As the year comes to a close many people proudly proclaim their New Year’s Resolutions. Some want to make changes to better their health: “I’m going to exercise more” or vow to curb their habits in the hope of a more fulfilling life: “This year I’m going to travel internationally for the first time.” There’s a varying list of things that people want to start doing once the clock strikes midnight at the beginning of a new year. However, I believe 2018 should be the year of doing less.
By that I mean, saying the word ‘No’ more often. Adding a negative into your vocabulary can have a positive change in your life. There comes a point where you have to start saying ‘No’ in order to make space for the things that will make you happy. Whether that means saying no to doing things your heart isn’t into or saying no to toxic people. Remove any negative people from your life and remove yourself from draining situations.
Coming from a person who too often puts other people before themselves, saying no sounds like an easy task but it’s very difficult to put into practice. There’s always an excuse to be made for doing something you don’t want to do or a reason to excuse away other people’s behavior. You believe that being a giving and selfless person will pay off in the end but what actually ends up happening is that you give so much away, you end up losing yourself.
Too often we forsake the urge to say no in order to please others. When your boss asks you to stay late for the 4th time that week, you say yes because you believe it will better your career. When your partner doesn’t invest enough time in your relationship you continue the relationship believing they will eventually change. When you want to splurge on something but your family’s judgment on how you spend your money keeps you close to home. Say no to your boss: you can be successful and also have a healthy work and life balance. Say no to people in your life who don’t appreciate you: you shouldn’t have to beg someone for love and attention. Say no to people who don’t financially support you: treat yourself, as long as it’s within your means.
There’s nothing wrong with saying no and being a little selfish, that is, as long as you don’t hurt anyone else in the process. There are some people who are so good as being selfish they have no regard for anyone else’s feelings. Saying no shouldn’t be an excuse to disappoint the people in your life but it’s an opportunity to take some well deserved time to focus on yourself. Which means that you should also say no to selfish people, since they’re always going to take care of themselves first so should you.
In the case that you aren’t already, make 2018 the year that you begin to reject the people, things, or situations that don’t best serve you. Don’t feel bad about making yourself a priority because you can’t always count on other people to do it. From those who stick to their New Year’s Resolutions to those who don’t make them at all, saying ‘No’ more often could be the solution to a Happy New Year.