Your Turn- Take out your journal and what I would love you to do is go through your typical week and pinpoint the times, appointments and patterns that you are doing things for others and if you really asked yourself honestly, you would rather not be doing them.
You then need to go through your weekly schedule and set your own personal boundaries, limits and rules.
Some of my own personal boundaries that I set and continue to adapt, and change are:
o No PHONE calls when I get home from work.
o At 9pm until 7am my phone goes on flight mode so that I can't hear any messages, phone calls or social media updates. I choose 7am in the morning as this allows me to start my day with my morning routine of meditation, yoga or exercise without getting disruptions at all. I value this time as my personal time.
o When I get home at night, I have to close my office door, so that I am not tempted to go in and just send one email. As that one email then turns into 2 hours later and I have no time to rest, recharge and chill out.
o When having my coffee and reading break every day, I also put my phone on airplane mode so that for that hour I again have no disruptions. Most people know where to find me if they need to get in touch for an emergency.
I have an extremely energetic and giving job. I teach yoga, meditation and personal training every day for private clients. I also record podcasts, writing this book, coaching my clients. I speak to people all day. As much as I love people and being a people person is my biggest strength, I know that I best recharge in silence. So, when I get home at night, I am done with talking.
One of my own personal boundaries is that I don’t answer calls once I have walked in the door as it’s so easy and one of my weaknesses to get sucked into the rabbit hole. Reply to one text or answer one phone call and then bam 2 hours later you are still on the phone and have had no time to wind down.
I have to be extremely strict with myself as this is a big challenge for me, I even went to the extreme and purchased a phone box so when I walk up the stairs the phone gets placed in the box with a lid on, so that I can’t get tempted. Lid gets shut so I can’t even see my phone anymore.
I do love the technology that the phone has brought me, but I also hate how addictive it is and I think as a culture, so many of us have this addiction.
Our own personal fulfilment is so important, and therefore setting boundaries is a key factor to bringing more happiness and joy into your life. I do my best and yep,
I’m still learning and I’m definitely not perfect, but I choose to only do things that bring me joy. I decided a few years back that I’m just not going to do things anymore that I do not want to do. If it didn't bring me smiles and joy thinking about it, guess what? I'm not doing it.
A few weeks back I received an invitation to a party with an old friend Jessica. It was lovely that she made the effort after all these years to find out my address and send me an invite to her baby shower. Half of me was like, ‘wow that’s nice that she invited me, I guess it would be good to go and catch up. I have not seen her in years’. That was my head talking. The other stronger part of me, my heart and intuition, was saying, ‘how kind of her to invite me but, I don't really want to go’. Then I played the story over in my head a million times, I should go, it's rude if I don’t blah blah blah. That same shame story we tend to tell ourselves. I then caught myself out and had to ask myself seriously did I want to go?
The answer was, ‘No’. I had to get comfortable with this and not feel bad but just replied with a, ‘sorry can’t make it’. We don’t need to explain ourselves to anyone but we do need to get comfortable and feel at ease and confident with learning the art of saying, ‘No’ and then the harder part of not shaming or feeling guilty for days about our decisions. My favourite motto is:
Say, ‘No’ and Let It Go
What is so wrong with saying, ‘No’ or being completely comfortable with saying, ‘thanks so much for the offer, it was so kind of you, but I am not able to attend’. Full stop.
We don’t have to give a reason or justification. We just personally need to feel ok with the decision we have made. This is your life, your Saturday or Sunday and you can choose to do exactly whatever it is that you want to do, as long as you are choosing things that bring you joy.