Every day, I get messages from strangers, trying to sell me things.

One of the biggest pet peeves I have is when they start hounding me. They’ll start writing to me repeatedly, and their tone will change. They’ll act as if I OWE them a response or a spot on my calendar. It often seems they want to guilt me into saying YES.

I see this every day. We ALLOW our people to fill up our calendars with meetings that do NOT align with our biggest goals and priorities.

STOP doing this. You might think you’re being POLITE, but you’re actually being DISRESPECTFUL…. to YOURSELF.

Why don’t we talk more about this? How easy it’s become to be disrespectful to OURSELVES? Shouldn’t we matter MOST?

Here’s the deal. If you’ve got big hopes, goals, and dreams for yourself- to OWE it to yourself to ACCOMPLISH those. We were not put on this earth to PLAY SMALL.

As Stephen Covey said: it’s easier to say NO when we have a greater YES in mind. I couldn’t agree with that more.

If you find it HARD to say NO, it might be because you were brought up to be a people-pleaser. Perhaps you were raised to keep others happy and serve others. That’s nice, but the truth is you can’t pour from an empty cup. There’s a reason we’re told to put our OWN mask on first, THEN help others if the plane is going down. You’ll be BETTER able and BETTER suited to help others, if you’re a whole and complete person.

Four simple steps to make saying NO easier:
1) CREATE a vision for your life.
2) From that vision, SET annual goals. And commit to them!
3) From those goals, IDENTIFY your weekly (and daily!) actions and lead measures that you believe will GET you to your goals.
4) PUT these actions and lead measures FIRST. Don’t say yes to ANYTHING that will stand in the way of this all-important things getting done FIRST.

Do this, and you’ll find you’re HAPPIER and more PRODUCTIVE/EFFECTIVE than you’ve ever been. Then, you can figure out how to let other people’s priorities in.

I know this is hard. But it’s a major secret to a great life.