This is part five of the six posts in the series on Getting Your Rear in Gear for the Year. In this series, I share my favorite tools that help me stay balanced and focused in my life, in my work, and on my blog. This post is valued by QBeats. See my post on why I believe some things are worth paying for. Please support this blog, so I can continue to bring you valuable content.
In Define Your Style Envision Your Life’s Goals, I shared how I define my personal style and determine the core values behind my goals using a VISION BOARD. I showed you how making a MIND MAP can be useful to map out the steps needed to get where you want to go in Mind Map Your Intentions and See the Big Picture. I explained how having a FOCUS WORD, in It’s Never Too Late to Set a Focus – Decide on One Word Now, can help with inspiration and motivation while being true to yourself and your life’s ambitions. What tool has been most helpful to you?
In this post I will share an extremely valuable tool that some would say is the most difficult to put into practice. I assure you, once you get the hang of it, it is really rather simple. It’s about not doing things. I hope to empower you to take a look at all the things you are doing right now and decide to stop doing some of them. I will also show you how it makes sense to say, “Thank you, but no thank you.” when you are asked to take on more than you should. I promise, no one will hate you. In fact, they will admire you for knowing your capabilities and always following through on the things you commit yourself to doing. I will help you to be prepared to say, “Yes” to the person, but “No” to the action.
Some things that might come to mind for you could be like most Americans. We are caring for our older parents, we are over-committed at our jobs, we are volunteering at our kids’ schools, we are dealing with the demands of home ownership and/or maintenance, we are struggling to manage it all while trying to stay fit and healthy.
This may be the busy season at work, or you could be expecting a child, planning a trip, or going to school. All of these things are necessary parts of your life. You don’t want to give anything up. You can’t. You have been told to set goals and work towards making them happen. You have been planning and preparing and your time is now. “Think big.” “Fake it till you make it.” We have heard it before. We believe we can do it all.
Well. Now I am saying, you can stop. You can stop doing it all at once. We talked about envisioning our true desires and picturing our future selves. We talked about creating a plan to get there. We talked about having a focus that guides us along the way. Now, it is time to look at what we are doing right now. What can we stop doing to give us the time and energy to do our very best work on everything else? How can we pare back the big thorn bush of our lives and show off those amazing roses? How can we prepare ourselves to continue shining brightly all year long? I do it by saying, “No.”
It isn’t easy. I want to do it all. But I simply can’t. It isn’t possible at the moment. Over time, yes – absolutely! But like my mom always said, “All things in moderation.” Well, she was always right!
“If you are going to realize your intentions, what you stop doing is just as important as what you start and continue to do. This is where “quitting” crosses over to enlightenment. You know how to go, go, go. Stopping however, is the stuff smiling Zen masters with all the time in the world.” ~Danielle LaPorte
We are negotiating and working out deals all the time. Be a master negotiator. We may be negotiating for our business and/or blog, with our family and friends, all the time – whether we like it or not. Yet, when we are asked to do a project or favor or to sign up for our children’s school or activities, we feel obligated to just say, “Why, yes, of course you can count on me.”
Here are some of the most common reasons we tend to say yes all the time: fear of rejection, not wanting to disappoint people, being a people pleaser, being a fixer, having a reputation to uphold, feeling obligated, wanting to make a good impression, it is a tradition, it is an opportunity I don’t want to pass up, it may be the only chance like this, it could be a chance of a lifetime, I am honored because they asked me. Me!
Besides, it is impolite to say no. I was taught to be gracious. I am a positive person. Saying no seems negative. It makes me feel like a failure.
“I realized that I was afraid of saying “no” because my biggest fear is rejection. I was afraid that every time I did this, I would disappoint someone, make them angry, hurt their feelings, or appear unkind or rude.” ~Chantalle Gerber
Tweet this>> “Your self-worth does not depend on how much you do for others.”
You are a negotiator, even if you don’t think of yourself as one! But how well do you negotiate? Do you know how to recognize situations where negotiating is appropriate? And do you understand the elements of an effective negotiation?
Even though the extents of our negotiations vary, one principle remains the same: when both parties win, the outcome is often better. Whether someone asks you for a favor, or you need to agree on terms for a contract or project, you must collaborate to achieve a win-win solution.
When you collaborate, you consider everyone’s needs. Therefore, even if you have to say “no” to something, you’re still concerned about finding a way to get the other person’s needs met, and this allows you to say “yes” to the person.
Integration and collaboration are keys to this process. So, the next time you have to negotiate, look for a way to meet everyone’s needs, rather than leave one side with little or nothing.
“Focus on the Right Things” ~Peter Bregman
How often do you get to the end of another long and frantic day and wonder why so many important things didn’t get finished? We’ve never worked so hard and felt so unproductive and unfulfilled. 18 MINUTES takes this challenge and turns it on its head. Peter Bregman, top Harvard Business Review columnist and global management consultant, shatters the myth of getting it all done by offering a clear and simple plan for getting the right things done. He shows how the best way to fight distracting interruptions is to create productive ones ourselves, a practice that can be easily implemented in 18 minutes a day. The result is a simple yet comprehensive approach to managing your life a year, a day, and a moment at a time so that your life moves forward the way you want and at the pace you want.
Are you feeling empowered?
It is a lot to take in.
Take your time to answer the questions and make your lists.
Keep it in a journal and reflect on your choices and thoughts now and then.
Feel free to ask questions or share your thoughts in the comments.
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