How to set boundaries that you actually stick to!
Part of the process of successful of goal setting is ultimately creating a plan for your success. It is all good and well to have the vision and goals, but without the plan in place to make them happen they are really just wish lists on a page or in your head. Also, your goals and vision should ultimately be underpinned by your values – these are what you consider to be the most important things in your life.
Therefore, as an example, if you are saying the most important things in your life are your family, friends and health, then your vision for what your life looks like should also be aligned to these, as should the plan you then put in place to achieve them. Often though, this is where we fall down. We create these amazing vision boards, goals list etc, but we don’t commit to the changes we need to make in order to then achieve them.
“Show me your schedule and I will show you your values” is a phrase I have used before and I will use again.
What YOU allow to take up YOUR time the most is what you are saying that you really, truly value the most. Actions speak louder than words.
If you take the time to review your current schedule, where do you think the most time is spent? And, when I say time, I don’t just mean physical time – time also includes the hours you may spend thinking about something, the nights you lose sleep overthinking things – this is all time.
A few years ago, I decided to do this exercise for myself. Something had to change in my life and an assessment of where I currently was seemed like a logical place to start. I printed off my schedule and bucketed it up into the key themes – I had to be very honest with myself too. I learned that about 60% of my time, or, on average, 100 hours of the 168 hours I had in any given week, were being spent on work – and as I said above that included actual work, thinking about work, and then overthinking about work! Next, it was about 25 -30% rest/sleep and maybe 10% time for relationships and play. Zero time allotted to exercise, or development and growth.
I did this to myself though. I allowed this to happen by not having clear boundaries to prioritise the things most important to me (and massively by allowing myself to overthink – if you think that might be you, check this blog post out on Overthinking!). CLICK HERE
I dare you to do this little exercise over the next few weeks as part of kicking off your new year in the right way. Keep a log each day of where your hours go. Split them into the following buckets that make up your balance wheel
- Work and Career
- Rest and Sleep
- Relationships (Family and friends)
- Exercise and Nutrition
- Development and Growth (e.g reading, learning, meditation, intellectual stimulation etc)
Keep a balance journal and see where you land at the end of 30 days. Assess where you find your time gets spent. This will tell you your values as they currently stand. Once you have had a chance to reflect on your journal, ask yourself this. Is it where you want it to be? Are there areas of opportunity? Are you ‘walking your own talk’ in terms of your values and boundaries?
This exercise is also not to say that there won’t be times where your work load might be heavy and you might be “tilting” towards work more than you usually would. That is ok – it is when this lifestyle or schedule becomes the norm for us and we become completely out of sync with our own priorities that we need to step back, breathe and make some changes.
If you need help setting boundaries and sticking to them. I can help you. If you aren’t sure of your place, your purpose or even your own goals. I can help you.
But….the first step starts with you to decide that you are done being in your own way and ready to help yourself.
If there is something in you that just wants a little more. If there is something in you that knows there must be more to what you are experiencing now, but you don’t know what it is. If you aren’t sad, but you definitely aren’t happy – talk to me. I can help you wake up in the morning excited to take on the day. I can help you build the confidence you need to ask for what you want. I can help you gain clarity on what your career path could, should and can be. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for a confidential and free 20-minute chat.