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20 Simple Ways To Fall In Love With Your Life Again

20 Simple Ways To Fall In Love With Your Life Again

Think about the best phase of your life.  What did it look like?  What made it different?  Somewhere in the mix of life, the colors can lose their brilliance.  No worries…it happens to the most of us.  Here are 20 things you can do to add some pizzaz into your life.  Warning: these suggestions are extremely easy to implement and have the power to change your outlook!

1. Take a walk through the park

Find a nice park around you and just take a stroll.  As cliche as it sounds, it might just add a spring to your step.  Bring yourself back to the simplicity of life by walking through a non-commercialized zone.  Soak in the greenery and fill your lungs with fresh air.

2. Set a measurable goal for time of silence

This is a bit crazy…but we really do have to set apart time for silence.  The world is getting louder and louder, so we have to be intentional about giving our bodies silence daily.  Start small and ease yourself into it.  Set a timer for 15 minutes so you don’t have to think about when to stop.  Quiet your thoughts and sit or lie down in a wakeful state of silence.

3. Eat 2 more servings of vegetables than usual

We all know that we feel better when we eat well, so give your body a boost.  Pick a day of the week and add 2 more servings of vegetables than you normally would.  Don’t get too ambitious if this is not natural for you.  Stick to the extra servings just once a week.  Then, after it’s a weekly habit, you can a day at a time.

4. Eat something indulgent on purpose (guilt-free)

There’s always some part of us that wants to indulge in a sweet dessert or less-than-healthy treat.  I just ate a Key-Lime Cheesecake.  I worked hard today and gave myself a treat.  Keep it special.  Know you will only do this occasionally and enjoy the treat.

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5. Watch a comedy

Life is too serious sometimes.  Watch outrageous comedy.  Step outside your situation and watch life from the lens of a comedian.  Find the humor in the mundane.

6. Learn how to bake

Baking requires meticulous technique and whimsical imagination.  Immerse yourself in something that will work your brain in a different way and then make someone else happy with the things you’ve created.

7. Build something with your hands

Just like baking, any kind of craft made with your hands injects a very organic energy into your life.  Find a project that does not require much time or energy, preferably something you can complete in a couple hours.  There’s an innate need to create in all of us.

8. Make a list

This one is a bit more concrete and practical.  Make a list of things that make you feel stuck and see what you can eliminate.  Do this twice a year and whenever you feel stuck and stale.  Some factors are out of our control, but there are some things we can change.  So we should.

9. Call an old friend

What was the best friend era you ever had?  Call one of those friends.  Connect over the phone.  In this digital age, it is so special to actually receive a call from an old friend.  Get nostalgic and lose yourself a bit.  It might even inspire a spark in you.

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10. Forgive someone

This is so powerful.  Do you hold any grudges?  Free yourself.  That negative energy does not serve you.  Release that power and don’t worry about the other person.

11. Do something completely selfless

Focus on someone else.  When you help others, you benefit too.  Yes, you do need to make sure that you are healthy, but you don’t need to be perfect to help others.  Just a little act of selflessness can ripple many other kind acts.

12. Create a safe space

Where do you go when you feel drained, exhausted, upset, or happy?  Find a physical space in your home that will absorb all these emotions.  It doesn’t have to be fancy, just somewhere you can peel back the layers and just be.

13. Get a new Duvet Cover or Comforter

Home design shows have put a reno bug in all of us.  Unfortunately, we can’t renovate our homes every couple years.  What’s the next best thing?  Freshen up your space with things that change the landscape of your room.  Try a fresh new duvet cover, shower curtain, or towels.  A $100 solution to hold you over till the next big change.

14. Try a new food

My grocery bags look the same week after week.  I have to go out of my way to get some new flavors on my tastebuds.  Keep life interesting.  Try one new food every week.  A snack, take out, whatever you want.  Expand your palate.

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15. Watch a documentary

Get immersed in something bigger than yourself.  Find a cause or phenomenon that interests you and then binge watch about it.  You just never know what it will lead to.

16. Join a Book Club

Even if you’re not a big reader, it’s good to hear other people’s perspectives on the same work of art.  Choose a group and remember that you are not committed for life.  Just try it.

