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How To Say ‘Yes’ When All Signs Point To ‘No’

Here are a few tips to implement when your initial yes is followed by all of the no's.

Originally published May 2, 2016

You mean well. You set these perfectly intentioned goals and in those moments you feel a complete sense of conviction that if it takes everything in you, these goals will be met.

You’re focused, determined, inspired, and on fire and then…something happens.

What happens exactly? One could argue that it’s life that happens on those days, months, minutes, or even moments after we set our minds to do something but just can’t bring ourselves to do it.

The day doesn’t go as planned, given any moment, an alternative action may seem more desirable. We get tired, for goodness sake. Work gets in the way. Social distractions seep in. We simply lose motivation and the deed never gets done.

Something has got to give.

Here are a few tips to implement when your initial yes is followed by all of the no’s.

Raise the penalty

You have to make the cost of not doing something far greater than yourself. Raise the stakes. For example: If I don’t clean this room I could potentially be cluttering my mind, and a cluttered mind could lead to cluttered working and cluttered working leads to nowhere and going nowhere would mean all prior efforts would have amounted to nothing and nothingness just doesn’t work for me. Thus, I will clean this room.

Weigh cost and benefit

Decide if the time or resources you have to give up at a given moment to obtain your future goal is worth it. For example: You’re looking to start financially planning for your future. Is that new purse worth your retirement savings? Fashionable now, starving later? See, this also goes back to raising the stakes. Sometimes the penalty has to be dire in order for us to bust a move. Consciously decide what it’s worth in the end and keep your eyes on the prize.

Get an accountability partner

Find your most reliable and annoying ally and share your goal with them. Let them know that you’d like to check in with them at specified intervals to ensure that you remain on course in achieving said goal. If this ally is as annoying and reliable as they ought to be, they will stay on top of you about the goals you claimed you’d meet. Make sure this is also a person you’d hate to disappoint, more than you’d hate to disappoint yourself. Then, you guessed it, don’t disappoint them.

Realize the possibility of failure

If you don’t do what you set out to do simply because you didn’t do it, you’ve failed. Now, you sit with that and decide if that’s OK. No? Didn’t think so.

When those no’s start to kick in, consider what ultimately happens if you don’t look past them to your “yes.” Your yes is always worth the sacrifice, and your “no” gets you nowhere. There’s no doubt about it.

Consider yourself motivated.

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