Picking your battles at work & home

Mandy Drury
David Olsen | The Image Bank | Getty Images

My husband is currently getting sailing certification. He's doing this in order to take me and the boys on a week-long sailing trip in the spring. I am not a natural sailor. Let me re-phrase that: me and the sea are like curry and custard; a mix that makes you feel a little queasy. So why agree to the trip? Because it means so much to my other half. And I rack up points, (or as CNBC.com's managing editor Allen Wastler calls them "marital bargaining units"), to store away for the future.

Most of us acquiesce to a certain amount of things we don't want to do in life and in the office. You say "yes" to everything thrown your way so you don't feel guilty the one time you really need to say "no."

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At least that's what I tell myself, because I'm not exactly practicing what I preach! I'm a pushover people-pleaser and not saying "no" enough in life has gotten me into trouble. Indeed,the amount of self-help books, blogs and therapists out there offering advice on how to "learn to say no" underscores what an entrenched human problem it is, and maybe it will never feel completely comfortable.

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But for now I'll just concentrate on picking my battles for the time that really counts. And with that, my guilt burden has considerably lightened, my husband is happy... and that's enough.