How to Say No Audaciously So You Get What You Want

You love your life.  The problem?  You can’t stop!  Everything you do has a purpose you believe in.  Almost every minute is planned with something you are excited about or with something you are looking forward to tackling.

You are constantly running.  You leave the house at 7AM and return at 10PM.  There is no time for yourself and you crave it desperately.

So what’s the real problem?

You can’t figure out how to slow down and you are exhausted!  Each commitment just means so much you can’t choose which ones to cut out of your schedule.  Continuously running at this pace will lead to burn out.  You have a finite amount of energy at your disposal.  Once it runs out you are out.  Some of it needs to be spent on yourself, to recoup, so that your energy builds back up.

So what’s the solution?

Cut your commitments in half.  If this sounds impossible, keep reading.

Imagine, for a moment, what your life would be like with only half of your responsibilities.  What would you do with this new found freedom?  Allow yourself to imagine the possibilities.

You could take a nap or read a book or a few magazines.  You could crochet¸ look up a new recipe, or call a friend and have a long chat.    You could go for a walk or watch a baseball game.  You could go shopping for a new dress or shoes.  You could write in your journal, or find a new plant for your garden.  You could just sit and do… nothing!

Do you have an image now?  Now, name this image, like “awesome afternoon” or “fantastic freedom”.  Next rank your responsibilities and have #1 be your “awesome afternoon” or “fantastic freedom”, then the list the rest.  How you rank is up to you as it depends on the commitments you have.  For example, they could be ranked on money, time, or energy.  Last, divide the list in half and STOP doing the bottom half of your list.  Either quit cold turkey or delegate the responsibilities.

This new way of life will allow yourself to excel at your top commitments.  You will feel happier and stronger, and this will spill over into all areas of your life.  Although you are able to accomplish many things for many people eventually something will have to give.  Going through this exercise will save you from feeling forced into a decision.  You have the power to make this decision on your own terms, so don’t wait another minute.  You always have a choice!

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Liz McGrory

Liz is a work/life sway strategist helping stressed out working mom better manage their quadruple workload of self, family, home and career. You can also check her out on as their working mom expert and on The Maven Clinic as one of their career coaches.

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