Our lives are full of "shoulda's" and "coulda's." We all know what we've got to do and create long lists to prove it. A lot of those things have lingered there for a long time, weighing heavily on our minds and our motivation.
The thing is… it's so easy to get a lot of them to just disappear. All it takes is one simple, magic word… "No."
Why is it easier said than done?
There's a lot of stuff that just has to get done; and we have no one else to do them. There are also a lot of other people that we've made commitments to. Saying "no" threatens to break promises and bonds. Saying "no" can make us appear uncaring or selfish.
Why should I do it anyway?
Unless we're actively doing something, being on a list isn't going to get it done faster. We're actually doing a disservice to ourselves, our commitments and to the thing itself. Some things are better off being done by others; and some things are better off just not getting done at all.
Where do I begin?
It's time to get out that list and take a cold hard look at it. Strike out all the things that we're not right for, the ones we don’t really want to do, and the ones we're never really going to do anyway. Set them all aside for a "no" list.
Next, find someone else who might be able to get some of the no list done. After all, those things might just need to be done; just not by us.
Then, get out of the commitments without breaking the bonds. For those things that we said we'd do, but aren't going to do them, now is a good time to explain it to the ones we've committed to. Commit to the relationship more than the thing, and try to come up with a solution to get it done, without the damage.
As for the rest, those are truly "no" things… They're "nothing" … so let them go.
And when something new comes along, all shiny and wanting attention, we need to ask ourselves "does this fit?" Is this something that I'll do, that I want to do… or will it becomes another "shoulda" on my plate? If that's the case, don't even let it in.
Our lives are measured by the things we do, not by our intentions. Saying "no" to the wrong things is like saying "yes" to the right things.
And there's no time like now to get that started.