We can all remember those motivational talks we used to get in school about how “all you have to do is set your mind to it and you can do it.” The reality is much more complicated. Yes, you can probably reach your goals with the right mindset, but there are many things you have to do along the way to make them possible. Working hard and thinking positively isn’t all there is to it. The boundaries you establish for yourself will play a large role.
Learning to set boundaries can benefit everyone, but it doesn’t come naturally to many of us. Let’s talk about boundaries, why they matter for achieving your goals, and how you can establish your own.
What Are Boundaries?
Boundaries are lines in the sand that you draw to protect yourself, your time, and your energy. They’re rules you set for both yourself and the people in your life about how you’re willing to be treated.
For example, setting a boundary could involve setting aside time for yourself to work toward a particular goal. Or, it could involve saying no when someone asks you to do something for them when your schedule is already busy. Boundaries are essential to your mental health and your ability to have the balance you want in your life.
Why Are Boundaries Important for Accomplishing Your Goals?
You may have heard the saying that when you say “yes” to someone else, you’re saying “no” to yourself. This is absolutely true. Boundaries allow you to have the time and energy to work toward your goals rather than putting everything you have into helping someone else reach their goals or serving someone else’s wants.
No matter how much you may want to do everything possible for both yourself and others, the fact is that your resources are limited. You only have so much time and mental, physical, and emotional energy available, and setting boundaries allows you to put some of those resources toward achieving your goals.
Tips to Create Healthy Boundaries to Achieve Your Goals
As you start learning how to set healthy boundaries for yourself, use these tips along the way.
Book Your Time
Time is always a limited resource, and for most goals, it’s one of the top ingredients you need. When you have a goal you’re working toward, don’t just work on it with whatever spare time you have left. If you do, all your time will be used up before you take any for your own pursuits.
Instead, book specific windows of time to work toward your goals. For example, you might set aside 7pm to 8pm on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays to make progress toward a goal you want to accomplish. Guard that time the same way you would if it were, say, a doctor’s appointment or a work meeting.
Determine What Type of People You Allow in Your Life
Boundaries don’t just protect your time. They protect your mindset as well. A large part of this is choosing what type of people you want to surround yourself with and what people will empower you to achieve your goals rather than holding you back.
When you spend time around people with a negative mindset, that negativity is contagious. You’ll likely start to feel like you can’t accomplish the goals you’ve set for yourself and that you may as well give up.
Set boundaries to protect your mindset and motivation by paying attention to the way you feel and think when you’re around certain friends or relatives. If you notice that someone is feeding you energy that isn’t helping you reach your goals, consider minimizing the time you spend with that person.
Practice Makes Perfect
Setting boundaries for yourself is difficult. Many people aren’t used to standing up for themselves or acknowledging that they have a right to say “no” to commitments that would put a burden on their time or energy.
Plain and simple, it’s difficult to learn how to establish and protect boundaries for yourself. Keep at it, though, and it will get easier along the way. You’ll notice too that when you lay down your boundaries with confidence, most people will respect them and you won’t need to repeat the same conversation again and again.
“Compromise” is a Curse Word
If you’re struggling with setting and maintaining your boundaries, it’s easy to convince yourself to compromise “just this one time.” Unfortunately, one compromise leads to another and another before your boundaries fall apart entirely.
When you aren’t consistent in maintaining your boundaries, it’s a bad deal for all involved. It intrudes on your ability to reach your goals, and it confuses others because they’re not clear on when you are and aren’t available. Consistency is key.
Establishing Your Own Healthy Boundaries to Achieve Your Goals
Whether you’re working toward a goal that relates to your career, your personal life, your fitness, or whatever it may be, boundaries are critical to allowing you to have the time and energy you need to make progress.
Our Creating Healthy Boundaries Workbook + Guide will give you a roadmap to setting boundaries against anything or anyone standing between you and your goals so you can live the life you deserve.