I think it’s pretty exciting that we have the choice to make this year whatever we want it to be.

Some things are not in our control, but the good news is we all have the choice to choose and influence how this year looks both personally and professionally. Like writing a new chapter in a book, you choose the settings, the themes and the characters. The choices are all yours.

As we head into March, it is a great opportunity to set goals, review and renew our habits and create new boundaries.

We need to set boundaries and know what we stand for and don’t. Brené Brown says, “Boundaries are simply what’s ok and what’s not ok”. Nothing complicated, but we often make it so.

A challenge many leaders and executives we work with is saying NO to certain people and situations. I am as guilty as charged as I love being in service to others and love to be involved in everything. This can have a downside to your energy, focus, headspace and time.

This is where the “NO LIST” comes in.

I created a concept a few years ago when everyone was banging on about saying YES to everything. I’m pretty sure it was when Jim Carey’s movie “Yes Man” hit the big screen. I’m a huge fan of giving everything a go, probably too much at times, but not to the detriment of your focus, energy and time. I saw a flaw in this and decided to create and share a “NO LIST DIARY” with my clients, which has been extremely well received and embedded in many organisations. It forces us to create boundaries by being consciously aware of who and what we are saying no to.

The concept is easy and an activity you implement monthly or quarterly, both individually and as a team in your personal and professional life.

A helpful tip in saying no to something or someone is to remember you are saying ‘no’ to the event, not the person – this will make the process easier and remove the guilt.

Articulate this verbally “Tiana; I’d love to be part of that meeting; I love working with you, but as you know, we both don’t need to be there, and I can start on our other project. I’m saying no to the meeting, not you.”


Create your “No List”:

Think about who and what you need to say no to?


Individually: Journal this
As a team: Flipchart/Whiteboard this

  • Who will you say no to?
    An example could be that person delegating work to you at the expense of you not achieving your own KPI’s
  • What situations/events will you say no to?
    This could be unnecessary meetings, lunches, workload, certain tasks, projects, etc.


  • Who will you say no to?
    An example could be saying no to a friend who has asked you out for dinner, and you feel guilty saying no. Simply articulate it’s not them, and you need some time to rest up.
  • What situations/events will you say no to?
    This could be saying no to having to organise a family or social gathering, especially if you are always the one doing this.

The word NO is easy to say but not always simple; learning to say ‘no’ without guilt can be empowering and enable you to spend the right time on the right things and people. We need to serve ourselves in order to better contribute to and serve others in and out of the workplace.

Trying to be everything to everyone is not sustainable long term. Remember you are saying ‘no’ to the event, not the person – this will make the process easier.

Who and what are you saying NO to in 2022 to set clear boundaries and direction for your best year yet?

We would love to hear your thoughts on how this works for you.

Lead to be limitless…

Signed Reneé

Renee Giarrusso SignatureFind out where you sit on the Leadership Ladder. Your responses are anonymous, and the results summarised to help us better understand where our market sits so that we can continue to provide insights, tools and solutions to assist you in moving up to be LIMITLESS, co-creative and stand out.

Renée is a mentor, coach, expert facilitator and keynote speaker; She is the author of ‘Gift Mindset®’, ‘Limitless Leadership’, and co-author of ‘Leaders of Influence’.

PS: Want to skyrocket your success from working anywhere? We’ve launched our online program, and you can read more about that here.

Have you received your copy of Renée’s latest book, Gift Mindset®? It is available on Amazon, Booktopia and in all good book stores.

If this article resonates with you somehow, I’d love to hear your thoughts – get in touch.

Being in service to my clients is why I do what I do, and your feedback, insight, and suggestions are always embraced.

Follow Renée on Facebook, Instagram, IGTV or Twitter, or subscribe to her blog or new podcast here.