30 things I am saying NO to in 2019

Sara | AbstractedCollective
6 min readMar 30, 2019


Photo by Green Chameleon on Unsplash

It’s March! It’s officially Spring and yes, this is the first official month of the year as far as I’m concerned 😀

What a great way to say GOODBYE to the year gone by, by drawing up a list of things that I am going to say NO to this year.

Growth means there’s constant change and in this post, I’ll list ?? things/habits/actions/beliefs that I don’t aim to bring into the New Year.

Let’s kick this off.

Personal growth

Suppressing creativity

I’ve constantly struggled with imposter syndrome and feelings of my creative outputs not being “up to standard”. It’s time I shed those feelings to write more, design more and pick up the guitar again after 10 years. Sketching and watercolor are also on the list. I want things to run free this year, free of structure, free of criticism.

Suppressing my femininity

We all express femininity differently and for me, being feminine means being more elegant, gracious, graceful and refined in mind, body and heart. To get more in touch with my inner feminine — Latin ballroom is on the cards!

Low self-esteem and self-confidence

I am enough. I am worthy. Always have been.

Your potential expands as you move towards it. You could never know what you are capable of because as you get to it, your potential allows you to go even further. — Marissa Peer

Photo by sydney Rae on Unsplash


Something I’ve struggled with since a young child as the result of the culture I’m in. Gonna aim for “good enough”, instead of “perfect” and finishing that first draft in 2 hours instead of 2 weeks.

I may not be perfect, but parts of me are pretty awesome. — Unknown

Filling the voids in my life with low-value stuff

Saying no to celeb worship or any sort of celeb news this year. I realise I get more into the lives of these strangers way more when I’m feeling bored, empty or lonely. Time to address these feelings when they come up instead of filling it up with with low-value crap like reading celeb news on the net, what a colossal waste of time.

READ ALSO: To: 20 year old Sara


Dragging on things and seeing them on my to-do list for months on end. Note to self: either do it or drop it.


Don’t think, just do.

Discomfort with uncertainty

This discomfort will probably never 100% go away but there’s something beautiful and exciting about not really knowing what will happen next and living the heck out of this present moment.

Fears and Limiting Beliefs

Which are mostly the work of my ego trying to protect me.

Hiding my authentic self

Enough of this people-pleasing thing. Hiding parts of my personality just cause someone might not like it is not the way I want to live my life.

Photo by Sweet Ice Cream Photography on Unsplash


Oh, this one is big. Take a seat, inner critic. I hear you but your perspective usually isn’t that important.

Remember, you have been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens. — Louise Hay

De-valuing my opinions

Hey, my opinions are just as valid as yours. And I shall air them too.

Comparing myself with others

Someone being good at something doesn’t make you bad at it. Life isn’t all about scarcity. Also, people being successful doesn’t mean a dent in your success as we all lead different lives.

The reason why we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel. — Steven Furtick


Negative People

There’s only so much of negativity I can take. And only so much of others’ emotions I can take — we aren’t responsible for how others feel. Also, why constantly hang with people who like focusing on the negative when there’s so much of positivity and beauty in life.


People or “friends” who use you for their boredom, entertainment, as their personal diary, psychiatrist, bank, teacher… Bye folks.

To be happy is to wisely use the power of saying NO to some people. Don’t be afraid to disappoint people who only conveniently remember you when they want something from you. — Dodinsky


People who just want to complain 1000x about the same thing but don’t even want to entertain a single solution? You get to join the users at the exit.


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Sleeping early

Lack of sleep or sleeping 2 hours a day isn’t anything to brag about, it is linked to cancer in many studies. And it messes up your circadian rhythms and leads to weight gain too. It’s lights off at 12mn for me no matter what. Having better night-time habits is always gonna guarantee you a better day ahead.

No technology 3 hours before bed

Yes blue light is a thing and does interfere with your sleep. It messes with the melatonin levels and circadian rhythm in your body. Each time I use my tablet before bed, I take a longer time to fall asleep and can’t sleep well.

No snacking in between meals

If so, only healthy snacks are allowed. Bye choc-chip cookies, hello oatmeal.

Paying attention to what I eat

Less carbs, more high GI foods, proteins and fibre. No more overeating.

Exercising irregularly

Exercise = building strength. Even housework, cycling and light routines count. Exercises don’t have to be long and intense to count as an exercise.

Mental and emotional well-being

Photo by Eaters Collective on Unsplash

Taking a break from social media

Too much going on and none of them ever that important, life-or-death cases or life-changing. Going on an Instagram detox was possibly one of the best things I’ve done in recent weeks and my mind feels so much clearer.

Feeling bad when my to-do list isn’t complete

How about having a more realistic to-do list in the first place? Say, 1 or 3 items instead of 10?

Not taking breaks

I constantly feel like I’ve got to be on the go for everything and taking a break is lazy or not moving forward on my goals.

Taking a break from technology

Know why you constantly feel like your mind is “buzzing”? It’s the constant staring at your screens when you are supposed to be resting. Scrolling facebook, instagram and random internet surfing means your mind is constantly “thinking” (about nothing that important, mind you) and that results in fatigue.


After-work and weekend emails

Bye to my email app and receiving emails on my phone just before I sleep.

Staying late at work

Just cuts down the amount of personal time I have for myself at night and makes me so much less productive than I can be.

Mental health trumps money

I think at this point, I rather the work-life balance and enjoying my social life than getting extra pay for the stress I have to endure, long hours and ill-health.

Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash

Horrible clients

Most clients suck and act like you owe them your life just cause they are paying you for a service. Eff that. I’ve always complained that we don’t get more here and I’ve realised what a blessing that is and I’m not gonna start wishing for more.

Working in an industry that I’m not passionate about

People always tell you that it’s impossible to work in a job that you love. Screw that. I can’t think of a single more unhappy thing to do. Spending 40 hours of your life each week working at something you don’t like. It’s time to really go after my passions this year.

My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style. — Maya Angelou

Your thoughts? What are you saying NO to this year?

Originally published at abstractedcollective.com on March 30, 2019.

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Sara | AbstractedCollective

I write about relationships, personal growth and mental health. Dreamer. Tea addict. Researcher. https://abstractedcollective.com/home