“Daring to set boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves, even when we risk disappointing others.” — Brene Brown
One of my biggest focuses this year has been to try to set more boundaries. I think so many of us can relate to taking on too much, not saying no enough, and generally giving too much of ourselves rather than focusing on what we need. At a certain point, we’re living to make everyone else happy but ourselves, causing mental health and relationships to take a toll.
My boundary-setting efforts have centered around that elusive work/life blend. Since I work at home and have many facets to my job (consulting, freelance writing and blogging), work can take over — especially when it’s so easy to work from your phone 24/7. Carving out time for myself and my family has been a top priority. Here’s what I’ve done so far (it’s definitely still a work-in-progress):
- Set specific goals for what I want to achieve both personally and at work (including setting boundaries)
- Mapped out my weekly calendar and set specific working hours
- Communicated my working hours to my clients, partners, family and friends for accountability
- Focused on hobbies that bring me joy (e.g. reading) rather than being glued to my phone
- Created new family rituals such as Sunday night dinners and items on our seasonal bucket lists
- Removed certain activities that were draining me
Books to Read
Once I started down the path of creating boundaries, I realized there’s a lot to learn. I’ve read several books this year on the topic or related to the topic, and have many more on my list:
- Rising Strong by Brené Brown — While Brené speaks about boundaries in many books, I particularly liked how she discuses the connection between boundaries and compassionate living in this one. Her personal examples show that if you don’t set boundaries, you live with resentment and anger toward others.
- Set Boundaries, Find Peace by Nedra Glover Tawwab — If you’re going to read one book on boundaries, this is a fantastic one. It covers boundaries in all aspects of life and gives very specific tips and tools to make changes. I absolutely loved this one and plan to read it again and again.
- Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend — This one’s on my list, as it seems to be a long-standing resource to help people set boundaries and has a 4.19 rating on Goodreads. There are many other variations from these authors that are specific to areas such as work, relationships, kids, etc.
- Untamed by Glennon Doyle — While this book is about a lot more than setting boundaries, there is a theme about learning how to trust yourself enough to set boundaries as you find yourself.
- Boundary Boss by Terri Cole — I just added this to my list after reading an article on Boundaries that Terri wrote (linked below). This one has a 4.37 rating on Goodreads.
- Essentialism by Greg McKeown — This is a great book that speaks to setting boundaries around what you choose to pursue, focusing on the essentials.
- Badass Habits by Jen Sincero — If How to Be a Badass by Jen Sincero inspires you to be the person you’re meant to be, this one helps you set habits to help you reach your goals, including setting boundaries to make them a reality.
- Designing Your Life by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans — While this book isn’t directly about boundaries, its lessons allow you to see how you’re in control of what your life looks like and the steps you need to take to make it happen.
Now, I’m always on the lookout for resources on the topic of boundaries. Here are some recent finds:
- Podcast Episode: Glennon Doyle’s We Can Do Hard Things, Boundaries: are too few (or too many) why we stay stuck
- Instagram Account: Nedra Glover Tawwab @nedratawwab
- Article: How to Set Boundaries to Get What You Want by Terri Cole
- Workouts/Meditation: Peloton’s Year Of Yes Collection, Power of Saying No series
Here’s to staying strong and putting the boundaries we need in place for ourselves, our families and our work!