17. Clear out your closet

Cleanse the staleness out of your life starting from the 10 year old pants you never wear.  Remove unused clothing every 6 months.  Make it a habit not to purchase more hangers when you buy new clothing.  Maintain the size of your wardrobe by getting rid of something when you add an item.

18. Keep your counters clean

It’s so easy to place something on an empty countertop.  Resist the urge to clutter your space.  Make it a goal to remove any non permanent items (like mail) every day or every couple days, at the most.

19. Cut Down Your Daily Goals

Do you get overwhelmed with all you’d like to do?  Most people don’t do all they’d like to because of overwhelm paralysis.  Try this for a month.  Just focus on 1 goal for each day (other than daily tasks).  What is the one thing you can focus on today.  When you make a goal, remember to keep it measurable and specific.  Small goals will help you get to your larger goals.

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20. Smile

Often and everywhere.  Smile because there is a lot to be thankful for.  Smile because you are alive.  Smile because you can brighten another’s day.  Of course, smiling’s best friend is laughter, so laugh often, too.

What do you think?  Which one of these will you start doing this week?  If you start feeling really good about your life again, just smile.

Featured photo credit: Mitya Ku via flickr.com

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Last Updated on January 24, 2021

How to Say No When You Know You Say Yes Too Often

How to Say No When You Know You Say Yes Too Often

Do you say yes so often that you no longer feel that your own needs are being met? Are you wondering how to say no to people?

For years, I was a serial people pleaser[1]. Known as someone who would step up, I would gladly make time, especially when it came to volunteering for certain causes. I proudly carried this role all through grade school, college, even through law school. For years, I thought saying “no” meant I would disappoint a good friend or someone I respected.

But somewhere along the way, I noticed I wasn’t quite living my life. Instead, I seem to have created a schedule that was a strange combination of meeting the expectations of others, what I thought I should be doing, and some of what I actually wanted to do. The result? I had a packed schedule that left me overwhelmed and unfulfilled.

It took a long while, but I learned the art of saying no. Saying no meant I no longer catered fully to everyone else’s needs and could make more room for what I really wanted to do. Instead of cramming too much in, I chose to pursue what really mattered. When that happened, I became a lot happier.

And guess what? I hardly disappointed anyone.

The Importance of Saying No

When you learn the art of saying no, you begin to look at the world differently. Rather than seeing all of the things you could or should be doing (and aren’t doing), you start to look at how to say yes to what’s important.

In other words, you aren’t just reacting to what life throws at you. You seek the opportunities that move you to where you want to be.

Successful people aren’t afraid to say no. Oprah Winfrey, considered one of the most successful women in the world, confessed that it was much later in life when she learned how to say no. Even after she had become internationally famous, she felt she had to say yes to virtually everything.

Being able to say no also helps you manage your time better.

Warren Buffett views “no” as essential to his success. He said:

“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”

When I made “no” a part of my toolbox, I drove more of my own success, focusing on fewer things and doing them well.

How We Are Pressured to Say Yes

It’s no wonder a lot of us find it hard to say no.

From an early age, we are conditioned to say yes. We said yes probably hundreds of times in order to graduate from high school and then get into college. We said yes to find work, to get a promotion, to find love and then yes again to stay in a relationship. We said yes to find and keep friends.

We say yes because we feel good when we help someone, because it can seem like the right thing to do, because we think that is key to success, and because the request might come from someone who is hard to resist.

And that’s not all. The pressure to say yes doesn’t just come from others. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves.

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At work, we say yes because we compare ourselves to others who seem to be doing more than we are. Outside of work, we say yes because we are feeling bad that we aren’t doing enough to spend time with family or friends.

The message, no matter where we turn, is nearly always, “You really could be doing more.” The result? When people ask us for our time, we are heavily conditioned to say yes.

How Do You Say No Without Feeling Guilty?

Deciding to add the word “no” to your toolbox is no small thing. Perhaps you already say no, but not as much as you would like. Maybe you have an instinct that if you were to learn the art of no that you could finally create more time for things you care about.

But let’s be honest, using the word “no” doesn’t come easily for many people.

3 Rules of Thumbs for Saying No

1. You Need to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Let’s face it. It is hard to say no. Setting boundaries around your time, especially you haven’t done it much in the past, will feel awkward. Your comfort zone is “yes,” so it’s time to challenge that and step outside that.

