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How to Say NO

Do you struggle with how to say NO? No to that extra beer or those donuts in the breakroom? Life is full of parties and social gatherings, treats, and booze, and self-control and willpower are usually nowhere to be found. And if you are waiting for super-human willpower and motivation, I hate to break it to you, but they aren't coming.

What You Can Do:

What you can do is practice saying no, but let me warn you, it isn't easy at first. For most of us, it doesn't come naturally. It is a skill that needs to be practiced. It is a discipline that needs to be exercised. It's not as easy as just saying NO. It must be spoken out of true belief and conviction that you are doing what's best for your health, not just your health, but also the health of your family.

Because, ultimately, your decisions are affecting your spouse, your children, and those around you. Standing up for your convictions, even when it's hard and you may feel like just giving in, inspires others to change. You are setting an example. The example for a different way of doing things, a different way of living, a healthy way of living.

With Christmas a few days away and New Year's right around the corner, it's the perfect time to practice. The majority of my conversations with my clients this past 2 weeks has centered around saying NO to events, extra work, junk foods, and even loved ones who are adding stress to their life.

6 Tips on How to Say No

1. Ask yourself if saying yes to the person or thing is moving you closer to YOUR goals. Is it going to make you healthier and happier to go to another Christmas party or Social gathering where you know you will drink too much and eat too much unhealthy food, leaving you feeling bad about yourself the next day?

2. Start with something small to say No to it. An example would be an "optional" work function or an acquaintance invitation to a party. Saying No to your Grandma Betty's homemade apple pie in front of the rest of your family might be difficult if you aren't used to saying NO.

3. Decide what your boundaries are ahead of time and have the tough conversation with whomever, but do it in Love. Before you go into your weekend decide what you are going to allow yourself to partake in and what you need to set boundaries around. Then have a conversation with loved ones.

4. Ask your spouse or a friend for support and accountability. You will do far better when you have someone in your corner to keep you accountable and back you up if you need it.

5. Be prepared for opposition, persecution, and confrontation. If this is your first time standing up for something you know is good for you, you can count on certain friends and family not receiving it well and even trying to undermine your position. Remind yourself of why you started on this path, remember your goals, and come prepared.

6. Practice, practice, practice. It gets easier the more you do it. I promise.

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