A Year of ‘No’

36 TV segments, 122 YouTube episodes, countless recipes, photoshoots, and a secret-something-I’m-contractually-unable-to-discuss-at-this-time-but-is-AWESOME all happened in 2016.  It was full of mountain-top experiences, seeing dreams coming into closer vision (the kitchen should be done in the next 6 weeks!), late nights, even later nights, early mornings, coffee, happy tears, sad tears, heart-racing adventures and a heaping tablespoon of encouragement.

Seriously, 2016 set a high bar for the years to come.  But, it was a lot of work.  I said “yes” to a ton, and I’m glad for every one of those “yeses” because each was an opportunity to learn.

Saying “yes” to going to Chicago in March with the Arizona Office of Tourism enabled me to meet some incredibly talented online influencers and to learn how to improve my business through learning about theirs.

Saying “yes” to attending the Show Me The Yummy Video Workshop in October turned me into an Adobe Premiere fan and changed how I do video (and increased my income!).

A year ago I would toss and turn the night before a TV segment and I’d lose a whole day in prep work.  Now, after saying “yes” to 36 TV segments, I can do live TV in my sleep and prep is now a well-oiled machine.

Saying “yes” to a network reality TV audition process in April, flying to Portland and getting through the initial cooking round (they loved my carnitas and pickled onions!) only to be axed after a second interview round was initially disheartening.  But, after a 24 hour pity party, it gave me the motivation I needed to put more focus on YouTube and my channel has gone from 240 subscribers to 2400.  Still small potatoes in the YouTube world, but it got me moving in the right direction.

I also said “yes” to wearing the color yellow, and I think it suits me.

A million big and little “yeses” in 2016 yielded a lot of growth.  But, for 2017, I want to go deep instead of wide.  I want to take inventory of all that I collected in experiences in 2016, sift through and find the gold nuggets, the things I do that are rooted in purpose and joy. To do that is going to take time and focus, both of which are precious commodities in a world of instant communication, particularly for those of us who like to say “yes” a lot.

Oh, and there are also two small humans I’m supposed to look after who somehow find themselves needing a drink, to potty, a nap, a fit, a kiss on my ‘ouchie’ every other minute. #lovethem #mommyneedsanap

To go deep means I’m going to have to dole out a lot more “no’s.”  This is going to be a hard discipline, but as I’ve heard said, anything worth doing doesn’t come easy.

To go deep, I’m going to have to not feel guilty about saying “no.”

Saying “no” means I’m saying “yes” to my bigger vision, mission and purpose, to be available when the really important opportunities come knocking.

So, how will I know what to say “yes” and “no” to?  First, doing anything purely out of obligation or guilt = instant “NO.”  Then, that leaves me with a good bit of extra time for prayer and rest, two things I have found infinitely useful in decision making.

Sounds simple?

Probably not.  But that’s why 2017 is guaranteed be a year of adventure, discipline, better and worse, prayerful focus, and hopefully, more of those unbelievable dreams coming true.

Let’s make it happen people.  Much love to you and I cannot wait to see where we’re at a year from now. <3

Do you have a hard time saying “no?”  Any tips on getting better at it?  Please share!


*Also, mad props to Pat Flynn for his video on crafting the perfect blog post and recommending to write the draft outside of WordPress. I have always written directly into WordPress and did that for the majority of this post until I remembered Pat’s recommendation and copied everything over into Evernote.  As soon as I did that, WordPress crashed.  Had I not pressed COMMAND-C, I would have lost two hours of work.  Thanks, Pat!

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