Monthly Review, August 2011 and Saying No

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Why not ??

I am very excited that Spring is here! Melbourne has been kind towards the end of August and given us some lovely sunshiney days – can’t wait for them to become the norm through out September.

Review of August key tasks

A pretty poor performance from me this month. The reason for it is something I am aware of – I find it really hard to say “no”. This in both my personal and work life. There are always so many wonderful things to do and opportunities to accept, but I have to get better and prioritising which ones I accept and simply limit how many I accept.

  • Stick to my new four rules. Went well on three of them, but still struggling with always doing the important things first. Will keep trying to retrain myself this month.
  • Taking the family out to dinner. – No :( .
  • Visit / call our lovely Nanas. – No :(
  • Begin promoting e version of the Planning With Kids book. Made a very small start.

Key tasks for September

I am very optimistic that I can improve on last month’s performance and with school holidays coming towards the end of the month, I am looking forward to making September a month for recharging.

  • Work on saying “no”.
  • Plan for a restful time during school holidays.
  • Take a bush walk or two – we have a break between football and cricket for the older boys, so this is the perfect time to make the best
  • Speaking events – I have a few in September which I need to prepare for. Very excited about this one in Sydney – Digital Parents Unplugged!

How do you go at saying no?
Image by Steve-h


  1. Fiona says

    How do I go?….Hmmmm… …… I do so poorly at saying no. Today I taught in my second job and should have said no to more teaching, but what did I say? “Yes sure I can fit that into my schedule”. AAAAAhhhh

  2. Nikki says

    I think sometimes it is a matter of understanding of why you are saying yes to things… and understanding what is really important to you. If you are getting to the point of getting really stressed- yelling at loved ones etc then it is time to start shedding things and simplifying your life. Can be hard initially but can be liberating in the end.

  3. Charnaine says

    Saying ‘no’ for women is one of the most challenging things to do. I use to have this issue too, but I have learnt to say ‘no’. Often, I find saying ‘yes’ is easier because it could be quicker for me to do the task instead of showing or teaching the person how to. Now, I will offer to teach the person so that they can help themselves later when I am not around. Enjoy the holidays!

  4. Carol says

    I’ve come to realize that– not only to children, but also to parents– No has such a bad reputation, likely because it is often uttered with too much force: e.g. after a parent has already *had* it. When that point is reached, (s)he is probably already irritated at themselves (pardon grammatically incorrect plural there!) at not having said straightaway a calm and neither mad or unapologetic No. That self-criticism will make the No even stronger than it usually need be.
    In other words, No is so often paired with such escalated anger or frustration that children develop an allergy of sorts to it.
    At home DH and I have been working on thinking before speaking and taking a few seconds to deeply inhale/exhale, while reminding ourselves that we are our daughter’s primary teachers in life. I’ll say the No, but usually paired with a brief phrase of explanation.. just to give reason (to my daughter’s ever inquisitive mind) when I see it’s needed or respectful to do so. A slim economy or words, though, is what I also must keep in mind. If protests ensue and continue, I try to calmly state, “OK, No is the final answer.” I’ll then go about my business, but with an awareness that she is could be observing me, perhaps brainstorming a bit and could be ready to continue the debate, A that point I must stick to the simple point of No and avoid showing much emotion.

    Ha, actually cathartic to write this.. curious to read more of others’ No’s! ;-)

  5. says

    I struggle with saying ‘no’ because I want to help people, especially when they are in need.

    Just this week I’ve stepped away from something I was doing and started delegating more. Have to keep reminding myself that family comes first.

  6. says

    My biggest lesson in saying No came from my friend who died last year of a brain tumour. I’d gone to visit her in hospital and we were chatting, and a nurse came in to ask her a bunch of questions about things like food choices for the following week, whether her husband was bringing in fresh socks etc. My friend looked at her and calmly, firmly, said. “No, I will not deal with these things right now. I am talking to my friend, and I don’t know how many more times I will be able to. I’m saying ‘No” to you so I can say ‘Yes’ to her.”

    Aside from reducing me to a puddle, this reminded me as nothing else could how saying No to doing everything is a powerful way of saying YES to the things that matter most of all. It’s an act of courage, respect and often of love.

    That said, I still struggle to do it.

  7. says

    Kathy’s story is very powerful I agree. And I really do think that the only way those of us who say yes too much learn to say no more often is by focusing on why we need to say no. I have got much better at this since having children as I simply couldn’t be the mother or wife I wanted to be if I tried to help others too much. Having a sick child has made me have to say no even more. The thing I can’t shake is the feeling that if I was ‘a better/stronger/more organised person’ I’d be able to say yes. For me the work is about trying to deal with those feelings. Thanks for making me think about it some more. Hugs.