Several years ago, I stopped making New Year’s resolutions. When I looked at the resolutions I had made over the years, they were all the same. And, what was even worse was the fact that I often gave up on most of them before February was even over.

There had to be a better way.

That’s when I decided to choose a word for the year that would be my guide as I went through the year. I’d use my word to help me make better choices when I had decisions to make. It would be like my own personal compass to guide me as I went throughout my day.

This has been my practice for many years now and this year is no different.

My word for 2020 is “new.” I’ve prayed and asked God to help me have new opportunities this year. I want to meet new people, have new adventures and new experiences. I’m looking forward to a new level of serving in my family, my business and my church. I’m excited about a new depth in my relationship with the Lord.

But as inspired as I am about attracting all this newness into my life, I realize that I need to be open to some things I may have said no to in the past. That means prayerfully taking some chances. It means going from a “no” mindset to a “yes” outlook.

How do you do that?

By not saying no so often and by being open to new opportunities.

Because when you do these two things, you’ll see benefits like these:

You’ll Gain Confidence

We’re often inclined to say no to invitations or opportunities because we’re afraid. Pushing past this fear helps you to gain confidence. Each time you put yourself out there and say yes, you’re exposing yourself to new experiences you wouldn’t otherwise have had. Soon, it will become easier to say yes.

You’ll Have Better Relationships

Saying yes usually puts you into situations with more or different people. For example, you’ll spend more time with your friends when you say yes to their invitations. You’ll network more when you give after work activities a shot. With each new person you encounter, you’re growing your contacts and learning to interact with individuals and groups of various backgrounds. Your people skills will definitely get a boost.

It Could Change Your Life

Think of the times you’ve had the most fun or gained an experience that has greatly enhanced your life. What if you had said no to that opportunity? Can you imagine how different things would be right now? You never know what could happen when you say yes. You could meet your next best friend or find your new line of work. Maybe you’ll discover a hobby that will become a lifetime interest. You never know if you don’t say yes.

You’ll Walk Away with a Good Story

Even if you end up having a bad experience or it’s not all you’d hoped, at the very least you could walk away with a good story to tell. You’ll have exposed yourself to something that otherwise wouldn’t have occurred in your life. Sometimes these encounters end up being turning points in our lives. And, even if it doesn’t necessarily work out for you, you’ll have learned a lesson and can share that lesson with the important people in your life.

This is a great time to try saying yes the next time an opportunity comes your way. Push past your instincts to say no and just see what happens when you go for it. Chances are, you’ll be glad you did.

If you’d like more support in this area, you won’t want to miss my upcoming Life Class – The Year of Yes, Lord! Stay tuned for sign up details.