How to Make a Decision You Can Live With

So often people express minimalism as a lifestyle of cutting things out, but my experience with minimalism is that it’s a conscious effort to say yes to what is best.  Here’s the rub, though – saying yes to what’s best means saying “NO” regularly.

  • Have you felt bitter lately on your way to fulfill a commitment you wish you’d not said yes to?
  • Does the stress of your children’s extra-curricular activities outweigh the value of them?
  • Are you dependent on a paycheck at a job that’s not a good fit for either party?

While you may not be able to stop any of these situations in their tracks today, there’s a way you can prevent experiencing them again.

When an opportunity arises or a decision needs to be made, ask yourself: “Is this something only I can do?”

That’s my litmus test. If the answer is yes and I have sufficient time in my schedule, I do it. If the answer is no and I have sufficient time and sufficient interest I can still say yes (though I often don’t in order to leave time open for things I value more).

Important: Don’t say yes just because they need a warm body to fill a spot. If you’re not interested, someone else will be. Everyone’s better off when someone who wants to be there is the one who’s agreed to be there.

Finally, if you remain torn as to what to do, ask yourself if the opportunity meets any of the core values you have.  I am more likely to say yes if an invitation relates to online ministry, minimalism, my kids, or adoption.


3 Responses to “How to Make a Decision You Can Live With”

  1. Faye Bryant May 25, 2012 at 8:55 am #

    I have a note I keep handy to remind me of this concept:
    Saying “no” is not a negative.
    Saying “yes” to something that is destroying you IS.

    • Dana Byers May 25, 2012 at 4:31 pm #

      Excellent truth there, Faye. Once a friend asked me how I can say no so often and not feel guilty. I do feel guilty sometimes, but considering the potential negative outcome can help us all say no more.

  2. Megan Keith May 27, 2012 at 9:48 am #

    Saying no is one of the hardest things for me to do! I am definitely a YES-person – and often times to my own personal detriment! And just looking at where my life is at the moment, a large part of the difficulties I am facing are due to my struggle to say no :( Thanks for this post Dana – I really needed to hear this! x

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