Last year, I read Shonda Rhimes' book, “Year of Yes.” I lived by it.
I tried to explore as many new things as possible. I looked for inspiration in anything and everything. I said "yes" to things I didn't really want to pursue, helped others whenever possible and went outside my comfort zone.
Some of it was rewarding. But some was just exhausting.
For that reason, this will be my “Year of No.” Now that you've had plenty of time to give up on your New Year's resolutions, here are a few reasons why this year should be one of "no" for you as well.
1: Life's too short to do the things you don't want to do.
I'm not telling you to hibernate for all of 2017. But stop agreeing to things you know won't bring you happiness.
If you're like me and country music makes your ears bleed, don't agree to a Luke Bryan concert. I used to be pretty good at coming up with excuses, but all the fucks I had left flew out the window while I was dealing with the abomination that was 2016.
Just say no. If you're having a miserable time, you'll probably be miserable company anyway.
2. People rarely return the favor.
Have you ever noticed that the people who ask for the most favors are also the ones who never return them? They cry like little children and make you feel like a bad person when you can't help.
Yet, it's fine for them to be “busy” when you need something. NBD, right?
Grow some balls and start giving these people the middle finger. These “friends” are toxic, and they don't deserve you.
3. It's healthy to have boundaries.
If someone gets mad at you for saying no to something, he or she doesn't respect you.
It's that simple: There is no reason for this person to be upset with you.
Listen to your gut. Don't tell this person you need some time to think about it. Don't say "maybe."
Seriously: That's the most annoying response ever. If it feels right, do it. If not, say no.
Every time you say no, it gets a little easier. And if you say it often enough, people will stop asking in the first place. It's wonderful.
But there are some exceptions to this rule.
Exception 1: Will this be a good story to tell in 10 years?
If the answer is yes, do it... even if it scares you. I have done A LOT of dumb things in my life, but some of them are also my fondest memories.
I've danced on stages and hopped in cars with strangers. I've rolled up to Chipotle still in my unicorn leggings from the night before. I've flown to foreign countries to meet people I'd only previously connected with on Twitter.
But guess what? I'm still alive.
And it was awesome. Always do what sets your soul on fire... even if it's really stupid.
Exception 2: Always have your squad's back.
However, don't confuse your acquaintances – or even your friends – with your squad. Your squad is your family.
These are the people who always have your back: no exceptions. You may not talk or see them often – and your primary form of communication may be sending stupid memes – but when shit gets real, they have your back.
They're never fake, and they always tell the truth. You don't have to worry about them talking shit behind your back because they say it to your face. When your squad needs you, you're not allowed to say no.