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One Simple Word Holds the Key to a Simpler Life

Feel like you're always frantic? Try this technique.

By Heidi Raschke

A personal trainer I know posts daily wellness tips on Facebook. I'm not a client, but I find myself savoring these nuggets of wisdom when they pop up in my feed. One from earlier this week especially struck me.

As usual, I had more than six tabs open on my computer screen and my phone was pinging me while I was trying to quickly answer some emails so I could get out the door and to an appointment on time. Before I shut down, I took a peek at Facebook and there was her post.

"Today's Wellness Tip: Identify what is most important in your life, and say 'no' to the rest," wrote Leslie Branham of Equipt Fitness in St. Paul, Minn. "Rather than thinking that you 'should' or 'have to' say 'yes' to a bunch of things that don't really matter to you (and then spending your precious life running around frantically trying to fit it all in) instead, simply say 'no, thank you.' This allows you to say 'yes' to what matters most in your life, the things that bring joy and fulfillment. This is NOT selfish, this is a giving lifeline to the people and things that really matter in your life."

A day later, I came across an article in Business Insider titled 9 Easy Ways to Simplify Your Life. No. 1 on the list: Just say "no." Making "no" your default answer will help you set priorities, the story advised.

It's something that's hard for a "yes" person to do, but by saying "no" more often, you just might find you're saying "yes" to more of the right things. I'm going to give it a try.

Heidi Raschke is a longtime journalist and editor who previously was the Executive Editor of Mpls-St. Paul Magazine and Living and Learning Editor at Next Avenue. Currently, she runs her own content strategy and development consultancy. Read More
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