I’ve declared 2017 to be “The Year of No.”As I thought about my mantras for this year, my “word” or whatever, I kept thinking back to this Facebook post from one of my favorite people, Jen Hatmaker.
“If it’s not a HELL YES, then it’s a no.”
Let’s face it. Our collective YES has gotten most of us into all kind of trouble, hasn’t it?
In the past, I have expended INSANE amounts of energy in the past trying to be ALL THINGS TO ALL PEOPLE. I have said yes to things that stole my joy, robbed me of precious time for my family and drained my emotional reservoir. I have burned the candle at both ends and found myself clinging to the leftover bits in the middle. I have to clung to relationships that I needed to let go of, and neglected the ones that mattered most to me.
I love how Ruth Soukup describes it in her book, Unstuffed.
“We can’t slow down for fear that our lives won’t matter if we do. The busyness gives us purpose; the jam-packed schedule provides meaning to otherwise empty lives. But here’s the truth: A busy life is not the same as a meaningful one. Athletic, successful, or talented children do not make us more important. Activities, obligations, and commitments do not make us count. If we’re looking for the answer to our frustration, despair, and hopelessness in a full calendar, we will never find it there. In fact, quite often, the fuller our calendars become, the emptier our hearts feel.”
That hits you where it hurts, doesn’t it?
As I spent some time reflecting on the past year, I realized that 2016 gave me an incredible gift: Clarity.
In 2016, I came face to face with the reality of my food addiction and eating disorder, and discovered layer after layer of pain and dysfunction buried beneath all of that busyness. In order to recover, I had to STOP THE MADNESS.
I wrestled with all of the people and things clamoring for my attention until I emerged with a clear picture of what the heck actually matters to me…for now and for eternity. It’s astonishing what DIDN’T make the list.
So I’ve declared 2017 to be “The Year of No.”
I’m saying no to a whole bunch of stuff so that I can say a resounding “Yes!” to the things that really, truly, deeply resonate with me.
- I’m saying no negativity and stupid arguments on social media. Seriously, I have enough stress in my life. I don’t need to borrow yours. I’ll click the unfollow button faster than you can refresh your FB feed and with absolutely ZERO inner conflict about it. In the words of Jen Hatmaker, it’s simple: “Bye, Felicia.”
- I’m saying no to social commitments that stress me out or drain my energy. I get invited to a gazillion parties and events, both online and in person. I’m an extrovert, but my precious husband gets an introvert hangover if we have to be around a bunch of people two days in a row. Sometimes the answer is simply no because I need to sit at home on the couch with my family and watch Netflix.
- I’m saying no to diets and deprivation. I’ve finally kissed dieting goodbye. When I consider that whatever I do to lose the weight is what I’ve got to do to keep it off, I cannot commit to spend the rest of my life on a diet. Please don’t be offended when I say no to your pill, powder, or program. (I’m genuinely thrilled that it’s working for you!) It’s simply a NO for me.
- I’m saying yes to meaningful conversations with people who see things differently than me. In person. Over coffee. Via Skype. In a context that allows us to see and hear both tone and heart. I hope these conversations will prove that passionate disagreement and kindness/respect don’t have to be mutually exclusive.
- I’m saying yes to investing in the relationships that anchor me. How is that playing out in real life? I’m scheduling regular date nights with my husband and coffee/lunch/movie nights with my inner circle girls. I started homeschool preschool with my son and I’m giving him the gift of UNINTERRUPTED TIME. I’m soaking up every moment I possibly can with my parents and in-laws, because well, they’re awesome.
- I’m saying yes to events and opportunities that connect with my passions and purpose. I’m volunteering in one (and only one) area at church and I love it. I’ve taken a handful of speaking engagements that I know will be a good fit. We’re continuing to sponsor a child in Africa through Compassion International, and we’re prayerfully considering other ways to open our hearts and home to others.
- I’m saying yes to wellness, not just weight loss. I’m digging deep and continuing the inner work that I started last year. I meet with with my Lifestyle Transformation group weekly, and they keep me accountable EVERY DAY via text. I’ve just started working through the Smaller Size, Bigger Life program online as well. I am getting healthy from the INSIDE OUT, and the weight is sure to follow.
Does “The Year of No” strike a cord with you?
If so, what do you need to start saying no to? What’s your heart’s biggest “Yes?! this year? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!
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