Have you ever felt overwhelmed by your “to do” list?

Stretched too thin?  No time to do your own thing?

Is it tough for you to say No . . . and when you manage to say No you are filled with guilty feelings for saying No?

Do you sometimes feel as if you’re the puppet and someone else is controlling the strings?

It’s happened to me too.  I couldn’t say No and I found myself on committees, managing fundraising events, participating on boards, volunteering, helping, making phone calls, and running around doing things I wasn’t so crazy about doing.

Don’t get me wrong.  There were parts I enjoyed.  But a lot of other parts I didn’t enjoy.

So then I started to just say No.  And saying No didn’t work too well for me either.  Because shortly after saying No I’d develop a serious case of guilt for saying No.

What to do?

I went back to saying Yes.  Only this time with a twist. I said Yes to what I wanted to do.  What I would be happy to do.  What fit with my schedule. Which wasn’t always the whole enchilada.  Just the parts I liked.

Yes-No-Or-Maybe

And then I discovered a wonderful thing:   I was back in the driver’s seat of my life, my way, on my own schedule.  Not someone else’s.  My “to do” list shrank.  I had time for myself.  I lost that stretched-too-thin feeling.  It worked!

So if you find yourself stuck in Yes mode and resenting it, try this:

When someone asks, “Can you . . . ”  “Would you . . . ”  “Could you . . . ”  “Will you . . . ”

Decide what you CAN do.  What you WANT to do.  Then just say Yes, but make it your Yes.  And your Yes means doing what you are happy to do.  Which isn’t always what someone else expects you to do.  But        it’s enough.  And it’s not a flat out No.

Let your friends and family know what you WILL do.  Then stick to it.

You’ll discover a wonderful thing.  Those puppet strings are back in your hands, where they belong.  And you will feel as if you’ve taken control of your life again.

That’s it.  There’s your two minute drill.

Just say Yes!