In my quest to create a simpler life I am committed to ceasing the tendency to say “Yes!” when people ask me to do/join/attend every project/group/club/board/party. Are you a “yes woman?” So many of us are by default. We seem to be wired to jump to do all that we are asked. In pursuit of a simpler life, it’s vital to learn how to PAUSE and really consider whether saying yes is going to enrich your being and life or feel like an added burden.

Don’t get me wrong. I believe in service to others. My entire career and life is built upon being of service to people in need and I love my work. I do love my life. But once I have gotten closer to age 50 and my presence and service is in higher demand than ever (it tends to mushroom when you do good work and people hear about you) I am learning to say “No.”

Simply saying no doesn’t mean you need to be impolite or insensitive It might sound like this:

“I’m not going to be able to add that to my schedule right now but thank you so much for your consideration.”

“I won’t be able to join you this time but I appreciate the invitation.”

“My dance card is full. Thank you anyway!”

“I’m needing to spend some time on my self care this month so I won’t be able to help you with that this time.”

I tend to over schedule and overcommit. I confess it. And this is not the first time I’ve made this vow. I’ve pulled back, slowed down and used my “No” statements before and then fallen back into the habit of yes-ing myself into overwhelm. But this time my commitment is to 125 days of seeking simplicity through particular daily habits so they will really stick.

Try saying No and see how much open space you will find in your calendar and your mind.