Do you ever feel like you end up agreeing to do things by accident? Saying yes without thinking too hard is alluring. Agreeing to a request on the spot is socially sanctioned in our culture in a thousand ways.
However, as a busy parent with tons of demands on your time and energy, you can’t afford to take on obligations and commitments lightly. Even fairly minor commitments can pile up and end up subtly chipping away at your time and energy.
So next time someone asks you to do something, make your yes or no mindful by making sure you know the answers to these questions:
1. What, exactly, am I agreeing to do and by when? Get as specific and concrete as you can.
2. Who will this benefit and how will it benefit them? Does that line up with my values?
3. How long will it take me to do it, if all goes well? If all does not go well?
4. When, specifically, would I do it? Best answered with your calendar in front of you, envisioning yourself blocking off all the work time you’d need on actual specific days.
5. What else is going on that day/week/month? Will this new commitment impact any of those things?
6. Who will be helping me? Can I count on them?
7. What other resources (money, supplies, physical/emotional energy) will I need to do it?
8. What else might I be doing with my time and other resources, if I don’t do this?
9. What is the worst thing that could happen if I say no? How likely is that, and what would I do if it actually happened?
10. Will it be fun for me? (This matters a lot.)
11. In my heart and in my gut, do I feel awesome or uncomfortable about agreeing to do this? Go with your instincts!
Remember… it’s okay to take time to think about it before you agree to do something. It’s okay to say no. And it can feel really amazing to say yes with a light heart, knowing that you are making the right choice for you.
How do you make sure you really mean it and feel good about it when you say yes to doing something? Share in the comments.