No ... is a complete sentence!

In and of itself, NO is complete.

There is no requirement to add anything else ...

such as...

EXCUSES

REASONS

CLARIFICATIONS

JUSTIFICATIONS

STORIES

WHINING

I was listening to a talk radio show where the guest was sharing her ideas on how to better manage ourselves to better use the time we are given (notice that I didn't say manage time because she said that time management is a myth). She pointed out something quite simple that I already know, but apparently needed to be reminded about. When we have taken the time to make a plan for our day/week/month and have set our priorities, then we have said YES to everything on that list. When we say YES to another request that comes along, we are technically saying NO to something on the list that we already said YES to.  That often gets us into trouble.

Lesson #1 - When you have said YES to something, don't say YES to something else that makes you change your YES to a NO

Her second point was that when we say NO to someone, we often feel badly about saying NO, so we add a bunch of sentences explaining whey we need to say NO.  Once we have said NO, the reasons behind it are often very uninteresting and often meaningless to the person who made the request. "My kids have soccer practice from 3-5; the dog has to be groomed at 5:30; I have a work get together, that I really don't want to go to, but Bob will be disappointed if I don't"  Blah - blah - blah.  No one really cares what comes after the NO.

Lesson #2 - NO is a complete sentence. We should feel no need to extrapolate on our response.

Lesson #3 - The point I will make is that we don't need to be rude about it, but we also need to get to the point where we feel comfortable saying NO to people. We can't say YES to everything. We end up feeling badly and regretting the fact that we said YES. We get overwhelmed and worry about how we will get it all done. Sometimes, we even say YES and then we don't actually do it ... which is much worse than having said NO in the first place.

My challenge for myself this week ... and I invite you to join me ... is to say NO to something this next week that you would ordinarily say YES to. Say it graciously. Say it sincerely. Say it firmly. Say it because it's the right thing for you to say!

Of course, I would love to hear what you said NO to and how you felt saying it!

Sharing is welcomed here!