Sometimes you have to say No to yourself.
Self-discipline is hard because we are our own worst enemies. We honestly know what the right thing to do is, but we don’t always do it. If you want to stop procrastinating and get your life in order, you need to say no to yourself sometimes. That means denying yourself things that seem like they will make you happy in the moment. Maybe a burger from your favorite restaurant or an evening with a friend who stresses you out just a little too much. Set boundaries for yourself so that you can stay focused on accomplishing your goals of getting organized and having more time for your family.
You have probably heard that success comes down to 80% planning and 20% action, but if the planning stage is taking forever or never even happens at all, then nothing ever gets done!
Sometimes the person who needs the No is someone else.
If you’re a naturally accommodating person, there’s a chance that some of your family and friends are used to getting their way with you. You’ll want to be sure to let them know that even if they don’t like it, you’ve got this new way of doing things and you’re taking charge of your life now. That’s what friends are for, right? It’s hard to say no to people in positions of authority too—like bosses or landlords. If they don’t have your best interests at heart, they might not take kindly to your saying no to working overtime or renewing your lease. This isn’t just about saying no more often. It’s also about understanding why we need to say No more often—and knowing when it might be time for someone else in our lives to hear the word “no” instead!
Sometimes you have to say No to a group of people.
For me this is challenging, but I am getting better at it.
So, what’s the trick? The trick is this: Say No to that one thing you don’t want to do instead of just saying Yes, while also steering clear of reasons you don’t want to do it.
Example 1: Your friends invite you out even though you have plans with your significant other.
The wrong way: “I can’t come out tonight. I have plans.” Now they know why you’re not coming and will probably ask again on nights when your plans aren’t as concrete or important.
The right way: “I can’t come out tonight.” That’s all they need to know; your reasons are personal and nobody else needs to know them. Also, by leaving off any explanation, people will assume that you either already had plans or were sick of them and need some time away from them (or both). They may feel disappointed, but now you have set a boundary between what works for your life and what doesn’t work for your life. If someone continues to pester after the first, no, repeat yourself (and maybe change the subject) until they get the idea.
If someone argues with your decision—your reason for not wanting to go out—then remind them it’s none of their business why you don’t want to go out; then walk away, if possible (if they’re pestering in person), or end the call/text message conversation politely if possible (“okay, well, thanks for understanding”). There are always more people who will respect boundaries than there are those who won’t respect boundaries; so, when someone acts like an ignorant person in response to respecting these boundaries, look forward to cutting them loose.
Even once you are used to saying No, it is sometimes hard.
Sometimes it is hard to say no. You want to help. But it is important that you make sure to not overwhelm yourself. Don’t sell yourself short: your time and energy are valuable and only you can decide where they should spend them. If you are saying yes to someone else, it might mean taking time away from what is important in your life.
Even once you have said no, sometimes it will feel uncomfortable the first few times you do it. They may keep asking, they may try to guilt trip you into doing something, but ultimately, your life is yours and only yours to live! It’s important that if someone asks you for a favor that you really think about whether this task fits with your current goals before agreeing.
Reclaiming your time is important.
Just like how there’s 24 hours in the day, there’s only so much time to go around. If you don’t reclaim it, then you can’t be in control of your own schedule and prioritize what’s important to you. Here are some things you can do:
● Wake up at a reasonable hour every day.
● Have a routine that you follow every morning like making your breakfast, checking your email.
● Make sure you eat something before noon.
You should try to reclaim your time because it doesn’t exist on its own—it must be made anew. You’ll need it if you want to find time for yourself, or if you want to help someone else with their problems.
It’s time to say no.
The list of things you want to accomplish grows longer by the day, and your time has limits. The trick is learning how and when to allocate it to maximize productivity. Sometimes that means saying no to other people’s requests so you can work on what’s important.
It’s your life, and you deserve to say no!
When it comes down, do it. Only you know exactly how much time you have, or what obligations fill up your schedule. That’s why it’s ok for other people not to know what tasks are already on your list or where else you must be. It’s also ok for you to tell yourself “no.” You don’t always have to give yourself a hard time about little things that aren’t important in the long run—like not exercising one day or missing a deadline with friends—if they’re keeping you from getting done the big things that would really benefit your mental and physical health.