Less Is More: Accomplish Your Goals by Saying NO!

When I look back over this last year and I think of where I want 2021 to take me, there’s only one word that comes to mind: Pivot. When I think of the growth I’ve done personally and professionally over the last year, there’s really no other word that does it justice. I’ve had to pivot my mindset at times, and I’ve certainly had to pivot when it comes to dealing with the ball of fire that 2020 threw at us. So in all this changing, and adapting, and learning, and growing that I’ve been trying to focus on, one thing has been clear: the importance of knowing when it’s okay to say no and when to say yes to new opportunities.

Outfit Details:

Spanx Faux Leather Leggings (quilted version here on sale), Van Slip Ons, Leopard Print Tee, Lululemon Bag (on sale under $60), Sonia Kashuk Loaf Travel Bag

Here’s the thing about saying no: It’s hard. I’ve always been a people pleaser, and it’s probably one of my biggest downfalls. I hate to see anyone disappointed, and I hate it when I feel someone is waiting on me for something important. While I know it’s a glaring weakness, it’s also probably an attribute that’s paid off in running successful businesses. For so long I would never say no, and my availability was generally 24/7/365. Even when I was mentally and physically exhausted, I would find ways to fit in just one more thing.

What I’ve learned from trying to do it all is that all I’m really accomplishing is setting myself up for some big time burnout, often at the detriment of those who mean the most to me—the ones who are waiting for mom to come home and spend time with them instead of circling back and forth and running between meetings or on the phone yet again trying to hash out the details for another launch.

I’ve mentioned it before, but it’s definitely worth a re-share: 2020 taught me how to slow down. It helped me open my eyes and see that while I was running a business and a family and navigating my second divorce, I was also running my sanity into the ground. 2020 definitely helped me prioritize. It helped me understand that some things CAN, in fact, be pushed down the list, saved for tomorrow, or delegated to another highly capable human being who doesn’t always have the name Heidi Powell attached to her very tired mind and body.

While I do feel the push and pull with wanting to please people, I also understand that running a 24/7/365 operation will inevitably let people down, especially those who need me the most. That’s why I love the quote above from Greg McKeown (read his book, Essentialism, it’s amazing!). If we never say no, where are our priorities? Not every piece of our lives can be equal. Period.

If you don’t stand up and clearly define what’s important to you, then at the end of the day, someone else is going to do that for you. Someone else is going to determine what and how much is on your plate, and friends, believe me, it’s not always going to line up with your values and your priorities. You have to take an active part in your life and hold yourself accountable. It’s okay to set boundaries with other people, and it’s also okay to set boundaries with yourself. Saying no and setting those boundaries will actually help you thrive the most.

Sometimes we stand in our own way. We become too paralyzed with fear to make a move, or we accept too much until our very goal stops being enjoyable because we’re so burnt out with no end in sight. Knowing and understanding how full your plate should be can only be determined by you. And I get it. I get that sometimes there are things we are called to do that seem to multiply before we ever actually cross them off our to-do list. It’s life, and it happens. But it’s knowing and understanding the difference between being busy and giving into a season of overwhelm that will make or break us.

Ok, I’ve talked a lot about saying no. But, you can’t say no to everything, even though you sometimes feel like it, right? So, how do you determine when to say no and when to say yes? How do you determine what’s right for you?

How to evaluate your goals:

1. Does this goal add to and or help you create your long-term vision for your life?
2. Does it enhance your self love, or is it all about someone else? And guys, as moms, sometimes it IS all about someone else, and that someone else happens to be our kiddos. That’s okay. But know that there’s a line, and that even if your plate is full because you’re a mom, you still deserve to have a spot at the table too.
3. Does it improve your mindset? Are you excited every day to get to work on that project or that goal? Or does it feel taxing, tiring, or draining?

Really take a look at your answers. I think sometimes the right decision is clearer than we give it credit for. Learning to say no, and learning when it’s appropriate to say yes, isn’t always easy. There will always be a busy season, and I hate to admit it, but mom guilt will always be in the back of my mind. I might also feel some business guilt because my businesses really are kind of like my babies. But at the end of the day, it’s important to realize that in order to really show up—to show up for our kids, our careers, our dreams, and ourselves, we HAVE to protect our peace. And in saying yes to things that don’t serve us, we’re doing the exact opposite.


