Back to my “Just Say No,” blogging campaign. My goal is to identify all the complexities of saying no, in the hope that we can someday be able to say no as easily as Nancy Reagan would have liked us to.
Why is this important? If we want to change our habits around organization and productivity, we need to say no to many temptations, distractions, and doubts that we’ll experience along the way. We need to say no to taking on too many commitments, getting lost in social media, being crowded out of our homes with too much stuff–anything that wastes our time, zaps our energy and prevents us from being our best selves.
In my first post, I offered that we need to identify when “no” is an option. Even if we can’t imagine ourselves choosing that option, we need to become aware of when the option exists. I think it’s worth exploring that moment of choice more fully.
When we’re in the moment of choice, we consider saying no to something we know isn’t good for us. Usually, we’re immediately flooded by the immediate discomforts of saying no, such as peer pressure, unsatisfied cravings and emotional angst. Who wants that? Why would anyone choose the painful option of saying no?
For me, it has been helpful to identify the things I want to say “yes” to, such as better sleep, a more pleasant home, better quality personal time, etc. Then, when I’m in a moment of choice and I start to feel flooded with temptation, I use that feeling as a cue to consider the better options. I acknowledge that I am in a moment of empowerment, when I can make a positive choice–a choice I won’t regret. I’m in a moment where I have the immediate opportunity to change aspects of my life that I’m not happy about. Who knows when another opportunity will come along? Here it is! Right here, right now, I can act differently. I don’t really think of it as saying no. Instead, I think of just turning myself in the direction of the things I really want. So I turn away from the 10 pm snack, and I go get ready for bed.
This is not easy! I freely admit, there are many times when I do not make the turn. But I have also discovered something else that is occurring now that I am more aware of when I am in a moment of choice. Even when I yield to the less healthy option, I am more mindful that I am doing something I chose to do, and I find that I often put an end to it sooner. Instead of eating half the bag of chips, I stop after a handful. Instead of playing Candy Crush for 2 hours, I stop after 15 minutes. It’s progress.
What helps you when you are in a moment of choice?
Click here to read the next “Just Say No” post in this series.