As humans, we all have desires, goals, and values that drive our actions and decisions. These desires and goals can serve as our “why” – the reason behind the things we do. Understanding and staying true to our “why” is crucial for living a fulfilling and authentic life.
At the same time, it’s important to set boundaries in our personal and professional lives. Boundaries allow us to take care of ourselves and protect our time, energy, and well-being. Without boundaries, we may find ourselves overextended, burnt out, and unhappy.
So how can we combine the importance of our “why” with the necessity of setting boundaries?
One way to do this is to use our “why” as a guide for setting boundaries. Our “why” can help us prioritize our time and energy, and say no to the things that don’t align with our values and goals. For example, if our “why” is to be a present and attentive parent, we might set boundaries around the amount of work we take on or the number of social commitments we make, in order to ensure that we have the time and energy to be fully present with our children.
If our “why” is to live a healthy and balanced life, we might set boundaries around our physical and mental health, such as making time for regular exercise and self-care, or setting limits on the amount of time we spend on our phones or in front of screens. These boundaries can help us stay focused on our goals and prevent us from getting sidetracked by distractions or unhealthy habits.
But it’s not always easy to set boundaries, especially when we feel pressure from others or are afraid of missing out. That’s where our “why” can come in handy. By reminding ourselves of our goals and values, we can gain the courage and motivation to set and enforce boundaries that support our “why”.
Boundaries aren’t just about saying no and setting limits. They’re also about saying yes to the things that support our “why”. By setting boundaries around the activities, people, and commitments that align with our values and goals, we can create space for the things that truly matter to us.
For example, if our “why” is to build strong relationships with our loved ones, we might set boundaries around the amount of time we spend at work, or the number of social events we attend, in order to make room for quality time with our family and friends. Or if our “why” is to pursue a creative passion, we might set boundaries around our leisure time, or the number of non-essential tasks we take on, in order to make space for our creative pursuits.
Here are a few tips for setting and enforcing boundaries:
- Know your values and goals. Understanding your “why” can help you set boundaries that align with what matters most to you.
- Communicate clearly and directly. Let others know your boundaries in a clear and respectful way. It’s okay to say no, or to negotiate a compromise that works for both parties.
- Practice self-awareness. Pay attention to your own physical, emotional, and mental limits. This can help you identify where you need to set boundaries.
- Be assertive, not aggressive. It’s important to stand up for yourself and your boundaries, but try to do so in a way that is respectful and non-confrontational.
- Set boundaries in all areas of your life. This includes your personal life, as well as your professional and social relationships.
- Be consistent. It’s important to follow through on your boundaries and enforce them consistently.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you’re having trouble setting or enforcing boundaries, it can be helpful to seek support from a trusted friend, family member, or therapist.
Remember, setting and enforcing boundaries is a process and it takes time and practice. It’s okay to make mistakes and adjust your boundaries as needed.
Combining our “why” with healthy boundaries allows us to live a life that is authentic, fulfilling, and true to our values and goals. It helps us to take care of ourselves and those around us, and to live with purpose and intention. It’s important to remember that boundaries are a form of self-care, and it’s okay to prioritize our own needs and well-being.
If you want more guidance on how to live a life by design, where you’re aligned with your “why” and learn how to create boundaries, check out our podcast #tayloredlife. Sign up to get on the VIP launch list by clicking here.