Calendar Mistakes Part 2: Just Say No

We are pleasers, or at least most of us are. Most of us fear conflict and wish away any circumstance when we disappoint someone, especially someone for which you have respect or a loved one. Sometimes this serves us well and makes us feel good. Yet being a pleaser, or afraid to say “no” can be a dangerous journey toward missed health, wellness, and fitness goals.

“No.” is a complete sentence. This statement alone will help you find your best approach for your health, wellness, and help you get that fitness you’ve always wanted.

Last week I introduced my still-controversial approach with concierge and corporate clients who want to “up-level” their wellness. To control your wellness, you must control your calendar. I hear daily “I’m so busy.” or “I can’t get everything done.” or “I’m overwhelmed.” Yet, you really can. Those clients who have worked through structuring their calendar for their wellness now never say those statements. Contact me here to discuss how you too can stop feeling that way.

How does it work? Well, we have about 18 waking hours in the day. We have a host of values and priorities. We have our greatest asset: time. How you spend your time is a direct reflection of your priorities. Decide if the “ask” is a “10” on a scale of 1-10. If it is a wimpy “8 or 9” it is a “no.” If it is a resounding “10” and something for which you’ll feel zero guilt or resentment, BAM 💥, it is a “yes.”

As I mentioned last week, if I were to look at your calendar, would it reflect your values of being fit, a Faith-filled life, finding a career that inspires you, connecting with friends, healthy family relationships, or whatever your purpose in life is?

I invited you to take the time to determine your purpose and your core values. From there, constructing your calendar with only your top priorities on it is a must – today.

My second wish for you is to learn to boundary every second of that calendar for your purpose and core values. One way to boundary your time is to say “no,” either to yourself or to others.

For example, below are tell-tale symptoms of someone who may have figured out their core values (or not), yet isn’t structuring their time to reflect that value.

  • • She allows others (kids, friends, teachers, bosses, siblings, partners) to “steal” her calendar, without them even knowing they’re doing it. She becomes resentful.
  • • She’s racing through her day, putting out fires and adding to her “to do” list.
  • • Before she completes a task, another pops up and she’s too stressed and distracted to focus on the essential, so she moves to another priority – putting off the first priority until “later.”
  • • She finds herself struggling to make progress or identify what she accomplished at the end of the day.
  • • The day ends and she’s stressed and frustrated she didn’t get “everything done.”



Sound like anyone you know?

So, then add to her frustration, she gets asked to do something she really doesn’t want (“3” on the 1-10 scale) yet says “yes” regretting it soon after. Or, she tells herself she has to do something she knows is not within her core value system.

Saying “no” is filled with fear. The fear of saying “no” can be the result of many deeper issues I too encountered on my own wellness journey. Maybe people would like me more? Maybe if I worked so hard for certain things, they’d love me more? Saying “no” was a challenge for me.

These are the top five I’ve seen.

  • • You worry you’ll miss out on a great opportunity.
  • • You’re scared of rocking the boat, stirring things up, burning bridges.
  • • You can’t bear the thought of disappointing someone you respect and like, including yourself.
  • • You’re afraid of an uncomfortable conversation.
  • • You tell yourself you have to be that perfect “mom,” “employee,” “daughter,” whatever. So, you say “yes” way more than you choose. You give away your power to others.

What is the result of the “yes?”

  • • You give away your precious time for the “unessential” or disregard your core values.
  • • You are giving your time and energy and putting others needs before your own.
  • • You are not being authentic with the person who is requesting your time and/or energy.
  • • You do not control your calendar, others sabotage it – likely without even knowing.
  • • Wellness tends to be the first budget line item cut and the first on the chopping block when other “important” things surface. Don’t let that happen, ladies! It is for your health!



What will saying no to those things that don’t “fill your bucket,” nor are in sync with your core values do for your wellness?

  • • It will give you control of your life and how you spend your time and energy.
  • • Helps you stay within your own boundaries.
  • • Maintains your core values/your purpose meaningfully and intentionally.
  • • Helps you get used to being “uncomfortable” which leads to amazing personal growth and resilience. My coach says, “get comfortable with the uncomfortable” and you will find your true compass. I have…join me!
  • • Hold your precious little time to devote to your wellness sacrosanct – “boundaried.”



Once you become a pro at saying “no” to the non-essential, “no” will feel less uncomfortable. Your decisions become much clearer. Eliminating the nonessential becomes more instinctive. You feel greater control of your choices, to the point that your life is different. It is better.

“No” can be the difference between being and feeling better about yourself, your body, and your fitness…or not.

Join me in the crusade to control your calendar and control your life. Schedule a 30 minute consult with me here to feel better or to introduce your company, law firm, or association to the art of developing a culture of wellness here.


  • The latest from Adrien
Adrien founded Fitness on the Run in 2004 out of her home after a successful career in policy and public affairs communications. After spending 15 years developing her own personal definition of wellness and watching thousands struggle with theirs, in January 2019 Adrien founded Alexandria Wellness, the home for the Concierge Wellness Program and Corporate Wellness with Adrien Cotton. Over the course of 15 years, “FOR” was home to more than 2,000 clients, 30 instructors, and hundreds of inspirational success stories. Adrien is now, more-than-ever, passionate about helping women view their fitness as a journey, not a quick fix. Adrien’s recipe for success herself has evolved from a rigid training plan of sweaty and heart pumping workouts to some days getting in her 10,000 steps, consciously breathing, her 7.5 hours of sleep, and her beloved 5-Minute Flow. Adrien believes the most important ingredient is making small changes for big results, even if it’s one new habit formed each month. Still passionate about fitness, Adrien’s clients appreciate her ability to make sessions seriously challenging without a “beat down,” a healthy mix of strength and metabolic (cardio) work and ultimately helping her clients gain real strength in mind and body. She believes we all benefit from being curious about our bodies and that change, or improvement, is within reach despite what your “inner voice” or others may tell you. Adrien is bubbling with excitement to help women learn the importance of a comprehensive approach to wellness, weight loss, and contentedness with yourself, and that every person has the right to feel good about themselves. Most days, you can find her helping clients with their wellness, listening to success stories, and bragging about her twin 13-year-old children and “fittest man in Alexandria” Bill Cotton. Adrien prides herself on her practice of mindfulness, meditation, and putting it all into perspective.

Alexandria Wellness offers achievable answers for anyone who is tired of chasing fitness and health without a clear plan, someone who has struggled and is not satisfied with their fitness and wellness or someone who is open to maximized healthful longevity and fitness along with healthful weight loss. Adrien and her team offer help with food guidance, body acceptance, sleep and stress issues, and insist you have fun along the way.

Schedule your free 30 minute consult here!

Alexandria Wellness
215 North Payne Street
Alexandria, VA 22314



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