What is your intention for the upcoming summer?
Do you plan to slow down and enjoy expanses of unscheduled time with your family? Is there a work or creative project you want to complete by the end of August? Do you want to reconnect with those you love and start living more in the present? Maybe you’re exhausted and need to pull out your calendar and schedule periods for rest and renewal? Or, perhaps you’re looking forward to the slowest time of the year (for most) as an opportunity to reflect on any course corrections you need to make for the fall?
If you’ve ever had the experience of waking up to realize Labor Day has arrived and your summer was not quite what you had envisioned, you know how key it is to enter this season with intention.
One of the most popular tools from my book, The Mother’s Guide to Self-Renewal: How to Reclaim, Rejuvenate and Re-Balance Your Life (if you missed the chance to get your free download, click here to read two sample chapters) is the Nine Ways to Say No list from Chapter Four on Managing Your Energy, Setting Priorities and Saying No.
We have a finite amount of energy.
Most of us are already overscheduled and overworked. One way to focus on what really matters is to say no to those things that are non-essential, that drain you or that are “shoulds.”
I’ve found that with practice, the more you say no, the easier it becomes. It’s like working out—the more you do it, the stronger you get. Try utilizing the language from the following list to support you in this new skill:
Nine Creative Ways to Say No
(1) Just No: “Thanks, I’ll have to pass on that.” (Say it, then shut up.)
(2) The Gracious No: “I really appreciate you asking me, but my time is already committed.”
(3) The “I’m Sorry” No: “I wish I could, but it’s just not going to work right now.”
(4) The “It’s Someone Else’s Decision” No: “I promised my coach (therapist, etc.) I wouldn’t take on any more projects right now. I’m working on creating more balance in my life.”
(5) The “My Family is the Reason” No: “Thanks so much for the invite, but that’s the day of my son’s soccer game, and I never miss those.”
(6) The “I Know Someone Else” No: “I just don’t have time right now. Let me recommend someone who may be able to help you.”
(7) The “I’m Already Booked” No: “I appreciate you thinking of me, but I’m afraid I’m already booked that day.”
(8) The “Setting Boundaries” No: “Let me tell you what I can do …” Then limit the commitment to what will be comfortable for you.
(9) The “Not No, But Not Yes” No: “Let me think about it, and I’ll get back to you.”
(This list is adapted in part from Work Less, Make More—Stop Working So Hard and Create the Life You Really Want, by Jennifer White.)
The next time you are considering a new work, family or volunteer project or commitment, remember that while important, it will take away time and valuable energy from those things that matter most. Pause, reflect on how you really want to experience the next 10 weeks and ask yourself if maybe the answer isn’t no.
I would love to hear your intentions for this summer (read mine here) and encourage you to find some quiet time this week to reflect on what you really want to experience before Labor Day arrives. You can email us your stories and comments at email@example.com.
And, I invite you to learn more about how to live intentionally and to join us June 11th in our virtual global living room for a FREE Personal Renewal Group Sampler Class via phone with author/life balance coach Renee Trudeau.
REGISTER HERE FOR THE FREE JUNE 11TH Personal Renewal Group Sampler class to receive call-in instructions and homework. (Important: If you have already registered for the class, check your inbox in a few days for a reminder/updated call instructions.)
P.S. Interested in hearing weekly tips on how to Live Inside Out or want to share your thoughts with our larger community? Check out my blog The Journey and join us on our Live Inside Out Facebook Fan page!
Upcoming Events and Training:
- Summer 2009: LIVE INSIDE OUT Campaign Launches!
Join the revolution, learn more about how to live intentionally. Join us June 11th in our global living room for a Personal Renewal Group Sampler class led by Renee Trudeau.
- June 11: FREE Personal Renewal Group *Sampler* Teleclass with author/life coach/entrepreneur Renee Trudeau: 7:00-8:00 CST. Come get a taste of a self-renewal circle and learn about the power of self-care. REGISTER HERE. If you’re thinking of starting or joining a Personal Renewal Group, this class is highly recommended!
- June 24: International Coaches Federation: Creating a Prosperous 2009: Possibilities, Partnerships and Passive Income presented by Renée Peterson Trudeau and Clutter Diet president, Lorie Marrero. Visit www.AustinCoaching.com for more information.
- June 26: Austin Business Journal Career Fresh Start Conference 9:00 am - 1:00 pm, Hilton Austin Hotel. Move Into the Driver’s Seat: Navigating Your Career in Uncertain Times led by nationally-recognized career and work-life balance coach and Career Strategists’ president, Renee Trudeau.
- July 23: 6:00 - 8:30 pm, Finding Your "Career Mojo": A Workshop for Professionals in Career Transition
Empowering, supportive, resource-packed and led by national career/life-balance expert Renee Trudeau. Strategically map out your next steps and find work that is a “fit” for you. Register by June 30th and receive a DIY Job Search Toolkit (a $99 value). Click here for more details.
- Are you a therapist, coach, doula or women's empowerment advocate who loves supporting women and helping them nurture their emotional well-being? Learn more about becoming a PRG Facilitator and join a national community of leaders who are changing women's lives through powerful life coaching groups centered around The Mother's Guide to Self-Renewal.
- Did you know Renee travels around the world speaking to corporations, organizations and at national conferences on Creating Balance from the Inside Out (and other related topics)? Learn more about having Renee speak at your next event, workshops or conference. We're scheduling fall events now.
- Visit our online calendar to learn about upcoming self-renewal retreats and events.