Setting Boundaries: How Establishing Limits Can Transform Your Life
If you read my last post you know that I am on a journey this year to heal my relationship with myself. If I am not healthy or see that I matter, I cannot accomplish the goals and dreams I have set for myself. One of my key learnings over my life time has been how to set boundaries – boundaries with my time, my attention, my money!
As a wife, mom, business owner and community leader the demands on my time by others have reached near epic proportions at times. I had to learn to say no to others. Now I am learning to say “Hell yes” to myself.
What are the things that matter the most to you in your life that are being pushed to the sidelines because you ‘don’t have enough time’? Which passions are dwindling because you haven’t been giving them the time, love and attention they need to flourish?
Are you saying “yes” to too much without enough “nos”? Are you running yourself ragged trying to people please everyone in your life? Are you allowing yourself to be distracted by life without paying attention to what really matters?
If you said “yes” to any of these, I have some suggestions which can offer true solutions for your life. I have had to learn all of these lessons, some of them repeatedly it seems like.
And the most important thing you’ll hear from me today is this: limits, know what they are. You have to set limits in your life. You must become ok with the discomfort of saying “no” so you can have room left over for your “hell yes” — your hell yes to YOURSELF.
If you can set healthy limits, you’ll regain control of your life.
Some benefits of this can include:
– Life becomes simpler, more manageable, and therefore, surprisingly, more stress-free.
– You’re able to achieve your goals. Huh, imagine that!
– When you value your time and show that you have priorities, others will also see your time as valuable.
– You become more effective in almost everything you do. So, how we do one is how we do everything?! Yes, it’s true!
Instead of getting lost in the “maya” or life’s illusions or instead of taking on more than any human can humanely handle, read on for some tips on setting boundaries that work for you.
Examine Your Morning Routine
What is the first thing you do in the morning? What do you spend most of your time doing? Are you noticing there is one thing, that is a time-waster you tend to fall back on, just to numb out?
Mine used to be drinking coffee and surfing Facebook. And while I didn’t give up coffee… now I use the time to read, journal and meditate.
To start this process of boundary setting, look at your daily routine to identify the places where you feel overloaded.
If we were to add up these wasted hours, and they are wasted because how do they contribute to your overall well-being or quality of life, we would be shocked to see our essential, vital energy being thrown down the drain of life.
Instead, try giving yourself a certain limited amount of time for each of these activities. Try a half-hour on Facebook each day, no more! Maybe give yourself an hour for your email instead of two. Then every day for a week, write down exactly how much time you spent. I am a huge fan of time audits – they are life changing!
After one week, look at your numbers. Did you do better than before you were tracking your time? More importantly, did you feel like you had more time for what you really wanted to do? For the things that truly call your heart. By saying no to the things that dragged you down, were you able to say yes to the things that uplift you?
Please! Don’t try a massive overhaul of everything in your life at once. True, sustainable change takes time… Pick one thing to become successful in and go from there. It’s amazing how one tiny feat can give us so much courage to take another step towards a bigger goal.
Refrain from trying to deal with everything at once. Gradually you’ll see a big change in your routine.
Identify Essential Tasks
Once you begin to set limits on your activities, you’ll be able to simplify further by sticking with the essential ones and getting rid of the ones that don’t matter. Some examples of essential activities are: organizing your closet, catching up with your reading, or balancing your checkbook.
What are your personal values and goals? Your essential activities will determine these.
Make a list of things to do. Then you can determine your priorities. For example, you could put off cleaning the kitchen shelves in order to pay your bills. Or you can go train for a marathon instead of Facebooking for two hours.
Be Aware of Your Energy Levels – Track Your Body
You may set out to clean your entire house in a day or take the kids to the park for a ball game and find your plans impossible because you just don’t have that kind of energy. It’s important to know your limitations and work within those boundaries for greater success. Knowing your own boundaries is a big one.
What is your budget? Do you even know it?
Just like you’ll want to know your personal limits, you also need to know your financial limits. Make an effort to align your spending with your goals and values. For instance, if one of your values is knowledge, you might choose to buy a book, because you value it more, rather than a new outfit (appearances).
Ultimately, if you’re looking for more hours in your day, these tips are a great place to start. Try out some of these suggestions and you’ll begin to set boundaries or limitations that work for you. By doing this, you can simplify your life, prevent burnout, and make the most both work and play. The good news is, you can start today.