Tips for Saying NO and Being More Intentional (From the Experts)

If “Busy” is a four-letter word then “No” is a magical, two-letter word that more of us need to work into our vocabularies. While I recently taught you to use the word “busy” sparingly, today I want to teach you to start using the word “no” more often….well, I actually want to invite others to do that for me.

Are you more comfortable saying “No” or saying “Yes?”

Saying “No” can be really difficult for people. Saying “yes” to more projects, request, clients, meetings, boards, and volunteer work can be more comfortable than saying no. But is it really?

Have you ever considered that when you say “yes” to something you are also saying “no” to a whole host of other things? It could be family time, free time, yourself, more important projects, or YOUR SANITY.

Prioritizing and time blocking are a huge part of getting things done for me and my company. It’s a work in progress and I sought out help from some professionals who are amazing at this.

These women are all strong, professional, women who have worked hard to find their priorities and pursue their passions and they all have one thing in common, they think you should start saying, “no” more often!

So, say YES to reading this article and then start exercising your right to say NO!

Allie Phillips

Manifested Harmony

How can you say no so that you can prioritize what is most important in your life and business? The most important thing is to first figure out what is most important and then what are the necessary things you need to do daily/weekly/monthly to achieve your goal? Surprisingly, too many people don’t spend time figuring this out so they end up saying yes to everything. If you find yourself saying yes to everything, then getting really clear on what’s most important is a good first step.

Once you know what’s most important in your life and/or your business, then all you have to do is say yes to anything that supports those areas. If something does not support those areas then it’s okay to say no. This can be so important if you have your own business. Small business owners often fall into the trap of “say yes to everything because it could be an opportunity.” But what happens is that we spend our time on all of these requests from other people rather than working on our business. I have fallen into this trap many times and then I find myself busy 15 hours a day and depleted.

What helps me now is to keep my personal and business goals in writing on the wall next to my home office desk. Then when I receive invitations I just look at my goals and ask “will this help me towards my goal?”

Give yourself permission to say no without guilt from others or from yourself because at the end of the day, end of the year and end of this glorious trip called life, you are the only one with your goal who can make it succeed.

Allie Phillips is a multi-careered internationally-recognized animal protection attorney, criminal justice educator, public speaker, award-winning author, toxin-kicking wellness junkie, essential oil, energy & empowerment biz owner creating wellness for people & pets. She is located in Lansing, Michigan and teaches across the U.S. and world through travel and online classes.

Wesley Reece

Whole Life Up-Level Specialist

Being able to Say No to a request of your time is no easy feat especially if you tend to be a people pleaser.

Filter your choices throughout your day asking yourself, “Does saying YES to ‘this’ serve me in the direction I want to go?”

When you say “YES” to someone or something, you are saying no to something else. ALWAYS!

If saying YES to someone or something feels like an obligation, this is a clear warning sign because resentment can begin to fester inside of you. Pay attention to the feelings you are experiencing. Are your feelings of joy and excitement when you say YES? Or are your feelings of guilt and resentment? If you are experiencing a negative emotion because of a commitment you made, this is a clear warning sign that a boundary needs to be established within yourself.

How do you know if it saying YES serves your vision?

You first have to gain a clear understanding around what matters most for you in the life you want to create for you and your family.

One example would be ranking your priorities based on the relationships in your life. Your relationship with your Creator, yourself, and the people in your life.

To get a clear picture of where your commitment lies, look at your calendar. Time is the greatest asset and non-renewable resource we all have the same amount of. If your time is being spent in areas that are not in alignment with your priorities, what matters most to you, then you may be experiencing feelings of stress, frustration, and overwhelm.

Start by becoming aware of the areas of your life where your time is spent. My guess is that you intend to spend your time in the areas that matter most to you but life gets in the way. Here’s a newsflash…Life doesn’t get in the way. You get in your own way. It will only shift for you when you put a stake in the ground and decide there’s got to be a better way. And my friend, there is a better way, but it starts with you making the choice and taking intentional steps to experience the life you wish to live.

I help the super woman jump off the hamster wheel before there’s damage that can’t be undone!

