The Ultimate YES!

About a year ago I read Shonda Rhimes’s “Year of Yes.” In the book, Shonda takes us on a year’s journey where she decides to say “yes” to things that had always made her uncomfortable like speaking engagements and live interviews. 

I had all kinds of thoughts after reading “Year of Yes,” but most poignant was the moment I thought “Shannon, what are you saying ‘yes’ to?” As a junk food junky, work-a-holic, loyalist I tend to say “yes” to a lot of things that don’t get me any closer to the best version of myself. So I plastered Post-It Notes on my refrigerator, computer, bathroom mirror, car and office that read “What Are You Saying ‘Yes’ To”.

Let me give you a few examples of what I mean:

  1. If I say “yes” to eating that candy bar, then I’m saying “yes” to being overweight and unhealthy.
  2. If I say “yes” to volunteering at my child’s school, then I’m probably saying “yes” to less down time for myself.
  3. If I say “yes” to subbing that class for one of my teachers, then I’m saying “yes” to overworking myself more than I already do, and that means less time with my family.
  4. If I say “yes” to that toxic relationship, then I’m saying “yes” to those that bring me down instead of lift me up.
  5. If I say “yes” to exercising, then I’m saying “yes” to a better mood, healthier body, etc.
  6. If I say “yes” to taking time each day for a prayer and a gratitude practice, then I’m likely saying “yes” to a more positive day. 

See, it’s pretty simple. Every decision you make in your day has a consequence. 

  1. Are you saying “yes” to being healthy or unhealthy?
  2. Are you saying “yes” to yourself or “yes” to everyone else’s priorities for you?
  3. Are you saying “yes” to positive or negative?
  4. Are you saying “yes” to long term growth or short term satisfaction?

The list goes on and on. We get to decide.

Now, I’m not gonna lie. When Covid hit, I started saying “yes” to worry, overeating, stress, burying my head in the sand, you name it. Writing this today, is more an attempt to get me back on track, and maybe to help you take a look at where you are. 

So, I have a question for you. What’s THE ultimate version of yourself? If you could picture the absolute perfect you (your family, house, car, body, face, bank account, mood, clothes, pets, relationships, etc.), what would that look like? Write that down. Get a clear picture in your head. Then start saying “yes” to the things that get you there and “no” to the things that hold you back. The great thing is that small steps ultimately lead to big change. Look, we don’t have to conquer the world today. But we can decide to say “yes” to one thing this week that gets us closer to our Ultimate.

SO I’m back on the wagon today, folks. I’m not waiting for New Years Day. I’m not waiting until I have more time or more money. I’m not waiting until I lose 10 lbs. I’m starting right now. I hope you will to. 

And on that note, I’m going to say “yes” to folding the clothes on my couch while I dance to really loud Christmas music. 

’Til next time, friends.