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Build Your YES List

As 2020 comes to a close, many of us reflect on the year that is finished. It is easy to focus on the things that we didn’t like and didn’t enjoy (this year had a lot of those for most of us) but it is often more valuable to use the information about what you don’t like to build your YES list.

Every time we are presented with an option, we choose to say YES or NO to the opportunity. Each time we respond, we are choosing how to utilize our time. When we have a solid YES list, we will ensure those things are a priority. Once they are plugged into the open slots in the calendar, it makes it even easier to say no to the things that we don’t want to do.

I met with a client this week who was talking about how grateful he was for the opportunity to get to know his children better. He has already decided that when things return to “normal” he is going to prioritize quality time with his children. He says if it wasn’t for COVID, he might not have realized how his busy lifestyle was impacting his closest relationships. This is a perfect example of something added to the YES list.

Another client has realized how important social rituals like baby showers and birthday celebrations are to her. She not only enjoys planning these events but also finds the social connection is a respite from the stress of her job. Dropping a gift on a table at church or drop shipping from Amazon or Walmart doesn’t provide the same sense of connection. Her YES list includes looking for opportunities to connect more with people especially at pivotal times in their lives.

Several clients added exercise regimes to give them reason to get out of the house. They are saying YES to better fitness and health.

Several friends of mine took the opportunity to leap from their corporate positions into jobs that are just as lucrative and a better fit their priorities. Some turned a hobby into a new business. Others trained for a different position and changed careers. These folks have YES list items that that include more time with family, more meaningful work and doing more tasks that they love.

An organization I’m a member of has moved to meeting virtually. We all anticipate that the day will come when our meetings will resume in person and we look forward to the benefits of being together again. While our main meetings will eventually resume in person, we’ve learned that we like having the administration meetings virtually. Our YES list includes reducing travel time to increase our efficiency.

More than any other year, the contrast between this year and “normal” has given us opportunities to try things we might have otherwise missed. Take time to reflect on your experiences to create your YES list and then make those things a priority in your calendar. You’ll experience more satisfaction in your life both at work and at home.

Please share your YES list items below!

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