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Committing to a Joyful Yes

It's concerning how many minutes of our days are spent engaging in activities that we don't want to do in the first place. While some of this may be unavoidable, as we push further into the new year and commit more deeply to new goals and habits, it's important to recognize that there will not be space for them to reach full actualization in a sustainable way unless other activities fade away.

We need to be strategically intentional about the commitments, and subsequent actions, we bring into our daily and weekly flow and those we choose to filter out.

A friend painted a watercolor, which now hangs prominently in my office and often helps re-center me when I feel myself beginning to overcommit. Very simply, it says, "If it's not a joyful yes, it's a no." Such power in those words.

There are many things I have committed to over the years (and still occasionally do) that felt like the "right" or "helpful" thing to do but certainly were not "joyful." In some cases, it wasn't even a commitment. It felt more like an agreement, or even worse, being "voluntold" but I said yes because I respected the person who was asking. How many tasks do we agree to take on because we "could," "should," or "would"? How did it affect our ability - or perhaps more aptly, inability - to engage fully in the things we joyfully say yes to?

The simplicity and beauty of the "joyful yes" is that there isn't any gray area - no space to feel guilty and talk ourselves into a project, activity, or engagement that doesn't bring us joy. There's no room to go halfway (or even a quarter of the way); no option to show up but not be fully present. Pure and simple, it's a "no."

Saying "no" is not an act of defiance or disengagement. Instead, it's a different level of commitment - commitment to yourself, your goals, and your own self-care. It's not an act of selfishness - or even preservation - but one that makes space for recovery and continuous growth so you can bring your full self to the world.

Share a "joyful yes" you committed to (or plan to commit to) this year.


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