The Challenge: Day 23


I can't tell you how many times I have agreed to attend meetings or cocktail parties and then immediately regretted the decision knowing that I was over-committing myself. I hate to use the word "no" because, as you well know by now, I strive to maintain positive energy in my life and am influenced by the idea that I must be a "yes" person. This is often a excellent philosophy, but sometimes the word "no" is just plain necessary.

I began a whirlwind journey last week as I prepared to fly to San Francisco for a long weekend immediately following a week of many late nights at the office and a handful of business dinners. I returned late Sunday night only to unpack and repack a suitcase for two back-to-back conferences located a few hours away. All events had been on the calendar for at least a month, so I had been bracing for this 10-day marathon of planes, trains, and automobiles.

While in San Francisco, I met a very charming and attractive young man who happens to live in Westwood, California. A couple of drinks and a weekend of texting later, he asked me to dinner. I looked at my calendar, cringed, and realized that I had to simply say "no." Technically, I could have squeezed this date night in at some point, but the mere thought of it made me hold my breath for fear of the dark circles that would begin to build under my eyes. Without knowing what the reaction might be, I had to tell him, "Thanks, but I can't.  Earlier in the week I had made the personal commitment to decline all socializing for the weekend knowing that, for the sake of my mental and physical health, I would need some "me time"��

Do you ever find yourself afraid to use the word "no" because "yes" is often easier to say? We might be agreeing to appease others or avoid a conversation filled with explanations and pressure to change our response. So, I challenge you to use the word "no" more often in your life. You might be pleasantly surprised to find that most respect your decision.

As for me, my guy has offered to keep his calendar open for the following week, which will give me at least a handful of days to sleep off the dark circles.


Physical: Do you ever find yourself planning to incorporate a workout into the day and then get sidetracked by the commitments on your calendar? Say "no" to that last-minute happy hour offer or volunteer luncheon and make your physical health a priority.

Personal: Often times we don't take the time to acknowledge our priorities and we look back with a tinge of regret about not achieving certain personal goals. Take a moment to write down the things that you desire for your life and try to make conscious decisions to allow those priorities to be a part of your life.

Spiritual: As women, we are literally wired to be nurturing and selfless. These maternal tendencies often place our own needs at the bottom of the list, if on the list at all! We must realize that we also deserve time and attention.

Tips and Reminders: Studies show that you will sleep better if you remove the electronic devices from your life at least 30 minutes before bed. Grab a book or magazine to unwind or perhaps use the time for some pillow talk with your partner.

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