It’s the beginning of a new year which lends itself to new resolutions, lofty goals, and our hopes of shedding the worst parts of ourselves. These are all good things of course, as it’s healthy to use the calendar turning to reflect on what you can change and improve upon in the coming 12 months.
However, I want to offer a different sort of resolution. Instead of adding more exercise, more reading, better relationships, increased travel, healthier grocery shopping, and more dates with your spouse- let’s talk about how to say ‘No’ to the noise and fluff that you can do without this year. Life is full of “STUFF”, stuff you’re obligated to do, stuff you’re responsible for, stuff you guilt yourself into doing, and stuff you feel trapped to do without. I get it, STUFF is everywhere but it doesn’t always have to be. We are capable of taking an active role in our lifestyle rather than passively letting the STUFF rule it. The first step in this is learning to say no to the stuff. Half of the STUFF tends to get in the way of the things we actually care most about; family, kids, friends, and loved ones. We often fill our calendar with the demanding yet less important things and then have no margin for the things that matter most. It doesn’t have to be this way.
- Sit down for 30 minutes and journal what are the most important things to you. What time do you allocate for those things each week? How does this time compare to the things that aren’t important to you?
- Begin brainstorming about how you can shed down the list of things that are less important to you.
- Practice saying no to these things and remember you don’t need a long explanation. Just be honest, straight forward, and stick with your gut.
Living intentionally is hard in today’s world, but it is possible. Start this year fresh by matching what’s important to you with your most precious time.