Say “No” To These 41 Things For A Happier 2019

A lot of people think happiness is about saying “yes” to the right stuff.

Well, that’s one side of a coin.

There are many things we say “yes” to that we really should be saying “no” to.

Here is what I posted on my Twitter handle the other day –

“I know the power of saying yes to everything in the beginning but at some point it has to stop. You have to get clear on where you are going, then start saying no to anything that isn’t that. You may lose opportunities/people along the way, but you’ll be okay with that.”

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For a happier 2019, try saying “no” to the following things:

  • Personality

1. Mediocrity

You’re almost always better than you think you are.

“I’d rather choke on greatness than nibble on mediocracy” —

2. Procrastination

Stop thinking, start doing.

“It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live.” — Marcus Aurelius

3. Talking Shit About Yourself

Be positive. Don’t seek loathing, seek improvement.

“Just remember; someone loves everything you hate about yourself” — Frank Ocean

4. Selfishness

Be a giver. Be happier.

“Selfish people end up having only their self.” —

5. Perfection

Don’t waste time on perfection. Great is good enough.

“Perfection is the enemy of progress.” — Winston Churchill

6. Excuses

Ask why three times and you’ll know the real reason.

“Ninety-nine percent of the failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses” — George Washington Carver

7. Always Comparing To Others

Spend time on self-improvement over fascination over competitors.

“Comparison is the thief of joy.” — Theodore Roosevelt

8. Impulsive Decisions

Think deeper.

“Impulsiveness is the enemy of deep thinking” —

  • Health & Sleep

9. Unhealthy Food

The more you eat healthy, the tastier the food gets.

“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live in.” —

10. Skipping A Meal

Your brain needs all the good nutrients it can get to function optimally. Eat better, not less.

“Skipping meal -> Starvation -> Over-eating -> Weight Gain.”

11. Taking The Car

The grocery store is 15 minutes walk away? Walk to it!

“Walking is the best possible exercise. Habituate yourself to walk very far.” — Thomas Jefferson

12. The Snooze Button

Be so focused on achieving your goals and set tight deadlines and you won’t ever think about snoozing anymore!

“You Snooze, You Lose” — smart people

13. Partying Every Night

Enjoy a party, but don’t forget your goals, and resting of course!

“Everything in moderation, including moderation.” — Oscar Wilde

14. Stimulants Before Bed

Don’t get in the way of a good sleep.

“Sleep is the best meditation” — Dalai Lama

  • Productivity

15. Long Commute

Waste as little time as possible on non-productive activities.

“If you have to commute, read or listen to a book, or a podcast.”

16. Distractions

When comes time to be productive. Shut any distractions down.

“You can’t do big things if you’re distracted by small things” —

17. Blockers Of Personal Progress

Bad friend? Block. Netflix? Block. Video Games? Block. Unblock when comes time to unwind.

“I hate watching an episode a week, I’m more of a season a day kinda person.” —

18. Reading Things You Don’t Enjoy

Seriously. You don’t have to finish everything you start! The author won’t know. Stop reading shit things, there’s too much great stuff out there!

“Life is too short to read a bad book.” — James Joyce

19. Completing Useless Things

Plan things. Organize priorities. Do the ones that matter.

“Nothing is less productive than to make more efficient what should not be done at all.” — Peter Drucker

20. Planning Things That Don’t Need Planning

Planning is great and all, but don’t forget to execute!

“Just do it!” — Nike


  • Relationships

21. Takers

Say “yes” to givers. Give yourself.

“Know the difference between those who stay to feed the soil and those who come to grab the fruit.” —

22. Social Media

Uninstall the Facebook, Twitter and Instagram apps from your phone. BAM! I gave you back an hour of your day! (we-ell this seems a little too far-fetched though isn’t it? deleting all apps from the phone? try having more willpower instead.)

“Never before has a generation so diligently recorded themselves accomplishing so little.” —

23. Talking Shit About Others

Always be honest. Don’t be a hater.

“Don’t do unto others what you don’t want others to do unto you.” — unknown

24. Listening To Complaints About Others

Gossiping is poisonous. Avoid people who spread it.

“Who gossips to you will gossip of you” — Turkish Proverb

25. Naysayers

Relationships are mutual.

“Naysayers have little power over us — unless we give it to them.” — Arianna Huffington

  • Work-Life Balance

26. Bad Routines

Don’t get stuck in a non-productive routine. You can change things around.

“Chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken.” — Warren Buffett

27. Meetings Without An Agenda

These tend to last too long and have no focus. No sense of direction. Avoid them.

“Disorganization can scarcely fail to result in efficiency.” — Dwight Eisenhower

28. Overly Long Team Meetings

Bring people back on track or leave. Seems rude, but in the long run, people will thank you for it.

“Time isn’t the main thing. It’s the only thing.” — Miles Davis

29. Bad Clients

To hell with the good money. If a client is not good to you, focus your energy on the good clients.

“It is better to starve than get a bad client.” — Massimo Vignelli

30. Good

Say “yes” to great.

