Here’s hoping you had a great holiday season and are kicking things off on a positive note for 2019.

One thing I’m aiming for this year is more of the word “Yes”. If you’ve seen Jim Carrey’s “Yes Man” you know what I’m talking about. Basically the idea is to say “yes” to every opportunity that presents itself to you.

Now, understandably, and not just because of Hollywood, this can lead to all sorts of misadventures and trouble. For those of us in the real world, the concept is more important than the actual reality.

A couple of my more active and adventurous friends exclaimed surprise and delight when I agreed to join them on a mountain biking adventure a couple months ago. They are not wrong in that I don’t typically join them, but their reaction was striking in my brain. I had fallen into a pattern of simply not doing things. When I finally agreed, they were surprised. That day I decided it was time for a change. Of course, I’m not going to simply willy-nilly agree to every offer presented, but more yes is a great start for 2019! Here’s hoping you’ll join me on this journey.

Another area that needs some attention this year is saying yes to more fun and less work. Of course we’d all love to simply toss our day job in the trash and live a life of adventure and fun, but that’s simply not in the cards (or at least for me, it wouldn’t last very long!). I believe the lesson here is to make more of an effort to plan things that get me away from the computer. While I do run my own business, I am also a valued resource for a handful of other companies that utilize my services. This focus on “play time” is not a way to eliminate or shun those responsibilities; it is simply a commitment to planning for (and taking) time off.

As contradictory as this may sound (based on the above paragraphs), this new “resolution” also requires a more focused and concerted effort to saying “No” (just hear me out). Something that has always annoyed me is the response of “I’m just so busy” when asking someone how they are. I’ve never been a fan of being super-busy (although it does happen on occasion) and I’ve never understood those who are “so busy” all the time.

This is the only life you get. Rearrange your life so that you are balanced and have time for family, fun and freedom. If you are that busy, you’re doing something wrong, and it is time to re-evaluate your choices and priorities. The reality is, you’re not impressing anyone with how busy you are and you are most likely not doing a great job at any of your tasks, since you can’t focus on them appropriately. You likely just have a hard time saying no.

As a “pleaser” myself, I completely sympathize with those who struggle to say no. This year, we’re taking back our time! Go Team No!

This is true of almost any profession and certainly is prevalent in the real estate world. Agents are so worried about missing out on a prospect, phone call, lead, etc. that they tend to work (or at least make themselves available) (literally) all hours of the day and night. While this may be great for your business, it is simply terrible (and unhealthy) for your body, brain and relationships.

In this New Year, I’m encouraging friends and co-workers to make their physical or mental health a priority, along with work. This means dedicating time for physical activities, learning new things, connecting with friends and family or simply carving out a couple hours each week to sit and enjoy a book.

“Escaping into the woods or into a good book recharges my batteries and restores my energy for dealing with everyday stress and the curveballs life throws us,” notes Badger Realty agent Kerry MacDougall.

I’m much the same way as Kerry. The most valuable thing to me is being able to escape into the mountains and surround myself with nothing but trees. A day in the mountains, ideally with some fresh snow, will satiate my drive for adventure, get me a really good night’s sleep, and set me up for success with the following day’s requirements. I find I’m much more patient and have more creative solutions to problems when I’m coming off a day of fresh air, exertion and fun.

We all have responsibilities that we simply can’t ignore. Life has a way of making things busy and sometimes even hectic. It is true that sometimes you will answer the “How are you?” question with “I’m just so busy.” That is just life. My goal today is to simply encourage you to be aware of hearing those words come out of your mouth. It might be time to take a quick time-out and see if there are a few of those things that can be (need to be) eliminated from your “to-do” list. Life is too short to not take care of yourself!

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