So here we are, we've headed into another new year. We've left 2020 behind us. It's time to take what we have learnt and create some space to set boundaries and ensure we get the most out of 2021!
What are you choosing?
How exciting that we have the choice to make this year whatever we want it to be. Many things are not in our control, but the good news is we all have the choice to choose and influence how this year looks both personally and professionally. Like writing a new chapter in a book, you choose the settings, the themes and the characters. The choices are all yours.
Hopefully, you have had some time to recharge and reset for the year ahead, or maybe that's what you are doing as you read this. It’s amazing what even a quick break can do, to reflect on what was, and contemplating what will be.
We need to set boundaries and know what we stand for and what we don’t. Brené Brown says “Boundaries are simply what’s ok and what’s not ok”. Nothing complicated but we often make it so.
Boundaries are like the speed humps in the road; without them, we can lose control and end up anywhere.
To have 20/20 vision, a term most commonly used to express normal visual acuity measured at a distance of 20 feet, means you can see clearly at 20 feet, what should normally be seen at that distance.
Not setting boundaries and adhering to them can set us off course, cause unnecessary pain, distort our path, and influence others, especially if you are leading, to follow suit. Having boundaries both personally and professionally helps you bring your whole self to whatever you do, clearly paves the way for success, helps you measure where things are and keeps things real and relevant.
Take the time to:
- Set boundaries and know your limits and what you do and don’t stand for.
- Build self-awareness of these boundaries.
- Consider what has worked and what hasn't in both past and present.
- Measure them ongoing.
- Get support to live by these.
- Friends, work colleagues, and family.
- Clearly communicate what these are.
- Let people know.
Are your boundaries blurred?
For me, one boundary that has become blurred, especially in 2020 was that of work-life balance or what I call work-life blend (more integrated and achievable). Working remotely 24/7 on my business and writing a book left very little time for play, which is something important to me. This is an area many of our clients find challenging, and this is usually due to not setting clear guidelines of what you will and won’t accept. I have set a boundary that I won’t (unless absolutely necessary) do work travel on a Sunday night and 6 am morning flights anymore. This will ensure I get my weekends. By anticipating work travel from midday on a Sunday and by flying at night instead of early morning, my energy is up, and I’m more prepared to be in service to my clients the next day.
According to Gallup's State of the American Workplace 2017, 53% of employees said that a role that allows them to have greater work-life balance is “very important” to them. Workplace boundaries help you achieve and safeguard balance in their area. This is a great example of a need to set boundaries both in and out of work as one supports the other.
Boundaries come in many forms, and I’ve outlined 3 of the more obvious ones:
- This is all about your personal space and touch considerations.
- The rules you apply to physical boundaries will define this for you and could include things such as handshakes vs hugs at work, where your desk is located and how and what you set up as your surroundings.
- Your thoughts, opinions and values are what will determine your mental boundaries.
- Setting boundaries around your routine and how certain things may operate at work is an example of this. Be clear and adhere to the rules you set and avoid (when applicable) others ideas on influencing or changing this.
- This is all about getting in touch with your feelings and emotions, and setting boundaries around these can help you see the differences between those you have that are different from those around you at work.
- Knowing who and when to say yes or no to when it comes to tasks, can help ensure you don’t allow others’ feelings and attitudes towards things influence your own attitudes and motivations.
Take the time as we head into the new year to reset your boundaries, let go of the ones that no longer serve you and create new rules of what you do and don’t accept.
What do you need to:
As always, I would love to hear your thoughts.
Lead to be limitless this year!
Lead to be limitless…
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Renée is a mentor, coach, expert facilitator and keynote speaker. She is the author of ‘Limitless Leadership’ and co-author of ‘Leaders of Influence’.
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