“Good is the enemy of great” — Jim Collins

31. Cluttered Environment

Have a clean workspace, both physically, mentally and on your computer.

“Clutter is anything that doesn’t support your better self.” — Eleanor Brown

32. Responding To Messages Ad-hoc

As much as possible set blocks of times to answer messages.

“Emails get reaction. Phone calls start conversations.” — Simon Sinek

33. Doing Life Stuff At Work

Give your full attention to your work, it won’t go unnoticed.

“You can always find a distraction if you’re looking for one.” — Tom Kite

34. Doing Work Stuff At Home

Give your full attention to your family, it won’t go unnoticed.

“When you work, work. When you play, play. Don’t mix the two.” — Jim Rohn

35. Doing Things You Can Delegate

Find your superpower, delegate the stuff that’s outside of it.

“As much as you need a strong personality to build a business from scratch, you must also understand the art of delegation.” — Richard Branson

36. A Bad Business Partner

Communication is key. Work things out or walk away.

“I can’t control your behavior; nor do I want that burden… but I will not apologize for refusing to be disrespected, to be lied to, or to be mistreated. I have standards; step up or step out.” — Steve Maraboli

  • Other

37. Your TV And Couch

Make your environment uncomfortable so you can focus on the things that matter.

“I’ve made it to the couch. There’s no stopping me now!” —

38. Waiting For Things You Don’t Need To

Coffee machine? A traffic light when there are other options? A file upload? Just do something else!

“You can’t recycle wasted time.”

39. Things That Don’t Work Towards Your Goals

Question the things you do. Better yet, question it before you start it.

“If it’s not a Hell Yeah!, it’s a no” — Derek Sivers

40. Comparing Apples To Oranges

Don’t waste time comparing things that don’t compare. It’s it’s quantified or qualified using a different set of attributes, it’s not the same thing!

“Don’t compare yourself with anyone in this world. If you do so, you are insulting yourself.” — Bill Gates

41. Your Cellphone

Top productive people set their phones on Airplane mode for most of the day.For me, it has become a brick of sorts.

“Technology can be our best friend, and technology can also be the biggest party pooper of our lives. It interrupts our own story, interrupts our ability to have a thought or a daydream, to imagine something wonderful, because we’re too busy bridging the walk from the cafeteria back to the office on the cell phone.” — Steven Spielberg


Feel like saying “no” now?

You can start right away! Reading this article on your cell phone? Just toss it!

Learning to say “no” is a skill. Practice it. Master it. Say “no” to the right things in 2019 and you’ll be happier for it.

You can do this!

Feel free to ask any questions or share your ideas in the comment section below. Alternately, I’d really appreciate for you to share this content on your social media platform if you found it useful so that others can benefit from it too. If you have any doubts or want a personal clarification, send me an email on For more inspiration, fun, and smiles, follow me on Instagram

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—–Have Hope. Keep Faith—–

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23 thoughts on “Say “No” To These 41 Things For A Happier 2019

  1. Make your couch uncomfortable! OMG… I love to watch my fav TV series’ in bed. It’s all part of “the work” IMO. 🙂

    “Even sleepers and dreamers are workers and collaborators in what goes on in the universe.”

    – Heraclitus in Philip Wheelwright ed., The Presocratics, Indianapolis: Odyssey Press, 1982, p. 79.

    Great, thought-provoking post. I especially resonate with saying “no” to the takers… also known as “mooches.” We’re not doing them or ourselves a favor by reinforcing their opportunistic behavior.

    This is just new for me – traditionally a softie – and not always easy but we DO have to prioritize. You’re totally right.

  2. You spent a good deal of time thinking through your 41 noes. And coming up with relevant quotes by quotable people. Your blog-posts never disappoint, Aishwara. I’m always learning and coming away from your posts with a smile.

  3. I don’t agree with all of these for me personally, but you have some good ideas in there! I want to say no to doing things I can delegate in the future. For me this involves trusting other people, which I find hard at times, but it’s something I’d like to work on.

  4. Definitely coming back to meditate on several suggestions. May you have success on achieving all of this challenges you set before you. Please do blog on how it goes with the technology detox process, I will be definitely woking on that in my new year. May God bless you and your family. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

  5. Say no to the labels and pigeon holes on which we are fed as we grow.
    Don’t be led by that which is “expected”, “required”, “customary”, “obligatory”.
    Paint your life.
    Build it- and yourself- as YOU would like it.
    Believe it is, and you can make it so.

    Seek peace,


  6. I like the mention of the cellphone. From where I sit, a device that was supposed to make communications so easy has done the exact opposite. People spend way to much time on it to the point where they can’t live without it. They should give it a try, there’s a big beautiful world out there and if you’re not careful, you could miss it!

  7. Thanks for the list and wishes! In response to #31, I need a cleaning person; to #41, I don’t have a phone (and don’t want one). Favourite quotation: “It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live.” — Marcus Aurelius

    2019 it is. Have a great one!

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