Saturday, 14 January 2017

The Power of Saying 'No'

When I was thinking about my One Word for 2017 I decided on 'yes' as a reminder to myself to say yes to opportunities and I wrote about in several posts - Saying Yes,  One Word Challenge, and Stay Afraid.  But after having a few weeks to reflect on it, I decided that Yes doesn't accurately reflect my newfound philosophy of challenging myself to stretch out of my comfort zone and try new things that, in the past, I would have avoided due to my own fear.

After reading an article in Psychology Today by Azadeh Aalai I realized that always saying yes isn't really what I want to do.  There is power in saying no to requests and opportunities that aren't a good fit for me or that come at an inopportune time. She writes that "when you're stuck, stressed or resentful a firm  'no' can open up your life." 

In my post yesterday, Retirement Buffet I noted that there are so many things that I can say yes to now that I'm retired - creative endeavours, going to the gym, taking courses, writing, and presenting at conferences.  I also want to spend more time with my girls, my dad, my extended family and of course, travelling with my husband.  But in order to say yes to all of those things, I have to say no to some things or I'll be stretching myself too thin and not enjoying any of them.

So instead of yes I've decided that my One Word for 2017 will be stretch. I'm stretching myself outside of my comfort zone academically by submitting writing proposals to journals and publishers and submitting presentation proposals to conference committees.  I am stretching myself physically with a renewed gym membership and I've already signed up for a 10K in the spring and the Detroit International Half Marathon in October 2017.  And I'm making time to stretch myself creatively with new things like knitting and sewing.  I may even start painting again!

How is your One Word for 2017 working for you so far? If you'd like more information about OneWord2017, you can search Twitter or follow the links in this post. 

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