Part 10: Setting Boundaries with Yourself
When we think of setting boundaries, we usually think of relationships with other people and how we expect to be treated. But, some of the most important boundaries we will ever create are the ones we set with ourselves.
One of your most important relationships is the one you have with yourself. A boundary you create with yourself is an expectation of how you’ve decided to live your life and treat yourself.
But the tricky thing about setting boundaries with yourself is that there’s no one to hold you accountable if you break them.
Everyone’s boundaries are different. The important thing is to create self-boundaries that promote and protect your health and happiness. Here are some examples of self-boundaries you may wish to consider
Financial boundaries are how you’ve decided to hold yourself accountable for creating wealth and achieving your financial goals. These boundaries have to do with saving money, investing, paying bills, charitable contributions, and having extra spending money.
An easy way to get started with financial boundaries is to create a budget. Make it easy and simple to implement and follow. And make a commitment to follow through and stick with it.
Another easy financial boundary to set with yourself is making a commitment to only buy what you need. If you want to splurge from time to time, create a savings account for that purpose. This boundary helps curb impulse buying. Make a shopping list and stick to it.
Another boundary involves how much money you should spend on eating out. Cooking at home is a lot less expensive and the savings add up fast. Some people limit themselves to a number of days they eat out each month or a certain number of meals.
Health boundaries include physical, emotional, and mental health. Physical boundaries might include a workout schedule and a diet plan. You might not make it to the gym every day or eat healthy at every meal, but this boundary will keep you on track.
Then there are boundaries pertaining to your personal care. These can be anything like taking a hot bath or shower at night to relax and unwind, following a skincare regiment, or spending a few minutes daily in quiet reflection journaling.
You matter and are important.
And although life has a way of getting in the way sometimes, try not to ignore self-care. Protect and guard the time you’ve set aside for yourself. Don’t let other people, or laziness, make you ignore these boundaries.
We live in a 24/7 world where we’re always plugged in and connected. A healthy boundary you can set with yourself is to limit the time you spend consuming media and social media. Try not to spend so much time in a virtual world that real-world life slips by unnoticed.
According to the A.C. Nielsen Co., we watch TV about four hours a day. That’s 28 hours a week! To put it into perspective, that equals two months of non-stop TV watching every year! And by the time we turn 65 years old, we’ll have sat in front of the TV a total of 9 years!
We should ask ourselves if that’s how we really want to spend our lives.
Perhaps we should consider setting a boundary that limits our TV/media consumption to one or two hours per day. Imagine how much more living we’d actually “get in” before our time on earth is over – which is too short as it is.
You can honor the boundaries you set with yourself by following a daily schedule. A schedule carves out time for you to focus your time and energy on what matters most to you – like your health, relationships, and passions.
Once you get into the habit of creating a schedule, you’ll enjoy how predictable and stress-free your day feels. Even if you skip a day or two, strive to honor your boundaries with yourself by sticking to your daily schedule consistently.
This might not be the profound advice you’re searching for, but two extremely important time boundaries to set with yourself are when you wake up and go to bed.
Sleep isn’t a guilty luxury, so don’t go without it. Sleep is absolutely essential to maintaining your emotional, physical, and mental health. Commit to getting the rest you deserve by going to bed and waking up at the same time every day. It’s unlikely you’ll adhere to them perfectly but aim to honor them most of the time.
The boundaries you set with yourself are just as important as any other boundaries you set.
Your life is in your hands.
Value your health, happiness and well-being by setting appropriate boundaries for yourself. And remember to set financial, media, and scheduling boundaries to take charge of your life and future so you can live every day to the fullest!