Shonda Rhimes, the producer of mega-hits Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal, wrote a best seller a few years ago, entitled Year of Yes. It’s a great book about the benefits of recognizing and accepting opportunities and of saying “yes” to people and moments that cross our paths. That’s a wonderful philosophy that can lead to personal growth.
But I’ve decided that for me, 2019 is the “Year of NO.”
I do not mean this in a negative way but in the most positive way possible. In 2018, I said “yes” so often, it stretched me so tightly I thought I would snap and break into a million pieces… even when I looked like I had it all together. Last New Year’s Day, I decided to live 2018 the fullest. I vowed to do, read, experience, and/or eat something new every day of the year.
It wore me out.
I found that in “saying yes,” to every career, academic, social, family, and even spiritual opportunity and invitation that came my way, I was doing a lot. But I was not getting a lot done. And I wasn’t doing any of it very well.
So, this year, I’ve decided to say “no” more often.
It will be hard. I am an adventuress. A doer. A “carpe diem” gal. I live for the experience and the moments. I love to go, see, and do! I love a challenge. My favorite saying is “Who says you can’t?” Saying “no” will be hard. And, I’m not saying there won’t be plenty of wonderful people and opportunities and invitations that I will say “yes” to in 2019. But this year, I will be more discerning about those “yes” answers.
I've learned I’m not alone in this weariness of saying yes. A recent report on CBS News talked about “JOMO.” That’s the “Joy Of Missing Out.” Apparently, a lot of us long to de-tech, destress and even detach. It seems many of us want to simplify our lives, instead of cramming so much stuff into every single minute. We want to stop filling up our moments, and simply enjoy them. We want to put down the laptop, ipad, and cellphone and actually talk to each other, explore our feelings... and breathe. We want to live and love the people we know and the things that we do. We want to focus on a few meaningful activities, instead of scattering ourselves on many wearying things.
JOMO. Rhymes with NO.NO.
So, how do we get back to strolling, instead of racing, through life? Perhaps in 2019, we should ask these questions when presented with an opportunity or invitation.
Will this feed or drain my spirit?
Will this feed or drain my relationships?
Will this feed or drain my health?
Will this feed or drain my career?
Will this feed or drain my mind?
Will this move me forward or distract me from doing what’s really important?
Most importantly, will this make me better… for God, for others, and for myself?
If we can’t answer “yes” to each of those questions, we might consider saying “no.” That’s what I’ll be doing in 2019.
Happy "No" Year!