For such a tiny word, you’d think women would have an easier time letting it roll off the tongue. But time and time again, we find ourselves saying “yes” to tasks, responsibilities and invitations we reeeeeally don’t want to say yes to.
What if you said NO? Even for just 30 days?
On a recent episode of the Forty Thrive Podcast, business coach and single working mom, Christine Sarno and I threw down a challenge — the NO-vember Challenge. It’s an opportunity to take 30 days to practice saying “NO” to those things that don’t serve you. “Sometimes we just get to this place where we’re overserving,” Christine shared. “ We’re overserving so much that we feel depleted. At a certain point in our lives as women, we have to recognize that we may have reached a tipping point.”
Perhaps you’ve felt that tipping point yourself. Add in the holidays just around the corner, and that tipping point can come fast and furious. Cooking, shopping, parties, school activities, pile up along with your already full load of family, work, and everything else you’ve already got going on. This is the perfect time to flex that “no” muscle and actually put your needs at the top of the list.
Four ways to participate in the NO-vember Challenge
Assess the month ahead. What’s going to be required of you? Where can you find time to rest and recharge? Make choices about what you’ll say “yes” to in advance. Making decisions when you’re feeling level headed is best for everyone and will leave you with fewer surprises.
Just say no. Christine says, “We don’t always have to say yes to everything, and I think we are one million percent allowed to be honest with why we’re not saying yes.” Will you tick some people off? Maybe. But the more you lean into the no, the sooner others will respect your boundaries. Plus, this challenge isn’t about pleasing everyone else.
Be clear with your priorities. We all like to think we don’t have time to do what we want to do but the truth is, it’s often just not a priority. Once you’re honest with yourself, and you say, “This thing is not a priority for me right now,” I think you’re just much more aligned with who you are and what you want. And then you can make choices that feel good to you. Is exercise a priority? Schedule it first. Do you want some alone time with your significant other? Get it on the calendar and stick to it. You’re no good to everyone else if you’re not good to you.
Commit to 30 days If December 1st rolls around and you can’t wait to get back to your people-pleasing ways, have at it! But give yourself the space and grace to challenge yourself for 30 days. You’d be surprised at how much easier it gets with practice. If we can do it for 30 days, imagine how we can change our lives.
I mean, come on, the month of November already has the word NO in it. Are you ready to take the NO-vember Challenge?