Quit Saying “Yes” to Everything: 6 Important Questions for Clarity

Fall:  Back to CRAZY

The new school year is jumping into full gear and with it comes the resurgence of parental commitments – new school committees seeking support, homework assistance to steal evenings away and sports schedules to hijack after school and weekend time.  And you thought the summer schedule was busy!!!

On top of all this, new commitments tug on your precious (and very few) moments. Community, clubs, churches and other organizations start their fall programming — seeking volunteers to be on boards, requesting your involvement at kick-off /planning events or just seeking your presence to join this or that.

As we move into the next season of craziness, it is a good time to pause and get mentally ready.

ithrive31 Core Principle #2 is Be deliberate with your time and resources.  This concept can be critical for setting yourself up for success (or at least progress) as you prepare for the fall season.  Being deliberate with your time and resources is about what you should say yes to and what you should say no to.  It’s about being deliberate with where you are putting your energy and your attention.

Stop the Insanity 

We say yes many times out of obligation, guilt, and/or shame.  We strive to be all things for all people and we get caught up in comparisons – what other people are doing or what other people will think of us.  We shame ourselves by believing that if we don’t volunteer for the school party we won’t be a great parent.  We worry about other’s opinions that we may not be “pulling our weight”.  We worry about hurting other’s feelings by saying “no” and our guilt doesn’t stop there.  We internally shame ourselves by always feeling we haven’t done enough or believing we should be able to handle it all.

Feeling obligated or shamed into “YES” often results in stress, frustration, and anxiety not to mention sub-par effort and results.  Along with that, deep down, we are frustrated with ourselves because we cannot say “no”.  This results in daily (sometimes moment by moment) hits to our self-worth and self-esteem.

Think of it this way, YOU are worth the NO (or maybe it is a NOT NOW).  Yes, you may offend some people but if the reason you are saying NO honors yourself, aligns with your values and is done with thoughtful consideration, there is no shame, just great progress.

Healthy, successful people recognize how important this principle is to their personal success, mental clarity, and strong spirit.  By being focused on where to spend your time, you are taking control of your life and directing your attention to what really matters. You are setting an example for your kids, your peers and most importantly, you are building confidence in yourself.

6 Daily Questions for Clarity

Easier said than done.  However, implementing this principle starts with daily decision-making.  It is about progress, not perfection.   Here are six questions to help you make thoughtful choices about where you are spending your time and energy.

  1. Who is benefiting from me doing this?

If the answer to this question is always someone other than yourself – maybe it’s time to rethink the commitment.

  1. Am I getting the greatest return on my investment?

Do you get a greater return from spending quality one-on-one time with your child in the park or serving as a room parent for multiple events at school?

  1. Am I putting MY needs into EACH day?

At the end of the day when you lay your head on the pillow, if you cannot find one thing in your day that was focused on you and brought joy, laughter, growth or fulfillment into your life it’s time to readjust your daily schedule.

  1. What is the real reason I am saying yes?

This one can be tricky.  Sometimes the ugly truth is important.  Is my ego in check?  Am I saying yes to show off, demonstrate my gifted talents or be the center of attention?

  1. Is it bringing me joy?

Does it fill my bucket?  Do I feel a sense of accomplishment, purpose, and meaning by where I am spending my time?  Filling your life with joy is so important for personal well-being and happiness.

  1. Does it align with my values?

Am I aligning my time to what is important to me?  For example, if my family is an important value yet activities are getting in the way of quality time with them, it’s  time to rebalance.

Charting the Course

Being deliberate with your time and resources requires work and constant calibration.  When you feel yourself getting out of whack – get perspective.  Spend quiet time reflecting on what you need to adjust.  Seek 2-3 people you trust and get their opinion on what you need to change, even if you don’t want to hear it or don’t agree with it – LISTEN.

Take control of your day, your month, and your life by learning what to say YES to and what to say NO to.  Practicing this one principle in your daily decisions will build your confidence and help prioritize your life.  YOU are worth it!

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