How To Say Yes To More Joy And Less Blah

March 13, 2024
Say Yes To More Joy

Everything you say yes to when you want to say no comes at the cost of something you say no to when you want to say yes.

So you end up…

Burnt out.





Especially for high achievers trying to perform at the top levels of their profession, craft, or business while maintaining a life, health, and identity beyond just what they do for work.

Especially for women who’ve been told they can have it all even if that means doing it all at the same time, backwards in 4 inch heels.

Especially for parents trying to give their kids the best childhood experiences, attend to their emotional needs and growth, and provide them opportunities for their development while also working full-time, high paced jobs and maintaining meaningful relationships with friends, family, and community. 

The regular conditions that seem so normal to daily life now can leave you feeling like you’re constantly tumbling head first into one quicksand pit of overwhelm to the next.

So, if this sounds familiar, I want to share with you my secret formula for saying yes to more joy and no to burnout and “blah.”

I call it The 3 Lists Method. 

Here it is in five simple steps:

Step 1. Write down your life tasks, roles, and responsibilities.

Divide them into 3 lists:

  • Have To Do 
  • Should Do
  • Want To Do 

Have To Do 

There are some things you HAVE to do. 

These are the hard and fast responsibilities and commitments that allow you to care for your loved ones and pets, keep a roof over your head and the lights on, and provide for both the essentials and preferences in your life and lifestyle.

But if you ONLY focus on the things you have to do, you start to miss out on things you simply choose for enrichment, growth, and fun. So there are two other lists…

Should Do

There are things you THINK you have to do. 

These are the activities and commitments often led by your core and shadow values. 

Your shadow values are often imposed – and usually limiting – beliefs that arise from lingering attachments to external expectations. 

You may not even be sure if you believe in them, even if you once did, but they run your life by dictating what you “should” be doing like a program running in the background of your laptop.

Want To Do

Then there are the things you WANT to do. 

These are also often things you wish to do for yourself, without much involvement or focus on others. 

And that’s exactly why they are so easily pushed to the side: because they’re only a commitment to the life you want to live FOR YOU, not what you’ve committed to do for someone else. 

But burnout is often a function of some of “column A”, too much of “column B”, and almost none of this column. So it’s worth asking, “How can I add more of what I WANT to my life?” if you’re going to feel more fulfilled and satisfied with it.

Look at the way your life is currently ordered and break it down into the lists described above.

Step 2. Revisit your Should Do list and move any items into the Have To Do or Want To Do list if it applies. 

For example, maybe you feel like you should create a budget to better track your finances. 

Are there reasons you actually HAVE to do this instead, such as running out of money at the end of the month or needing to focus more on your savings for a major purchase? 

Or is this something you THINK you should do but won’t actually use to make a meaningful difference in tracking your money?

Decide truthfully which it is and re-list accordingly.

If an item on your original Should Do list doesn’t fit into either of the other two lists, cross it out. 

You should have nothing left in your Should Do list by the end of Step 2. Only the Have To Do and Want To Do lists will remain.

Step 3. Tap into the feelings and sensations you experience from your lists.

As you reread through the (now 2) lists, ask yourself:

What is the energy/feeling of what’s left on the remaining lists? 

Is it resonant energy, i.e. does it give you high vibes of joy, satisfaction, and ease?

Or is it dissonant energy, giving low vibes of anxiety, resentment, and dissatisfaction?

Indicate an energy reading for each item on both lists by adding a “+” if it’s resonant and a “- “if it’s dissonant.

Step 4. Lean into the resonance!

Write a 1, 2, or 3 next to the 3 items from either list with the MOST resonant energy for you.

Like it gives you “weeklong vacation at a luxury resort sipping beverages and getting sun for 8 straight hours” type energy!

Are there any surprises from what made it into your Top 3 based on what you originally thought they were? Write it down.

Now consider how you can prioritize your Top 3 in the next two weeks.

What do you commit to saying YES to on the priority resonant list and how will you put this into action?

This doesn’t mean you won’t do any of the dissonant stuff, especially if many of those items are on the Have To Do list. 

It just means you’ll intentionally make space for the important resonant stuff. 

Finally consider what’s driving the feeling of dissonance for the other items.

Is there an energy of lack attached to those items? 

Lack of time, resources, and knowledge are typically drivers of dissonance regarding the things we have to do.

But pay special attention to anything from your Want To Do list that has dissonant energy too!

If you feel dissatisfied in relation to something you claim you want to do, get really curious about what’s driving that.

It might be that there’s still something you think you should do, but don’t really want.

Are there feelings of shame, obligation, or external pressure attached to why you want to do it?

So, explore if something on your Want To Do list with a minus next to it is something you’re willing to say no to and part with for good, so you can cross it off your lists.

Step 5. Harden your commitments to your wants. 

You may not be able to make every item on your Want To Do list as concrete as your Have To Do list.

But by setting an intention to show up for what you want nearly as much as you show up for what you have to do, you start to add resonance to your life more consciously and nudge your subconscious to default towards it in the future.

Next to each item on your Want To Do list, write down an idea for making it as real as the things on your Have To Do list.

For example, if you want to run your first marathon, what commitments and arrangements that you already implement for your core responsibilities would you need to accomplish this feat?

Blocking out training times on your calendar, connecting to other running enthusiats, and joining a run club for accountability are similar to the scheduling, networking, and tracking steps you would take to secure a higher paying position in your field.

Treat your planning and execution for the things you want to do the same way you do your responsibilities so that they materialize more rapidly.

Saying YES to the life and energy you want is the first step to transforming the life and energy you have and turning your future possibilities into your present, joyful reality.

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Stay fearless.

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Whenever you're ready, there are 2 ways I can help you:

1. Sign up for my free mini-course for high achievers who are ready to go from surviving to thriving. This two-part course reveals the 3 secrets that high achievers who are ready to level up use to clear the hidden patterns keeping them in survival mode and build a life of joy, ease, and satisfaction. 

2. Book a PEAK Launch Call to uncover your magic so you can live out your PEAK potential and crush your goals for your health, confidence, and success. The call is complimentary and full of value, so come ready for clarity and be prepared to take action on behalf of your best life yet.

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