04/10/2014 12:31 pm ET Updated Jun 09, 2014

5 Ways to Take Center Stage and Say No to Martyrdom

OK ladies, let's have a talk. Is it all just a little too much right now? Are your clothes just kind of hanging off your body? Is the gym in the kingdom of far far away? Have you received and exceeded the absolute last straw request? Perhaps it's time to bow out of this year's contest for martyr of the year.

There are a few more telltale signs you're in the running. You are saying yes to requests for your time way more than you say no. Your hair is a mess and you need to get to the salon desperately. Many of your clothes are from big box stores like Target, because you happened to grab them while shopping for basics like toilet paper and cleaning supplies.

Being put-upon has it's rewards. For instance, we can complain and perhaps get some attention. We can blame circumstances for our unhappiness. But honestly, no one likes a martyr for long... probably least of all, us. What if you and I reclaimed our time and deep desires one moment at a time by taking simple actions daily? We'll say "no" first and mean it. Or at the very least, we'll say, "Let me think about your request and get back to you." Maybe our partner will have to wait a bit longer for dinner or we will ask them to help make it. Perhaps the boss will need to hang tight while we spend some extra time at lunch, regrouping, before wrapping up THE BIG presentation. The kids will have to wait for a meal (or help make it) and stand by for homework help while we take a hot bath. We'll embark on a new exciting hobby, one that leaves commitments in our dust.
Let's put ourselves center stage in our lives! This year's nominee's for excellent self-care are...

PHOTOS: 5 Ways to Take Center Stage in Your Own Life and Reject the Martyr Award

From Martyr to Center Stage