A recent study in the US by the family and work institute reported that 75% of working parents feel they do not have enough time with their children (or each other), and if you are not a parent, swap out the children for friends, hobbies, well-being and leisure time. 
I know we are not in the US, but I think many Australians experiences the same dilemma.
“How do I manage everything that is important to me?”
For some people knowing what is important to them is not the hardest part, nor is a lack of knowledge of what the boundaries need to be; it is the fear of not being liked, of disappointing others, of appearing selfish.
We may feel that boundaries make us unlikeable, but the truth is they make us more attractive to others. They also make us more attractive to ourselves. 
We may feel that putting boundaries in place makes us appear uncaring, but the truth is they allow us to care more. 
In my personal experience, and from the experience of clients in my coaching practice, I know that when we are clear on our priorities, then we are diligent with our boundaries.
Individually we all need to set boundaries for our physical, emotional and mental well-being. If we don’t, overwhelm, exhaustion, disconnection, frustration, resentment and other negative feelings start to appear more and more frequently; and if we allow these negative feelings to consume us, we start to lose parts of ourselves, ever so slowly, but ever so surely. 
Here is a guide to creating boundaries;

  1. Prioritize what is important to you – take the time, explore 

  2. Protect what is important to you – put boundaries in place

  3. Communicate what is important to you – do not assume people know

  4. Ask for what you need – our boundaries usually need support from others

  5. Be responsible– it’s your life

As I say to my children most things worth having take practice and setting boundaries is no different.
Setting boundaries is a definitive way of saying, I care about me as much as I care about you.
Wear your dignity on your sleeve. You will be rewarded well.

Words: Kemi Nekvapil

Speaker, author and life-coach Kemi Nekvapil is driven by clarity and engagement to empower those she is working with to take meaningful action. 

An International Coach Federation credentialed life-coach, she has been in the food and wellbeing space for over 20 years. She pioneered raw food in Australia, trained as a yoga teacher in India and runs retreats in Australia and overseas, as well as speaking on the international stage and running coaching programs for women all over the world.

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