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Learning to say no


The focus of this small simplicity challenge is to help you be more intentional with your time.

Today we’re looking at standing firm and saying ‘no’.


I know it’s difficult to say no sometimes.

When a friend invites you for coffee or an evening out or one of the parents at school asks you to help with a school event, saying no seems unfriendly or unhelpful.

Sometimes it’s also tough to know exactly how to say no.

When we can’t find the courage to say no right from the off, or at the very least say “Can I have a think and let you know later?”, we stumble and give in.


We often say “yes” when actually we’d like to say “no”.

Yet, saying no is something that gets easier with practice. The more times you find ways to say no, the more comfortable you’ll feel saying it!


The other thing to understand is that saying no isn’t actually about saying no.

It’s actually about saying YES! to something else.

You only have a finite amount of time in your day so it’s impossible to say yes to everything!

When you say no to something that you don’t really want to do, or won’t serve you, or isn’t a priority for you right now, then you’re actually making space for something else that IS more important to you.


Your time is valuable so you can choose to use it doing something that others want you to do, or you feel you should do


You can use it doing things that are important to you.


It’s not a question of being selfish, unhelpful or ungrateful.

It’s about you taking ownership of your time, evaluating where your priorities are right now and having the willpower and courage to put YOUR priorities first sometimes, rather than those of other people.


Your challenge today

Today I’d like you to practice saying NO!

  • Go through your calendar for the next week or month
  • Pick one thing that you don’t really want to do
  • Find a way to cancel or postpone it
  • Plan what you’re going to do with that time instead.

Saying no gets easier with practice. Try it and see!


Further reading

This post on 3 ways to be less busy may be helpful!


Thank you for joining me in this small simplicity challenge.

You can find more small simplicity challenges here.