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The Year of No or Choosing a Better Yes

I'm a slow processor. I take awhile to make decisions and prefer to sit with something for a few days (or weeks) before sharing my thoughts. I love the fresh start of January but I'm never ready to dive into goals or a word for the year before mid-January.


This year, however, I knew my word in December. I jokingly said it was No. The Year of No.


I'm starting my non-fiction reading this year by re-reading Essentialism by Greg McKeown, it's a bi-annual read for me and every time, I underline or copy a new thought.

And so instead of a grumpy No for my word, my phrase is 'saying no so I can say yes to the best'. Or as McKeown asks, "Is this the very most important thing I should be doing with my time and resources right now?"



My reading goals reflect this- I'm trying a reading challenge for the first time in a few years. I've started the Schole Sisters 5x5 challenge, the concept being reading five books in five different genres. Reading deeper not neccesarily wider. My categories are Education/Parenting, Essentialism/Streamlining/Saying No, Prayer, Biography and Recommended by Others. Reading is easy for me, the habit of reading daily is ingrained in me and it's my preferred way to unwind and learn. Reading deliberately is the habit I want to cultivate more of this year. So my library holds will look a little different as I read fewer books but with greater impact.


My phone is off for the school morning which means I'm not tempted to check something quickly or respond to a text until after lunch. I'm also barely on social media, my instagram account is paused for now and facebook remains a place to thrift through the marketplace and check in with a few local groups. Do I miss Instagram? I do and I don't. I miss certain friends' updates but that's just a reminder to intentionally connect with them off of socials. I don't miss the noise, the feeling of missing out or the distraction.


It's just been a few weeks of practicing pausing before saying yes and I can already see some benefits. I have also said yes a couple times without thinking because it's been such a habit but that's part of the learning process.

I'd love to hear if you have a word for the year or any book recommendations for my 5x5 challenge!


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