Pamela Catey

Writer + Musician + Transformational Life Empowerment Coach for High Achieving Women

“No, thank you” is the new, appropriate response if you’re feeling overwhelmed from saying “yes” to too many things. You may be afraid to say “no” because you want people to like you and fear they won’t if you don’t say “yes”. But, so what?

How much longer are you willing to continue to sacrifice your needs, wants and desires so that other people like you? The approval of others is not the source of your safety and security, you are.

If you want to live a full, meaningful, and satisfied life, make loving and valuing what you love and value more important than seeking the approval of others. Prioritize what you love and value and stop sacrificing yourself for everyone and everything.

Anyone can you give you a gazillion tips and “how to’s” for prioritizing. But none of it matters if the foundation from which you’re trying to prioritize is based on a lie and illusion about your value, worth and desires. Until you value YOU, your WORTH, and value what you desire and set standards for how your life and business goes, none of the “how to’s” matter.

First, you need to realize you matter. Second, you need to realize that what matters to you, matters. Third, you need to realize that you have the POWER to materialize what matters to you.
Until then, all tips and how to’s are just information that makes you think you’re making a change because you learned something. But doesn’t change anything. Truth is, nothing changes until you do.

There are only 4 types of action:

  • Do more of something.
  • Do less of something.
  • Start doing something.
  • Stop doing something.

Choose two and run with it.

I’d invite you to stop saying “yes” all the time and start saying “no, thank you” more often. Say “yes” to only the things that matter most to you especially when the thought of doing so scares you.

Start saying “no, thank you” to the people, activities and offers that aren’t a “Hell, Yes!”

Stop giving away your time and energy to please other people and start pleasing yourself. Do this and you’ll find you can naturally tap into your joy, flow, and peace of mind.

**Pamela Catey, M.A. has been a Transformational Life Coach since 2006, holds a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology, and is a Best Selling Co-Author of the book “Wake Up! Live a Life You Love: Giving Gratitude”. She considers herself a Personal Evolution Facilitator. You can find her at

Darcy Toth

Coaching for a Change

In today’s American Culture it seems we are all busy, busy, busy. We’re busy at work, busy at home, and often too busy for taking care of ourselves mentally, physically and spiritually. That’s simply too busy! So what can we do about it? Identify what’s most important. Then pick some things that need some attention. Clear the clutter from your calendar to make room for the most valued priorities. Here’s what has been working well for me…

  1. Take some time and make a list of the top 3 things that are most important to you. For me it was God, Family (Including my family of choice, my friends), and my Work. Doing this allows us to look at our lives and sort of “check the boxes” in our calendar where we are allowing time for our top 3.
  2. Fill out a “Wheel of Life”… Basically draw a circle and divide it like a pie into 12 pieces. (They don’t have to be evenly spaced). Then writing one topic on each line, the topics are: Joy, Social Life, Relationships, Home Environment, Health, Physical Activity, Home Cooking, Education, Career, Finances, Creativity, and Spirituality. To discover what wants to be nourished look at each section and mark an “x” on each line marking how satisfied you are with that area of your life. An “x” placed near the center indicates dissatisfaction, an “x” placed near the outer edge of the circle indicates ultimate happiness. Select the 3 lines that have X’s closest to the center. These 3 areas are areas that you may seriously want to consider giving more attention. At the time, mine were Physical Activity, Home Cooking and Finances. So where do we find time for these new areas, while continuing to support our top 3 important areas?
  3. Look at everything on your calendar. Begin to clear (cancel) everything that does not fit in your top 3 areas of importance or your low 3 areas of dissatisfaction.
  4. A great way to say “No” is ” Thank you for thinking of me, unfortunately, I cannot come (or commit to that), due to other obligations at this time.”

P.S. Saying “No” with grace is possible when you have done all the above with your Higher Power’s input.

Darcy works with Women Business Owners to make more money with less stress.

Saying No: The Wrap Up

Get really clear about what is important to you so you know where you should be spending your time. When you kindly say “no” to things that aren’t serving or supporting your main goals you get to say “YES” to a whole lot more. “No, thank you” is the new, appropriate response if you’re feeling overwhelmed from saying “yes” to too many things.

Remember, we are all in this together, so if someone says “no” to you respond with understanding and grace.

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