I feel like the Year of Yes is having a moment. And while I love the concept of doing more, getting out of your comfort zone and having new experiences, I’ve decided to swing my pendulum to the other extreme.
As someone who’s always tried to please others with little to no regard for my own needs or wants, I’m choosing to have a Year of No. What does that mean? It’s supremely simple – If I don’t want to do something, I’m not going to do it. I’m no longer choosing to spend so much of my time, energy or money on things that don’t bring me joy, aren’t productive or aren’t bringing me closer to my goals.
How many times have you spent an evening or a Saturday somewhere because you felt like you should, not because you actually wanted to be there? Or agreed to do something for someone out of guilt or obligation, not because it was something you really wanted to do?
I’ve learned over time that some people are wired to turn down things more easily than others. And I’m envious of those people who can turn down a request with no explanation or guilt involved. I once went into a tea shop and walked out with like $100 of tea and tea paraphernalia because I felt guilty shutting the salesperson down after he spent so much time telling me about it all and offering me samples. I moved that tea and all its accoutrements to at least three apartments because I felt guilty tossing it after spending so much money on it. The guilt cycle in all its glory, y’all.
Author Mark Manson, whose first book The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck I just finished and then saw this past weekend on a panel at BookCon, puts it in terms of the number of f*cks we have to give. We don’t have an infinite number of f*cks in our life, so we need to get clear on our values so we know where to focus those f*cks we do have. Once we’ve sorted things out internally, we can easily say yes to those things that align with our values – and much more easily say no to those that don’t.
And I’m going on the record now…I don’t value any salesperson’s feelings over my own, no matter how delicious their fancy, expensive tea may be.