Life will serve us up plenty of opportunities to establish healthy boundaries for ourselves, like pretty much all day, every day. Are you going to take your break at work? Will you wash the toilet or is it time for someone else to wash it? Do you watch what you want to watch on TV or just go along with what someone else wants to watch?
Our conditioning and habits will rule the day if we are not paying attention.
So, as with any change you want to make, get really clear on the details: What is going to be okay and what is not? Choose a starting point for change. You don’t need to implement major upheavals to all of the “puzzle pieces” of your life at once, unless of course you want to. It is usually easiest to pick one area, maybe a certain difficult relationship, a toxic work habit, or a change in how you take care of yourself.
Decide. Then, take new ACTION.
One potent action step to get clear and decide is to create an Absolute No list. I love this process and I hope you do to! I found it in a book by Cheryl Richardson many years ago and it has helped me definitely stick to limits I wanted to set for myself. An Absolute No list is simply a place where you designate what you no longer wish to do or tolerate. You “absolutely” don’t do these things. For example, when I stopped drinking soda, I put it on my Absolute No list. I made it a hard line. So when I was faced with a choice of what to drink, the answer to soda was ALWAYS no. I had to decide on some other drink. Period. No wiggle room. Ever.
I quickly realized I was developing an Absolute Yes list for myself. In other words, a list of all the things I did want to be drinking. A list of the beverages I felt good about.
I made up some fun printable sheets to use and will share them here.
My encouragement is to start small, maybe identify up to three significant limits and once these are settled then add more or switch them out for new ones.
Before you go, there is one more BIG TIME consideration to ponder when it comes to boundaries for ourselves and that is self-acceptance.
I saw a good friend from childhood a while ago. I hadn’t seen her in a while. She had moved to a cute little apartment with big windows and white walls. Sunshine spilled into every room. She had gotten divorced. She also quit smoking. We talked about the fulfilling changes she had made in her life and she shared, “They came easy after I started feeling good about myself.”
Yes! These are the feet you stand on, your own two feet. I say, make yourself number one. You are key. The foundation is self-love, that is really what you are elevating here, the love and care of you. Make yourself the biggest priority. Consciously put yourself first as a strategy. If you are uncomfortable with this, it is evidence you are pushing against your edge. We are ALL uncomfortable at our edge. It’s to be expected, right? Tune into this discomfort, really listen to what you need. Send yourself kind messages and give yourself a great big smooch! You are showing up for you!
The boundary setting will be smoother when we connect the dots between the choices we make to take care of ourselves and feeling we are worth the effort.
So nice to have you here reading this article.
Love and blessings…