Boundaries were a foreign concept for much of my life.
Although not equipped with a specific vendetta against them, I was subconsciously bound to an idealogy that avoided them.
Boundaries were for those who couldn’t handle, in simple terms, for the weak.
What a misconception.
Here are five boundaries that have empowered me to live more of the life I want.
Establishing a protected evening
I have one night of scheduled solitude per week. A dedicated time to pursue my interests, on my time. This has proven to be absolutely crucial to my well-being.
Blocking off time for social events
Being of the human race, and our tendency to be gregarious creatures, I enjoy seeing my friends. However, it can feel like there’s a lot of social demands and you can’t say yes to all of them. Creating windows of time that are available specifically for social events ensures they happen in addition to the one-off events that pop up outside of those windows.
Uncompromising (for the most part) sleep schedule
Matthew Walker’s book “Why We Sleep” changed me. I now consistently hit the hay at 10 pm to secure the precious 8 hours and if I find myself up past then I make a conscious decision that whatever is keeping me up is or is not worth it and act accordingly. This is fundamental to ensuring I have the energy I need to invest in all other areas of my life, as well as reduce my risk of heart diseases.
Setting timers on social media consumption
This, after protected evenings, has been the most transformative item on my list of boundaries. I’d like to say that I have the willpower to get off of social media whenever I’d like but that’s a different picture than what my actions show. Apple devices have a built-in “Screen Time” feature that I’ve used to set timers that kick me off of specific apps. Other devices might not have this built-in feature but I’m sure there are operating specific apps that you could find that work with any device.
Establishing circles of friendships
You should not invest equally in all relationships. That’s worth repeating. You should not invest equally in all relationships. Consciously determining what relationships you’re going to invest in and making time for those, has been super helpful.
I am by no means saying that these boundaries are ones that should be adopted by everyone; what works for me might not work, or even be a goal, for you.
Rather, I am suggesting outlining 1) what you want and 2) what needs to happen in order for that to happen. A picture should materialize of what boundaries you need to set in order to be successful.
Saying ‘yes’ to one thing means saying ‘no’ to another.– Sean Covey