Friday, November 1, 2013

25 Days to 25: Day 4

25 Things to Accomplish During My Year of Being 25
1. Finish my MBA 
2.  Pray more, worry less.
3. Take time to enjoy the little things.

4. Practice the power of no.

I am currently reading the book Boundaries, which I highly recommend to anyone that feels like they've just taken on too much.  I struggle with saying no.  There's not much I enjoy more than a good project, helping plan an event or spending time with friends & family but I am learning that even though I think I can do it all - that's not actually the case.  I can do 10 things and only give part of myself to each and constantly feel inadequate or I can focus on a few things I am extremely passionate about and really dive in.  It's difficult to say no to a new opportunity or spending time with people you care about.  I don't know about you but I am always worried about how much I will regret not being involved or whether I'm missing out on something that could really be great.  The power of no is a strong power.  Too often, I guilt myself into thinking saying no to doing something is a rejection to the person to whom it is directed.  It's not.  I'm not saying no because I do not care, but because sometimes you have to put your happiness and sanity above satisfying everyone else.  
What I'm realizing slowly is that I might.  I might miss out on a project that would have been fun or serving on a committee that did something great.  My friends or family might have a fun night that I didn't experience.  However, in order to be a whole, happy person, it is important to set boundaries in all aspects of your life and stand by them.  I am finally understanding that for me, feeling a sense of accomplishment and knowing I gave something my best effort is a much better, more calm, and happy place to be than constantly feeling like you can't juggle all that is going on.  I am the queen of taking on one thing after another and I know it drives my family and friends crazy.  It is a weakness of mine and it's time for it to change.

My plan for this year is to really put effort into making sure I am only committing to what I know I can handle and what is the most important to me.  I hope to narrow my focus to a handful of things I am passionate about and really commit to those and learn to say no without the nagging feeling of guilt afterwards.

"Boundaries define us.  They define what is me and what is not me.  A boundary shows me where I end and someone else begins, leading me to a sense of ownership.  Knowing what I am to own and take responsibility for gives me freedom.  Taking responsibility for my life opens up many different options.  Boundaries help us keep the good in and the bad out.  Setting boundaries inevitably involves taking responsibility for your choices.  You are the one who makes them.  You are the one who must live with their consequences.  And you are the one who may be keeping yourself from making the choices you could be happy with.  We must own our own thoughts and clarify distorted thinking."

- Henry Cloud, Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No and to Take Control of Your Life.

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