Photo credit: David Everett,

It’s about that time of the year when we start New Year’s Resolutions. I’m reminded of one that I chose two years ago. As a rule, I don’t commit to New Year’s Resolutions, and my response when asked was always, “My New Year’s Resolution is not to have one.”

A couple of years ago, however, I decided to change something that had become a habit for me. I needed to say, “Yes!”

After a medical issue where I battled insomnia, severe exhaustion, and fatigue, I stopped saying “yes” to invitations. I was always tired and my bedtime was insanely early. After I started feeling better, I decided it was a good time to make some changes. Saying “yes” to social events was my new resolution. If someone extended an invitation, I would say “yes,” regardless of who, what, when, or why. And I did!

How did my life change by saying “yes?”

I felt happier. I felt like a part of the community. I developed closer relationships with friends. Not only that, but I walked through fears and insecurities. By saying no for a few years, I had opted for safety and security. My home had become my security blanket. How liberating it felt to not allow myself to have the option of a no vote! I attended concerts, visited friends in other states, ran in the mountains, and climbed a 14’er.

By saying “yes,” I also developed a greater sense of self confidence. While placing myself in unfamiliar situations, I began to look forward to the challenge. I learned to check myself and ask, “How are you going to show up in this situation?”

Just by that gentle reminder, I put on my “warrior armor” and eagerly walked into situations that I would have avoided five years ago.

I had said no to two class reunions, but I excitedly agreed to go this year. What a great time it was! Yes I was tired, and didn’t stay until the end, but I thoroughly enjoyed every minute.

A last minute concert invitation? A resounding YES! Fly to Dallas to have Christmas brunch with new friends? No problem! My return flight is cancelled — even better! More time with my friends to visit and solve the problems of the world.

Have you found yourself in the same predicament?

It’s completely understandable when you have children, and they have their activities. Additionally, you’re tired and just want a little peace and quiet. You work all day and you just want to get home, eat, and catch up with your favorite show on Netflix. It’s too hot to go out, or it’s too cold to go out, or you have nothing to wear. That all makes sense, but how about saying “yes” to that dinner or brunch invitation? Say “yes” to that walk or spin class with the friend who asks you to join her.

Step outside your comfort zone and see what changes for you. This is a good time to start.

Holiday parties, gatherings, and social event invitations are in your inbox now. What’s the worst thing that can happen? You won’t have anyone to talk with? Make a new friend! You feel you have nothing to wear? I bet you do! Look in your closet and put a fun outfit together.

You’re tired? No problem. Decide in advance how long you’re going to stay, and you can leave at that time — or you can stay longer if you’re having fun. The important thing is that you show up with a positive outlook and enthusiasm! Your attitude is contagious and people will be drawn to those who sparkle and shine with a bright smile. Your rewards will be plenty. New friends and experiences will grace your life.

By saying “yes,” you will walk though doors of uncertainty and face fears or insecurities. This will bring waves of confidence and self assurance, which will enable you to reach goals you never dreamed possible. 

Say “yes!”