One of my favourite movies is “Dirty Dancing” with Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Gray. As you watch them dance it is obvious to see that each dance step is carefully planned and choreographed and that they respect each other’s space – their boundaries. Life is very much like a dance and we are dancers – learning new routines, practicing each step so that we can perfect our steps as walk our journey.
Each “step” in life does not have to be planned, in fact it is foolish to think that we can plan EVERYTHING. However, planning helps to manage our time, energy and expectations. And just like dancers we need to set healthy personal boundaries. It is necessary for each of us to maintain a positive self-concept, or self-image. Boundaries are our way to communicate to others that we have self-worth, self-respect and not allow others to define who we are. Boundaries are physical, emotional and mental limits we establish to protect ourselves from being manipulated, used, or violated by others. It is our “space” that should be respected.
Planning is a skill we are not born with but need to learn. Being open to learning new techniques and finding the right tools to achieve the goals we set through our planning, provides us a great advantage to be successful.
What comes first? Successful planning? Or getting clear of our boundaries?
Let me share with you a quick list of how you can set your boundaries I found on the EssentialLifeSkills website;
- Know that you have a right to personal boundaries
- Recognize that other people’s needs and feelings are not more important than your own
- Learn to say no
- Identify the actions and behaviors that you find unacceptable
- Trust and believe in yourself
Now, what should you plan and how can you plan it? Staying energized, inspired and motivated requires “ME” time, “family” time and even “friendship” time. These areas in our lives are important for connection (humans are meant to connect). When you ignore your quality time, you risk falling into depression and moving through life in an unconscious state. Stay “connected” by trying some of these:
- Book a ticket to an event in advance
- Pick a day or evening a week/month to do a hobby or activity that re-energizes you
- Hang a calendar where you see it the most and choose a colour to highlight the day/dates you make yourself the priority
- Book time with a relative/friend that is a long standing “date” that you both have committed to doing something new – make the commitment to keep that date except for extreme emergencies