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Setting Priorities, Saying No, and Living a Life I Love

by Ashley on October 1, 2012 · 3 comments

One of the biggest lessons I’m learning right now is that everything cannot be a priority, at least not at the same time. Duh, Ashley.

But really, I’m actually learning that since I have a limited amount of time and energy, I must set boundaries and be clear about what is most important to me, which means I can’t say yes to everything that comes my way.

If I want to give away 100 free coaching calls in order to gain experience as a life coach, it will mean saying “no” to brunch invitations with friends, Glee nights, and Sunday afternoon football games.

If I want to move to Canada in January, it will mean saving money and saying “no” to random trips to Target, eating out, and new clothes.

If I want to finish creating content for the Dream Catching Workshop so that I can launch it this month, it will mean less time reading for fun, saying “no” to West Wing marathons, and  more evenings spent in front of the computer.

If I want to run another half-marathon, it will mean less nights out with friends, less alcohol, and more clean eating. It will mean spending my mornings running trails instead of drinking coffee and reading blogs in bed.

If I want to seriously pursue yoga teacher training, it will mean finding another area of my life to sacrifice the time and energy. It may mean less time running and more time on the mat.

I’m also learning to release the guilt that tends to come with saying no.

If I know what my priorities are (growing Your Super Awesome Life, my relationship, running, and yoga), then I also know what my priorities are not (happy hours, lazy nights in front of the TV, and afternoons spent shopping). And it’s okay if my priorities aren’t exactly in line with the priorities of other people.

It’s empowering to realize that you, not anyone else, actually have complete control over how you spend your time.

Since I’ve been more intentional about how I spend my time, my days are now filled with more of the things I love. There is less stress, less boredom, and less frustration, because I know that whatever I spending my time and energy on is something that will get me closer to my version of a super awesome life.


Photo: jphilipson 

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Erin October 1, 2012 at 8:30 am

I so so so needed to read this. Just wanted to say thanks… by sharing your truth, you tapped right into mine. :) I’ve been on some sort of crazy carousel lately. On the one hand, it’s great! I love that my week nights fill up with great things to do. On the other hand, I feel like I’m never home, not taking care of myself, and not working on the things I want to be working on. So like you said above, it’s time to make a list of my priorities and what I need to say “yes” to and “no” to. Thanks for the inspiration. :)


Ashley October 1, 2012 at 9:26 am

This was an awesome post and I definitely need to work on setting my priorities. I have a bad habit of setting them, being really good about them for a month and then something will happen, like extra travel or a few more happy hours and suddenly I’ve fallen off that wagon. It’s so much harder getting back in the habit than it was to initially start! I need to really sit down and go over my priorities this week. :)


Gina October 1, 2012 at 12:07 pm

I can so relate to this! Ever since I read Nicole’s post, I’ve realized that only I can make time for my priorities. This means saying “no” to events or activities that don’t contribute to my goals (saving money, losing weight, blogging consistently, etc.) Last night I had to say no to an outing with friends so I could stay home and prepare for a job interview I have tomorrow. I felt bad saying no, but by the end of the night, I was so glad I did because I got so much done. It really is liberating to realize that I have complete control over my time. :)


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