Saying “Yes” to Saying “No”

The truth is that I don’t say no nearly enough.

I try to bend over backwards to say yes.

I keep a totally jam-packed schedule – I do my best to say yes to making plans with anyone and everyone. My fiance says he misses me sometimes, and I LIVE with him.

I’m so utterly embarrassed by this habit that I have struggled so hard to break.

I’ve even talked with my therapist about it, and more than one time at that. I’m hurting – no, suffocating badly enough to where I have a legitimate written plan to help myself stick to the change I want to make: saying “no” more often. I find that writing things down seems to be the best way I can hold myself accountable. Ideas just don’t stick with me; I have to make it tangible.

Here’s how I’m teaching myself to say “no”. I’m limiting the number of times I can say “yes” in a month. Any other request, by default, can and must be answered with “no”.

I can say yes to:

  • 2 plans on weeknights during any given week (dinner, drinks, a meeting, whatever. Only two nights out away from home).
  • 2 plans on weekends during a given month (whether it is a day trip, weekend trip that isn’t with Sean, or a brunch. Only two weekends can have pre-determined plans.)

I can say no to:

  • Everything after I have booked up my usable “yes” slots
  • Things I do not want to do
  • Things that do not make me happy
  • Things that put me around people I don’t want to spend my time with

I hope that these hard, fast, no-nonsense rules get me to a place where I can feel the peace of mind, body, and soul I’ve been seeking for a while but haven’t managed to find. It doesn’t matter if anyone understands my need to do this. I have to be the best me before I can be anything to anyone else anyway.

Sound off: How do you handle feeling overwhelmed and overbooked? What plan of action works best for you? Share your secrets for success in the comments!

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