Sometimes I think women are programmed to say "yes." Is it because we're people-pleasers? Why do we think we need to never disappoint anyone? Did we learn this in childhood? How did we get this way (and how can we get over it?)
We say "yes" even if we are frazzled...
Even if we are already over-scheduled and stressed-out...
Is there an answer?
Yes!! Help is at hand. The key, I've found, is to have an absolute YES list. Make up a list of three things you REALLY want to accomplish in the next 4 weeks. Join the gym, start making healthier meals, organize your closets, start some craft projects with the kids. It doesn't matter what you have on the list. This is your list, these are your priorities and nothing should take you away from them.
I would keep the list to three, or not more than four items. And keep it by the phone!! If you carry your cell phone, tape it to the back. Seriously.
You need to have this list handy when someone calls you, asking you to take on another task. Unless the task is directly related to one of the items on your absolute yes list, the answer is NO.
And please don't feel guilty for saying NO. (Yes, I know you're out of practice and it might take some getting used to)
If you feel guilty, it defeats the purpose and you use up a lot of emotional energy. so try not to.
Just remember, by saying "NO" to another request, you are saying "Yes" to yourself. Reminding yourself of this, makes it so much easier.
Please try the Absolute Yes list and let me know how it works out for you. Most of my clients really have had good luck with it and I think you will, too..