If you need help getting out of your comfort zone, check out this article.

2. You Are the Air Traffic Controller of Your Time

When you want to learn how to say no, remember that you are the only one who understands the demands for your time. Think about it: who else knows about all of the demands in your life? No one.

Only you are at the center of all of these requests. You are the only one that understands what time you really have.

3. Saying No Means Saying Yes to Something That Matters

When we decide not to do something, it means we can say yes to something else that we may care more about. You have a unique opportunity to decide how you spend your precious time.

6 Ways to Start Saying No

Incorporating that little word “no” into your life can be transformational. Turning some things down will mean you can open doors to what really matters. Here are some essential tips to learn the art of no:

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1. Check in With Your Obligation Meter

One of the biggest challenges to saying no is a feeling of obligation. Do you feel you have a responsibility to say yes and worry that saying no will reflect poorly on you?

Ask yourself whether you truly have the duty to say yes. Check your assumptions or beliefs about whether you carry the responsibility to say yes. Turn it around and instead ask what duty you owe to yourself.

2. Resist the Fear of Missing out (FOMO)

Do you have a fear of missing out (FOMO)? FOMO can follow us around in so many ways. At work, we volunteer our time because we fear we won’t move ahead. In our personal lives, we agree to join the crowd because of FOMO, even while we ourselves aren’t enjoying the fun.

Check in with yourself. Are you saying yes because of FOMO or because you really want to say yes? More often than not, running after fear doesn’t make us feel better[2].

3. Check Your Assumptions About What It Means to Say No

Do you dread the reaction you will get if you say no? Often, we say yes because we worry about how others will respond or because of the consequences. We may be afraid to disappoint others or think we will lose their respect. We often forget how much we are disappointing ourselves along the way.

Keep in mind that saying no can be exactly what is needed to send the right message that you have limited time. In the tips below, you will see how to communicate your no in a gentle and loving way.

You might disappoint someone initially, but drawing a boundary can bring you the freedom you need so that you can give freely of yourself when you truly want to. And it will often help others have more respect for you and your boundaries, not less.

4. When the Request Comes in, Sit on It

Sometimes, when we are in the moment, we instinctively agree. The request might make sense at first. Or we typically have said yes to this request in the past.

Give yourself a little time to reflect on whether you really have the time or can do the task properly. You may decide the best option is to say no. There is no harm in giving yourself the time to decide.

5. Communicate Your “No” with Transparency and Kindness

When you are ready to tell someone no, communicate your decision clearly. The message can be open and honest[3] to ensure the recipient that your reasons have to do with your limited time.

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How do you say no? 9 Healthy Ways to Say “No”

    Resist the temptation not to respond or communicate all. But do not feel obligated to provide a lengthy account about why you are saying no.

    Clear communication with a short explanation is all that is needed. I have found it useful to tell people that I have many demands and need to be careful with how I allocate my time. I will sometimes say I really appreciate that they came to me and for them to check in again if the opportunity arises another time.

    6. Consider How to Use a Modified No

    If you are under pressure to say yes but want to say no, you may want to consider downgrading a “yes” to a “yes but…” as this will give you an opportunity to condition your agreement to what works best for you.

    Sometimes, the condition can be to do the task, but not in the time frame that was originally requested. Or perhaps you can do part of what has been asked.

    Final Thoughts

    Beginning right now, you can change how you respond to requests for your time. When the request comes in, take yourself off autopilot where you might normally say yes.

    Use the request as a way to draw a healthy boundary around your time. Pay particular attention to when you place certain demands on yourself.

    Try it now. Say no to a friend who continues to take advantage of your goodwill. Or, draw the line with a workaholic colleague and tell them you will complete the project, but not by working all weekend. You’ll find yourself much happier.

    More Tips on How to Say No

    Featured photo credit: Chris Ainsworth via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] Science of People: 11 Expert Tips to Stop Being a People Pleaser and Start Doing You
    [2] Anxiety and Depression Association of America: Tips to Get Over Your FOMO, or Fear of Missing Out
    [3] Cooks Hill Counseling: 9 Healthy Ways to Say “No”

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