Full disclaimer, I did not quit my job and move to TimBuktu this year. I said yes to achieving attainable goals and challenging myself to be a better person. My biggest takeaway from calling this year my YES year is that even small things can be done in a big way. I am not a special case and I encourage you all to say yes to one terrifyingly exciting goal for 2016.
Second disclaimer, yes I know Shonda Rhimes wrote a book about her yes year. It’s on my reading list. And it should be on yours too. She had an awesome year!
As I reflect on 2015, My Yes Year, I can think of so many lessons. In order to keep this short, I’ll pull out some of the most prominent ones.
But first, you’re probably thinking, what is a yes year? a Yes Year is a 12 month period in which you simply say yes to each opportunity coming your way. For some yes means, traveling more, starting a new business venture or starting a family. Trust me, I know saying yes to an intimidating goal is much easier said than done. For me, a yes year meant saying yes to what was readily available and using my resources and support system to help along the way. Again, I am not a special case. many young women out there are doing their thing. They may be out of college for a couple of years and have gotten into a groove and maybe have gotten bored….or on autopilot. Having a Yes Year recharges your passion. I’ve learned to forget about writing for a reaction or even worrying about what others will think. I just need to get the words on the page [figuratively].
What I said said yes to this year: Visiting a new country, going to New Orleans with women I didn’t know (huge leap out of my comfort zone), writing for Blavity, submitting my work to the Charlotte Five (a real life newspaper publication), volunteering on a nonprofit board (www.E-Corps.org), volunteering for the United Way, taking coffee meetings, being confident in my work and vision, picking up new part time work, strengthening my relationship, said yes to not being around people who do not make me happy, Saying yes to my friends and seeing them even when it’s inconvenient, saying yes to trusting in God, said yes to reading 50 books in 2015 (I ended up reading 15). Starting a new degree program (Master in Communication). Started a podcast–best idea all year, realized that some opportunities were just distractions, agreed to be a mentor to a 9th grader!, listened to my mentors more, called my mom more on the phone, made concrete travel plans, bought four new tires, agreed to an attainable 2016 NY resolution which is to make my credit score “jump like jordan!!”.
Here are the lessons from my year of Yes. I hope they fit into the puzzle of your life some way too.
- yes means being fearless but it also means having a plan
- yes gets you out of your comfort zone
- yes allows for more self reflection. you will often ask yourself “why am I doing this?”
- yes makes it easier to say no
- yes makes you appreciate your own success and not compare to others
- yes builds lasting relationships
- yes reveals your personal and mental limits (being real about what you will and will not tolerate in your relationships)
- yes is an investment in yourself
- yes is about quality, not quantity
- yes years makes the no years easier because you’ll have mental resolve stashed away
- yes can mean more Instagram followers, more customers, more respect from your family. you get to define the goal
- yes can determine how you allow yourself to be validated and defined
- yes means results. It makes you want to take those one of a kind experiences and grind harder (Thanks Blavity and NOLA)
- yes means self control. If you make a commitment, you stick to it
- yes means if you’re living in dirt, don’t be embarrassed to let others see you dig yourself out.
- yes means valuing your reputation and being cautious about what you get involved in.
- yes means becoming better at taking criticism; constructive or otherwise.
- yes means being ok with only reading 15 books when you said you would read 50
- yes means understanding that letting go is ok…and sometimes necessary
- yes means God has a plan for your life and a blessing in the works. You just have to be ready to say yes to it.
TL;DR: Millennials need a yes year because autopilot is not the end of the story. Say yes to recharge your passion and challenge your personal will.
Follow me @MissEdwardsClt