals.
What’s more — if someone asks you to do something you don’t really want to do, you can reference your schedule and tell that person you have already committed your time to doing (insert thing).
2.) Be Selective With Your Time
Your time is precious and nonrenewable. It’s the one thing in life that isn’t guaranteed that’s why how you spend your time matters.
Don’t be a “yes” person just to appease others, instead only commit to things you actually want to spend your time doing. By following this policy, you will experience life as you want to experience it, and you won’t feel resentment or regret.
Remember, you can always make more money, get new things and have new experiences, but you can never get more time.
3.) Budget Your Time Wisely
For every goal you have or task you commit yourself to, allocate more time than you think you’ll need to accomplish it.
As an example, let’s say you have a test to study for and you think it’ll take you two hours. Rather than just blocking out two hours, block out four hours instead. This way, if something related to your test comes up you aren’t sure about, or are struggling with, you’ll have more time to work through it without feeling rushed or overwhelmed.
Always allot yourself extra time to work on your goals and priorities. Doing this will enable you to deliver stellar results everytime you take something on without feeling rushed or anxious while you’re doing it.
What’s more — when someone comes to you with a request that you don’t have time for you can say, “I’ve already committed all of my time to (insert priority) and won’t have time to get to that.”
4.) Say No to Anything That Doesn’t Add Value to Your Life
Imagine you’re out to dinner with a friend, and your friend suggests you order the Steak Tartare because it’s your friend’s favorite dish. But, you don’t eat red meat, and your friend knows this. Still, your friend insists you order the Steak Tartare.
What would you do?
The answer is obvious — you wouldn’t order it. You might even become annoyed by your friend’s clear lack of regard for your preferences.
The same concept is true when it comes to experiences and activities.
Maybe your friends and taking a trip to Vegas but you don’t feel like going. Maybe your boyfriend wants to play Xbox with you but you find Xbox boring. Maybe your co-workers want to go to happy hour after work but you’re tired.
Just say no.
And if anyone tries to guilt you or make you feel bad, explain to that person you value your time above all else, and are only willing to spend your time doing things that you believe will add value to your life.
Choose wisely. And don’t feel bad for saying no to certain things and people. Your time is your time period, and you are free to spend it how you want to.
5.) Have Daily “You” Time
This is your life, and it’s the only one you have. Every day, set aside “you” time where you spend 30 to 60 minutes (minimum) doing something for yourself.
Maybe this means reading a chapter in a book. Maybe this means going to the gym and working out. Maybe this means cooking yourself a healthy meal. Maybe this means starting a DIY project you’ve been putting off.
By spending time on yourself every day, you won’t feel like you’re just living for other people.
Don’t feel bad for saying “no” to others so you can say “yes” to yourself.
About Antasha Durbin: Antasha is a spiritual writer, life-long student of the universe, and psychic tarot card reader. Her website, cajspirituality.com, is dedicated to casualizing the spiritual experience and making it attainable for anyone, anywhere, anytime. Follow her for free, easy-to-digest and highly actionable advice on spirituality, mindfulness and empowered living.