— Does the word “no” rarely part your lips?

— Are you always worried about what others will say if you say “No”?

— Maybe you think “nice people” just don’t say no….

What is not saying NO costing you?

I know, even the thought of saying “No” can cause stress.  “I can’t say “No, to <INSERT NAME>.” and  “My <INSERT GOOD CAUSE> needs me!”  Saying “No” brings out all kinds of negative emotions especially guilt.

If it makes you feel any better, you’re not alone.

Not saying no is rarely about just saying yes when you really want to say no.  No is a boundary and one of the most difficult things to do, for women in particular, is draw boundaries and keep them in place. We always tell ourselves “<INSERT NAME> depends on me to….” Now, I’m not talking about saying no to everything.

Where should you draw the line? Of course only you know the answer to that. It is up to each individual. To help give you some great starter moves I asked, Gary Ryan Blair if I could share his recent e-letter on “Saying No.”

I thought it very relevant as we review 2011 and prepare for 2012.  Incorporating even just a couple of Gary’s 15 ideas below will save you time, energy and money. Vow to make 2012 your year to say NO to what really doesn’t serve you.


No, No, No

   by Guest Blogger Gary Ryan Blair

Saying No is the world’s best, fastest and easiest productivity strategy, primarily because it simplifies.

You will succeed on the basis of what, where and how you say “no”. And “Saying NO” allows you to get more control over your daily life and activities–IMMEDIATELY!

For the first 100 days of 2012, you must resolve to give “NO” the strategic resolve it deserves!

The following are fifteen simple, effective and empowering strategies that you can use to get results–IMMEDIATELY!

1.) What strategies, initiatives and activities will you say “no” to?

There is great feeling, focus, empowerment, and impact when everyone agrees on paper the activities that will not be done.

Pull out a piece of paper and list all of the superfluous activities that can slow down, or prevent progress from happening altogether.

Everything is fair game and absolutely nothing is sacred in this exercise. Simply put, if it does not advance you forward, then say no!

2.) What meetings will you decline or delegate?

List every meeting you have in place for the foreseeable future and determine which you will NOT be attending. Meetings consume large chunks of productive time, most are run improperly and inefficiently, and most can be declined or delegated to someone else.

3.) What relationships will you not keep?

The way you manage your relationships has an enormous impact on your ability to perform at consistently high levels.

Identify the top three energy-draining relationships, that you are committed to saying “no” to for the next 100 days. Then focus on creating strategies to free yourself from each of them.

4.) What measurements will you ignore?

Say goodbye to all lagging indicators and ONLY pay attention to measurements related to customer satisfaction and the levers that directly drive sales, margin, operating expense and ROI.

5.) What customers will you not target?

Identify your IDEAL prospect, client or customer and quit chasing every opportunity as it’s a complete waste of time and resources. Once identified, you must then articulate who you will NOT target.

Finally, make decisions on segments of your customers that deserve “VIP” treatment.

6.) What competitors will you not follow?

Way too much time is lost by following and focusing on too many competitors and so-called guru’s. Identify the top three and immediately remove yourself from all of the other email distribution lists, blogs and other related communications.

7.) What websites will you not visit?

Web sites are like magnets and vampires, as they draw you in and suck away productive time. Pull up your list of favorites, delete most of them and keep only the ones of greatest value. You must institute a “No Surfing” policy and stick to it.

8.) What money will you not spend?

Put yourself on a fiscal diet as every dollar spent should be thought of as an investment towards greater operating income — even petty cash. With this in mind, what things, or even entire budget categories, will you not spend?

9.) What trips will you not make?

It’s hard to deny the power of ‘showing up’ in person as great things happen when you show up and interact with customers and colleagues. Nonetheless, trips consume massive gobs of time and money. Therefore, consider how you can use technology to replace trips, and only travel when it can make a big impact towards your primary goals.

10.) What foods will you not eat?

Reaching the next level of performance and productivity begins with how you manage energy. It’s disturbing to see the immense amount of human and corporate potential squandered due to the misuse of energy.

Unhealthy eating habits, lack of exercise, negativity, sarcasm, unfocused goals and strategies are all contributing factors to energy loss. Focus in on your nutritional intake and exercise by eliminating any food, or drink that compromises your energy levels.

11.) What excuses will you not engage in?

Excuses drain energy, time, production and profits. Have a brutally honest conversation with yourself and determine the excuses or behaviors that you must do away with. I’m aware that it’s easier said than done, but you will NOT be able to achieve your true potential by fighting for and repeating useless behavior.

12.) What will you not say?

Develop the habit of saying NOTHING that does not move the ‘agenda’ forward or uplift others. Speak ONLY of the solution, and waste not a second on the problem or blame.

You will save a lot of time and mental energy which can be directed towards more useful activities.

13.) What thoughts will you not entertain?

Remember that which does not move you towards your goal, takes you away from it. Therefore remove those thoughts that are limiting, defeating or downright negative and consciously choose to replace them with thoughts of abundance, optimism, and positivity. Don’t tolerate negative thoughts or conversations from yourself or others.

14.) What television shows will you not view?

If there was ever a time hog that needed to be slaughtered, television tops the list.  In even a moderate TV-watching household, it’s simply amazing how many hours are spent in front of the box. The solution–go cold turkey!

15.) What will you no longer tolerate from yourself or others?

Saying “no” and meaning it is the easiest word for setting a limit, holding firm to boundaries, and being clear about what you will or will not do. Identify the standards you wish to measure your life by and refuse to lower or negotiate at any time, nor for any reason.

Use the veto power of “No” regularly and with conviction as it’s a powerful strategic weapon that you can use to maximize your results in the first 100 days of the New Year.

About Gary Ryan Blair from http://www.100daychallenge.com/

The 100 Day Challenge is a revolutionary extreme performance acceleration system that is responsible for transforming business and human potential into extraordinary results worldwide. Visit http://www.100daychallenge.com/ and take the 7-Day Test Drive.