Imagine saying no to the things you don’t actually want to do. This may sound simple at first, but for many of us, it can be one of life’s ultimate challenges. Between social obligations, work tasks, and chores around the house, a plethora of needs arise each day. And of course, you can’t always say no to anything and everything you don’t want to do. Well, you could, but your life might fall apart! The thing is though, if you really examine the obligations that are taking up your time, you’re likely to realize they aren’t all “obligations.” We often feel that we must do certain things because of social pressure or a fear of missing out. But by prioritizing mindfulness when it comes to your schedule, you can support your mind, body, and soul in the ways most fruitful for you. This year, leave behind FOMO, and replace it with JOMO … discover the joy of missing out.
Why Saying No Is Key to True Happiness
No matter how aligned your friend group and family are with your own interests and lifestyle, time to yourself—to do what you wish freely—is so critical to happiness. In our modern world, “happiness” can be difficult to define. Its importance also sometimes feels overinflated. Do we need to be overjoyed constantly? No. It’s also not realistic. But when we talk about a sense of happiness with life, we’re talking more about feeling content and satisfied with our everyday reality. This lends itself to a general sense of happiness over time, and it can’t be achieved without setting boundaries in the form of “no.” The joy of missing out is that it invites you to attend to yourself and your unique needs.
Call it the art of practicing mindfulness, an exercise of self-exploration, or the act of self-care. Whatever it is to you, carving out time to be alone is essential to the wellness of mind and body. If you act as a “yes person” all the time, you’ll be prioritizing the desires of others by default. Naturally, this takes away from your ability to attend to self—there are only so many hours in a day.
How to Embrace the Joy of Missing Out
You might be thinking that this all sounds great, but is easier said than done. We get it! Here are our tips for embracing the joy of missing out.
Keep a detailed calendar.
This helps to manage modern life in general, but keeping a detailed calendar also enables you to say yes or no to proposed plans, meetings, etc. quickly, without forgetting about time for you. When you can see your week at a glance, it is easier to identify whether or not you really have time to do something. If you’ve already said yes to obligations for Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, you can tell your friend who wants to grab coffee Thursday afternoon that while you are free, your week is quite full so next week would be better. If you want to take this one step further, pencil in your me time! We honestly love this idea. If you, like many TikTokers, like to spend Thursday night in your at-home spa (hello, everything shower before the weekend), block out the evening and guard it with your life. Okay, maybe it doesn’t need to be that dramatic, but you get our point!
Communicate clearly and honestly when setting boundaries.
This one can be uncomfortable if you aren’t accustomed to it, but with practice it will begin to feel natural—we promise. A bonus effect is that you’ll be setting an example and precedent for others to engage in the same healthy behavior. When saying no to plans, you can be clear and honest about why! Instead of stressing about making up an excuse, just tell them the truth in a compassionate way. To use the same example as before, you could simply say: “While I do have the free time to grab coffee on Thursday afternoon, my other days this week are already busy. I’m worried I might feel stressed out if I add anything else to my calendar this week. I think I would be able to relax and enjoy our time together more if we planned for next week. Could that work for you?”
This is kind and straightforward. It lets them know you are thoughtful about and value your time with them. And, like we mentioned, it may encourage that friend to set their own healthy boundaries. Share the joy of missing out!
Make a list of what matters most to you, in order of importance.
Be candid with yourself and keep this list in the for-your-eyes-only category. Society says that family should be your top priority, but is it? It’s okay if the answer is no. This is between you and you, so tell the truth. Order things like family, friends, romance, work, hobbies, housekeeping, meal prep, and more from most to least important. This will go a long way toward helping you prioritize. The joy of missing out is only present if you are missing out on things you care less about for that which means the most to you. A thoughtful list like this will help you make the right decisions.
Find smart shortcuts to make time for what matters most.
Is there joy in missing out on cleaning the house? A lot of people would say yes, but how strong is your feeling about this? If housekeeping sits at the bottom of the list, this could be something you outsource. There is an old saying that wealthy people spend the most money on convenience, because they value their time above all else. Channel this energy and find ways to lessen the time you must spend on what doesn’t matter as much. Some people take great pride and joy in organizing and maintaining their home. Others don’t. Which are you?
Apply this sort of thinking to every category of your life, and you can build the lifestyle that most brings you joy!
Ensure that the nonnegotiables are taken care of.
No matter what your individual priorities are, there are a few things we all must give attention to. Namely, sleep and nutrition. If you don’t manage these two aspects of life well, little else will be possible!
As you go on this journey in the joy of missing out, consider how you can regain more minutes of your day for these two all-important tasks. If you keep your evenings from completely filling up, you may be able to create a bedtime routine that helps you get better sleep. Time that used to be spent in unnecessary meetings could be lent to preparing a healthier lunch.
We do have to add in two quick tips to boost this one! As you learn to carve out time for good sleep and thoughtful nutrition, our MindYourMind supplement and PlantYourDay protein powder can be the helpmates that keep you on track on the days you don’t get the timing perfect. Remember that it’s natural to have a little back and forth when you’re starting any habit!
When you decide to embrace the joy of missing out, you free up time to design the life you truly want to live. What greater habit for the new year?
Take a selfie of your smiling face in the midst of JOMO and show us how you’re using your time by tagging us on social! We can’t wait to celebrate your JOMO!