The Most Important Lesson I Learned in 2012

I never do year end recaps. My memory is horrible and I find I get stuck going through my old posts and stuff and then, well, I lose track and forget what I was doing in the first place. So you know.. it’s kinda pointless. But I did want to say something I learned…

I learned to say no. Now I know, people talk about saying yes, and being open and blah blah blah. Well… I think at some point in life, you have to say NO. Not saying no to life… but rather, No to people and things that don’t add value to my life. Whether it be career, friendship, daily life…anything. I finally said No.

No to “opportunities” that undermined my worth. I built something here…something fun, original and mine. For awhile, I would just say yes to anything just because I wanted to please everyone. The only one I ended up displeasing was myself…my voice got lost and I missed it. So in March I made an overhaul and by June, I was more content driven and loving it. In September I wanted to give back, so I made December my month of loads of giveaways. I still said No… because I still needed to bring value to my life and value to my readers…so nothing I posted was forced.

No to being consumed by technology. I began the year by almost never leaving my laptop or phone for more then a few hours of sleep. My husband tolerated it, but was unhappy…my daughter, frustrated and when I looked up one day in March, I knew my life was flying by without me living it. So… it may have set my workload behind (especially when I started traveling a lot), but I said no. Weekends and from 4pm-9pm I gave back to my family.

No to letting people in my life that didn’t add value. Both personally and professionally. In my field, maintaining friendships with those not in the field is hard. Time is limited (as are babysitters) and the world moves fast. I used to sit and feel bad about how my friends stopped inviting me places or that I was only able to send a text or two every so often. But I don’t anymore. I know that my friends, my true friends didn’t care about that stuff. My true friends are the ones that still invite me, even if I probably say no, but they know that by inviting me it shows that they “get” me. They are the ones I can call months, years later and we can reminisce and catch up with no awkwardness. I met many people this year and formed many friendships, and many of them I know are true lifelong friends…the others, it’s ok to move on from and not dwell. I opened up to people that added to my life. By being supportive, by understanding me, by accepting me for who I am.

And while this is the year I learned to say no, 2013 is the year I am saying YES. Yes to opportunity worthy of my time and my attention. Yes to being a mom, wife, sister, aunt and friend. Yes to getting healthy. Yes to dreaming big and attaining the dreams one by one…with each one reaching just a little higher in the sky.

2012…Goodbye old friend.

2013…It’s time for the adventure to begin.


  1. natalie nichols says

    I like your resolution to start saying yes. That’s a good idea. I need to do more of that!

  2. says

    Lord I would be saying no all day to tons of people. Wish I had said it to more people, but instead I find myself giving more than I have to give leaving myself trapped between a rock and hard place.

  3. Caryn B says

    I love love love this post…I am still learning that balance….so thankful we became friends this year…I “get” you : ) XOXO

    • says

      and I “get” you! We should send a thank you note to Andrea cause that’s when we finally started chatting! You are an amazing person and great friend, here’s to many more years of success and friendship :) XOXO

  4. Donna George says

    Good for you! I think you really took a look at what you wanted and took steps to get there. It must have been a bit frightening, but it sounds like you made positive changes for you and your family.

  5. Vanessa Aguirre says

    Every new year we all have different goals in life but just like you this year I want to be able to say “No” to things that don’t add any value to my life. Happy 2013 Yolanda! I’m very new to your blog but love it and wish you all the best for this new year :)

  6. Michelle dement says

    This is an awesome post and so similar to my life as well…there have been a lot of things that have gone wrong for me in 2012 and I’m hoping to become healthier and make the most of the time I have with the most important people in my life and not worry about others that have come and gone! Here’s to making 2013 the best year yet!

  7. Terri More says

    I can relate to not being able to say No because I wanted to please someone but wasn’t thinking realistically. I too don’t want to miss memories with my family. Thanks for the encouraging words and I hope 2013 is a great year for you!

  8. Lindsey C. says

    I really like your no to technology, it’s crazy how much time I find myself wasting on the computer :(

  9. Jean F. says

    I can relate to the technology obsession. How wonderful for your family to get you out from behind a screen! And how insightful of you to recognize what was going on.

  10. Pamela H. says

    I, too, am learning to say, “No.” It’s definitely not easy, as I have always been a people pleaser, but, with practice, it’s getting easier.

  11. Kelly Falcone says

    This is an important reminder for me to sht of the computer, and go play outside : )

  12. JEFF TAYLOR says

    Great post. Saying no is difficult because we are nice people and want to please others.. but so necessary.

  13. Susan Smith says

    Good for you! I can relate to not being able to say No because I have trouble saying no too. I don’t want anyone to be upset with me. I’m working on it.

  14. Sandy Cain says

    Very tough to sort out the people in your life that di not add value – takes a lot of courage. I applaud you for this! (I’m still working on it)

  15. Nancy Bowers says

    Good skill to have learned- takes moxy! And it is necessary to know one’s priorities to know when to say yes or no.

  16. says

    Good for you Yolanda! I think we can all relate with this problem. I’ve been really struggling with it lately but my problem is saying no to family and not being able to do what I want for my self, my sanity and to build the blog I want. Thanks for reminding me that others have struggled with this, dealt with it and survived.

    Hugs…Tracy @ Cotton Pickin Cute

  17. says

    I used to be the person saying “no” to everything but have recently started saying “yes”. More importantly, saying “Here I am Lord…use me!” He is making the work load (all for His glory) bearable and taking me out of my comfort zone. When I say yes to something else that might not be the best, I find myself getting overwhelmed.

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