New Year, New Things – May 2017

Last month I didn’t really have anything in mind for my “new thing” to do in May. So rather than find any one thing to try, instead I tried to say “yes” more often. I never thought I struggled much with saying yes because in my professional life and in my relationships with family and friends I tend to be more of a people-pleaser, having a hard time saying no when presented with new opportunities or a chance to help someone. Then I realized, when it comes to doing things for myself or by myself, I actually often say “no”. I’m not just talking about saying yes to treats like manicures or a bowl of ice cream (because let’s be honest, I don’t have trouble with that at all!) but rather I tend to say “no” to things that make me a bit uncomfortable. Now the whole reason I wanted to try something new every month this year was to push myself out of my comfort zone so instead of saying “no”, I’m trying to say “yes” more often!

One of the activities I tend to shy away from is doing things on my own. I’m very introverted and being around a lot of people, especially a lot of people I don’t know well, is really hard for me. Nine times out of ten I’d opt to stay home but in an effort to practice my networking skills and embrace getting outside my comfort zone, I decided to attend a couple of alumni events through my alma mater. The Foster School of Business at the University of Washington gave me so much as a student that I’m always inclined to give back and stay involved, so last month I attended both a banquet celebrating the 25th year of international business program, and a leadership dinner. Both were a great chance for me to say “yes” to something I was initially hesitant about and I had a great time at both events, seeing some old faces and getting to know new faces as well!

Another thing I said “yes” to recently was the Jenna Kutcher Instagram Challenge. I’ve been listening to the Goal Digger podcast for awhile now and have been really inspired by Jenna Kutcher and not only her business savvy but her overall positive spirit. When I heard she was hosting a 5-day Instagram Challenge I initially signed up to sit back and see what kinds of advice she had, without much intention of actually completing it. Her podcasts and challenges are geared towards entrepreneurs and I don’t have a business I’m trying to grow, plus I was worried my friends and family would wonder why I was posting so many “weird” things on Instagram. Then I reminded myself I should be saying “yes” to things that make me uncomfortable, so I went ahead and completed all 5 days of the challenge and had a lot of fun doing it! I’m super guilty of worrying about what others are thinking so this was a great reminder to do things for me and not care about everyone else’s opinions. 

Finally, I said “yes” to a lot of upcoming travel, which honestly was not all that hard to do! I’m pretty careful to not be frivolous with my money, but travelling is definitely my favorite thing to splurge on. My friends and I often find ourselves with great ideas for weekend trips or things to do together and we usually end up sitting on those ideas too long until it’s too late. So when the idea was planted that we should all fly to Denver in September to attend a UW Football game, we really wanted to make it happen! After some quick research and a cheap flight find, we took the plunge just a couple of days later and booked our girls weekend. Sometimes the stars just align and saying “yes” to a weekend of football and sweet friends is a no-brainer! Cooper and I have also been thinking about our big trips for 2018 and we’ve been dying to take a tropical vacation where we can relax and not be on the go from city to city. We know Hawaii is a great place to do that, so after chatting about it for a couple of weeks we decided to just take the plunge and book a flight nearly a year in advance. I’m absolutely a planner but this felt a little too ahead of the game. Even though I was hesitant to book something so far out, I said “yes” and now we are so looking forward to a fun getaway next year!

Saying “yes” to things I would usually avoid has been a great exercise and I’ve learned a lot by doing so. I encourage you to think twice next time you say “no” to something in your personal and professional life, and see what it’s like to say “yes” instead! I believe we can all benefit by inching outside of our comfort zones a little more. What are some of the things you’re saying “yes” to this month?

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