Hello, my name is Erica and I say “yes” a lot. I’m a natural helper, and I chose a career that involved helping because it called to me. I’m the first to volunteer and the first to step up to get something done, even when I’m exhausted and I’m running on fumes. As a mother of three and business owner, I had accepted that this is what life is for a working a mother – always on the go and constantly “doing.” As we plan for the new year and set our goals around what we want the next year to look like, it hit me. The goal of “doing more” is no more. This year, I’m embracing the power of saying no – and I invite you all to do the same.
The reality is this: we often say yes out of the need to be seen as worthy and to please those around us. We say yes to others to the detriment of ourselves and of our own self-care. We set the bar so high that we can never achieve it, and we hold ourselves to standards that we can never meet. How many late nights have you spent prepping for a class party? How many frantic Target runs have you made for team snacks or for supplies to create signs for a fundraiser? How many times have you said “yes” to a playdate when the laundry has been calling your name for days? How many times have you said “yes” to a project at work when two other deadlines are looming over you? Said “yes” to a social commitment when the next great novel and your couch is calling your name? Said “yes” to fielding one more phone calls when your kid just wants to play with you?
We’ve all been there. And now it’s time to say no.
When we say yes to something that doesn’t truly serve us, we open the door to more stress in our already-busy lives. The average American parent has about 32 minutes a day of alone time. Thirty-two minutes! As we kick off the new year and start to set our goals and intentions, it’s time to embrace the power of saying no. By saying no to things that take away from our already-limited time, we say yes to being fully present for those that matter most to us. We are saying yes to living intentionally and doing what’s best for us and for those we truly care about.
Living intentionally means knowing that we are enough without seeking to do more to be seen as (or what we think is) worthy by those around us. Setting boundaries around our time and energy allows us to show up as our best self.
So as the clock starts moving in 2022, I invite you to join me in embracing the power of no.
No to giving our time away.
No to overproducing to be seen as worthy.
No to losing ourselves to the disease of “busyness.”
Saying no so that we can say yes to what serves us. Yes to what moves us forward. And yes to making 2022 the year that keeps us present and fully active in a wholehearted, intentional life.