Related reading:

New Year, New Goals?
Prioritize YOU: Why Work/Life Balance Matters in 2021
Why Gratitude Is Important to Your Weight Loss Goals
How to Beat the Odds and Actually Finish Your Goals | Jon Acuff
How SMART Are Your Goals?

26 Responses

  1. My biggest at home workout struggle is just not knowing what to do. I have a hand-me-down treadmill that i run on 3 to 5 times a week but i seriously hate running….I just don’t know what else to do. I’ve got some big goals this year i just need to find the way to reach them!

    1. My biggest at home workout struggle is just not knowing what to do. I have a hand-me-down treadmill that i run on 3 to 5 times a week but i seriously hate running….I just don’t know what else to do. I’ve got some big goals this year i just need to find the way to reach them and i think tonal could really help me with that. I’ve worked and operated multiple Baskin Robbins locations for 17 years and it’s time to put down the ice cream and get my workout on haha.

  2. My biggest at-home workout struggle, is that I don’t know what to do as a beginner. My mom and I are living together and I’m in my 50s and she is in her 80s (in age only)and we both want to get more fit and feel better..but want to do things safely. I want to believe that it’s not too late for either of us to improve our fitness and health. It seems like everything I find out there is geared towards the 45 and younger, reasonably fit person.
    Tonal seems to have the programs that can be customized for us and fits in a relatively small space…and we can do it at home where we feel comfortable. The feeling of a personal trainer in our own home will make it easier to do it everyday and how can we not become stronger and more fit? This could be the thing that finally gives us what we need at our own home!

  3. My biggest struggle is trying to find affordable at home gym equipment. I finally picked up a set of power block dumbbells, I hope to add the great Tonal to my at home gym.

  4. 2020 has taught me (and I?m sure so many others) a lot about gratitude and not taking life or holding any amount of privilege for granted. I hope to carry those lessons into 2021 and hope to incorporate more health and growth routines this year and years to come. My biggest at home workout struggle is lacking the proper tools and guidance to work out at home @tonal would be a life saver!

  5. My biggest struggle is balancing a healthy lifestyle and lake of motivation.? I have at least 50pounds to lose but I have 3 young kids with a full time job and not have enough time for myself. The @Tonal will help me to workout from home…when my kids are sleep.

    1. Saying no is tricky and guilt-provoking. My biggest struggle is balancing this in time usage. It gets so muddy when inability to say no to others really translates as a no to yourself… ?ok, I can write that extra work email now, make that last min snack the class mom needs, stay up late to set up that LEGO thing.? When really you?ve just said no to making the time for yourself: that cup of tea you?d been waiting for, that release you get from earned sweat, and the quality sleep you deserve.

  6. My biggest struggle is balancing a healthy lifestyle. I’m great at meal planning and sticking to a routine but it never fails, after 2 weeks I fall off the wagon. With a husband and 5 kids I’m pulled every which way. I find time for myself at night when everyone else has gone to sleep but no motivation.

    I’ve seen the Tonal a few times and thought how this would help with my lack of motivation. I want to be able to feel strong and healthy again. Having a Tonal would be a game changer not only in my life but my whole family as well.

  7. My biggest struggle is my weight I’ve got over 100 lbs to lose. I have TOS which makes doing upper body a nightmare and had tarsel tunnel surgery so walking on a treadmill makes me want to cry. I’ve set my goals high for 2021 but scared of covid and gyms cause we are high risk. I’m still pushing through on my goals but having something like this would help me start my at-home gym

    1. My biggest struggle is eating and exercising! I?m a binge eater, I have two little girls and I?m a stay at home mom. With COVID we all have been a bit moody with not being able to go out (my province is in lock down). Tonal seems like it would help with my lack of motivation to work out at home!

  8. My biggest struggle after having THREE boys is finding the time with their schedules (sports, extra curricular, school) to get in time for me.

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