Why No Is Important for Self-Care.

2016 was lit for me.

It was a transformative, heartbreaking, beautiful, successful year of growth. I evolved, cried, lip sang, grew into my ways, told my truth, let go of relationships, made new friendships, accomplished goals, dated, laughed, took chances, trusted myself and became more vulnerable.

I decided to take an assessment of my year before starting a new one, by critically thinking about all the triumphs and lessons that happened for me in 2016. Although I accomplished many goals on my list, I did notice that I could’ve been better at consistently sticking with my self-care regimen. Then I realized that my self-care regimen might have needed some altering.

A botched 2016 self-care routine:

In 2016, my self-care intention was to say NO to tasks or events that I did not want to do or participate in without feeling guilty, worried or applying extra pressure to myself to change my mind. That honestly did not go too well. I still did most of the non-work related assignments that I didn’t want to do, went to parties, dinners and happy hours that I wasn’t interested in and spent money that I frankly did not have. You’re wondering why right? I was too… I said yes to keep up my self-inflicted image of being a friendly and collaborative person. Now, I am tired. You hear me, ya’ll? I said I am TIRED. It’s a blessing and a curse when you are known as the person that folks can always rely on to get the job done or to have fun with. People start to create their plans around your schedule making it difficult for you to say, “Sorry, I do not have the bandwidth” or “I just don’t want to go to this event.” I knew something had to change in 2017 or I would continue to burn out and not have much of myself left for me, so here’s to saying NO.

“The difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say ‘no’ to almost everything.” -Warren Buffett


3 ways to say NO without tainting your image:

  • Be honest about prior obligations: “I’m unable to handle/or attend given prior commitments.”
  • Honesty is still the best policy. I am learning that it’s best to be candidly upfront when explaining my availability and obligations, rather than be stressed out down the road.
  • Delegate and refer: “Unfortunately, I can’t execute this project but here’s someone who can.”


Given that I have many responsibilities outside of my day job: Sorority, PRSA committees, and my blog, it becomes difficult to manage all the projects and deadlines. I am just now starting to feel comfortable with delegating projects as well as referring them to others to handle, who are equally qualified, simply because I do not have the bandwidth. You should always aim to provide a solution for the person who is asking you for effort.

Level set expectations: “Just a heads up, I currently have several projects in the hopper but happy to handle at a later time.” OR “FYI girl, I have several events/happy hours that I need to attend this week. Can we do a raincheck?”

Working with others to level-set their expectations of you allows them to receive insight into your agenda and project list, serving to be helpful with future asks.

Carpe Diem

noun  car·pe di·em \ˈkär-pe-ˈdē-ˌem, -ˈdī-, -əm\

definition: the enjoyment of the pleasures of the moment without concern for the future

I decided that this year, my self-care routines would feature the usual stuff like being organized, working out, having #kikiseshes (hangout time) with my best friends, and relaxing… and yes, it should include living my life! I want to enjoy the hard work that I’ve put forth so far. Although I live for my google calendar, planners and goal-setting book, there should be room for spontaneity, room for me, which means there has to be room for that two letter word. I am learning to pace myself and to trust that the people who love me will understand.

2017 Self-Care Routine: More fun, less planning for the future, more focus on the now, and more NOs. Share with me your self-care intentions for #2017!

Dominique FlukerComment