In the closing post of our 3-part series on ‘Finding Time,’ I’m going to show you how to remove the non-essentials from your life. Put another way – what to say ‘no’ to.
(If you missed Part 1 click here. If you missed Part 2, click here.)
By nature, humans are people pleasers. We don’t want to turn someone down if they ask something of, or offer something to, us.
We are raised to view rejection in a negative light. Is it really? Well, as with so many other things, the answer is ‘it depends.’
In the context of this post, the difference between living a good life and an amazing one hinges on your ability to say no to things.
This is a BIG one for me. It really really matters.
So much so that when I travel to Chicago again this summer for the Two-Brain Business Summit (a gathering 600+ gym owners and coaches from around the world), it will be the topic of my opening presentation for all the attendees.
Ok, so how do we do it?
In order to learn what to say no to, you really have to do some introspection and find out – what TRULY matters in my life? Where do I want to go? What goal(s) do I want to achieve? To get the most out of this takes solid focus and time…ironic, isn’t it?
1. If you could only check three things off your done list for this week, what would they be? You could do this for your personal and professional lives. The things on this list, if completed, would allow you to get to the end of your week and look back and say “YES – this was a productive week! I did only the things that move me closer to where I want to be.”
(As a quick aside – this is not a selfish practice. I am keenly aware of how this can come off. Something you need to realize is this: we were all blessed with certain gifts; the things that we love doing, are good at, and bring great value to the world. Put another way – your purpose for being on this earth. To give less than your best, which happens when you say yes to things that don’t allow you to live out your purpose, is the truly selfish act.)
Here is what mine looks like:
- Spend quality time with Mandy, Jesse, and Quinn daily (this is defined further)
- Attend Tuesday night bible study
- Serve at Bayside Community Church on Sunday morning
- Go to CrossFit For Glory 4-5 times (yes, this is in the professional column…I’m a better everything when I invest time exercising at CFG!)
- Create 2 pieces of valuable content for YOU guys
From there, you need to be ruthless in what you say yes to. Saying yes to the things that matter mean you need to say no to things that matter less. Could you say yes to it all? Yea…but we’ve covered what happens when you do that. You give less than your best. And nobody deserves a ‘less than’ version of you. Shine bright!
In my case, if things that are brought to me this week don’t move me measurably closer to those above objectives, it’s easy for me to say no.
Years ago, a mentor of mine explained it to me like this: “Josh, if it’s not a HELL YES, it’s a no.”
Here’s an example many can relate to:
You want to lose 10 pounds of fat in 60 days.
You know that in order to do that, you need to sleep soundly, exercise consistently, eat more of what’s good for you and less of what’s not. We know the obstacles to this goal are many, but here are a few:
Will skipping the gym because it’s cold or you don’t like the workout move you closer to your goals? NO. So you get up and go.
Will skipping meal prep the night before so you can watch another Netflix show move you closer to your goals? NO. So you don’t do it.
Saying no is simple, but it’s not easy.
***Full transparency – this was actually a personal example of mine!***
The difficulty of establishing a new routine is also not missed on me. If attending the gym is a new thing for you, chances are very high that you have to have a tough conversation with yourself every day, for weeks, before you get in the car and walk in the doors at CFG.
I get it. I’ve been there, we all have. This is a big ask, but just trust me. Keep showing up. There is no magic timeframe.
Here’s what else you need to know – you will say no to great opportunities.
Doing this means you can say yes to the best opportunities.
I turned down an all-expense paid business trip to Sweden in January because it would have meant that I would not have been able to do more impactful work back home. Plus, it was Sweden…in January – LOL! Instead, I was able to complete and launch a course that helps train coaches all over the world!
Here are a couple other considerations to help you know what you should say no to:
Is it truly bringing you joy?
Are there closer and/or more convenient options?
Time is the one thing you cannot get more of. You can always earn more money. Time though? Once it’s spent, you’ll never get it back. How you spend it will either move you in the direction you want to go or it won’t. You either use it productively or wastefully.
This is about priorities – the choice between what you want now and what you want most.
We’re all given the same amount of time in a given day/week/month/year.
Make room in your life for what truly matters by saying no the superb so you can say yes to the spectacular.