When working on your goals (of any kind) its quite easy to think of the things that you need to say yes to. However, the real challenge is actually be diligent with what you say “no” to. Because that will often have an even bigger impact on your results.
Looking at this from a health and fitness perspective, the first thing that often comes to mind for a lot of people is starting an exercise routine and joining a gym. Now this is a great step in the right direction, however, when adding something in to our weekly routine time for this additional activity can often be a big barrier. So the question then becomes “What do we need to stop doing to give us that time at the gym?”. The answer could be saying no to after work drinks, not watching the new Netflix series, or getting up early and doing the exercise in the morning, in which case the answer is saying no the last 90mins of sleep. The act of saying no to certain things that are not serving you and your goals is where the real magic is. This allows you more time and focus on the tasks that really matter to you. Another example would be saying no to dessert after dinner. In the context of health and fitness, this could have a greater impact on results than exercising, simply because its harder to burn calories than it is to consume them. So reducing part of your intake from “not so great” food choices is a great choice and stems from saying no to that immediate gratification.
And the beauty of saying no is that it builds will power and discipline. These are two powerful traits than can translate to all areas of life. Saying no also becomes easier the more you do it. Initially it can feel like your missing out, but the more you do it, the more you realise that you don’t need the things your saying no to, things like alcohol and poor food choices especially.
If you want to see fast results, saying no to the things you know are stopping you from progressing is often a better plan than saying yes to new habits. Saying no allows you to prioritise and simplify things in your favour. Now this also doesn’t mean that you have to say no forever. For example, my favourite food is caramel slice. Will I go the rest of my life without caramel slice? Absolutely not. Will I go without for the next week, most likely yes. Will I go without it for the next month? Probably. The year? Now we are pushing it. But I guarantee I will say no way more than I will say yes to the slice. And that’s the point of saying no. It becomes a choice, not an obligation. It gives you control and builds that discipline to achieve your goals.