Health, Simplify

The Year of No Thank You

Do you ever overcommit? Do you then promise yourself that you will stop?

Do you?

You do?

Me too.

And I’ve been racking my brain to figure out why.

I want to be a person who naturally takes on less. I want to know my limits. Even when I tell myself to cut back on commitments to create more space in my day, somehow I manage to add more to my schedule. It’s classic commitment creep.

So this school year I’m trying something different.

It’s the year of letting go of what is not necessary in order to take back my time. It’s the Year of No Thank You.

Last year we had a baby. And my husband’s business doubled its number of clients. I returned to a full-time job after maternity leave. And I was teaching a baby wearing dance class. All of a sudden we were really busy.

I’m sure you understand.

But see what I mean about commitment creep?

Something had to give.

Earlier this year I took a personal inventory to figure out how we got to our overwhelmed lives. And then I took action.

First, I gave up teaching the baby wearing dance class. It was taking up 3-4 hours of my Saturday mornings. My little one was outgrowing our baby carrier and it was an easy transition to give the class to another instructor. I decided to limit my fitness teaching to subbing cycling and yoga classes for the year to keep a toe in the fitness world.

Next, after much discussion with my husband, I decided to leave my full-time job at the nonprofit where I had worked for over a decade. It was a very hard decision. I believe in the mission of the organization, but out of necessity I was also working in our family business. It was too much. After doing the math, we realized that the transition to teaching more and working in the family business would only mean a small pay cut.

So now my schedule has much more flexibility. I still teach part-time and help out with the family business. Some weeks I work a lot in the business, but other weeks I can focus more on our family. So far, so good.

And now I’m saying “No Thank You” to other commitment opportunities that come my way. In fact, “no thank you” has become my mantra. Because by saying no to additional responsibilities, even if they are amazing, I am saying yes to unstructured time with my family. And that is what the Year of No Thank You is All About.

Let’s see if I can keep this up. 🙂

Have you been able to say no thank you to commitment creep?

 

 

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