my best resolution

It’s here. The end of a year and the start of a new one. The time we make new year’s resolutions, or at least talk about them. This is a previously written post that received some really positive response, so I’m reposting it again, updated for 2013.

We all know resolutions are notoriously hard to keep. So it’s helpful when others can help us think about them differently. For example, last year Author Tim Sanders suggested making 3 lists for 2011. Stop, start, and keep. It’s simple.

I made one resolution a few years ago, and I’ve been making the same one every year since and it has changed my life. It’s my best resolution.

I resolved to say “Yes” more often.

Sometimes it’s easy. You want to pay for my dinner? – Yes. Other times, it’s harder. You want me to speak to a group of college kids? – (gulp) Yes.

I should probably clarify that this is not an excuse for all the codependent Millie Martyr’s of the world to continue taking on other people’s responsibilities, or not to enforce healthy boundaries, or to otherwise be a doormat. This is saying “yes” at times when you’re tired and would otherwise just go home. Or saying “yes” to things that are completely outside your comfort zone, or that you have little interest in, or don’t know anything about.

I warn you… it’s radical. I actually live a fairly routine life. But I now have the best job at an awesome church because I said “yes” to having coffee with a complete stranger I’d only met on Twitter. I’ve been to Africa and Thailand because I said yes. I’ve seen things I never would have seen, I’ve taught classes, interviewed mayors, spoken at church, served on a university presidential search committee, made unexpected connections, hosted live-streaming interviews, earned unexpected money, and met the most interesting people – all because at some point further back I said “yes” to an insignificant-at-the-time opportunity.

My friend Jen Taylor Johnson has my favorite story about what happened to her when she said yes.

You should try it in 2013. You only have to say one word.

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