I love boundaries. The theme of boundaries winds through many of my coaching encounters, especially during the holiday season. Over the last few days, I’ve heard variations of the following:
“It’s been less than two weeks . . . . .
and I’m already off-budget.”
and I’m already off my sleep and exercise routine.”
and I’m already spread too thin.”
Followed quickly by “Why bother even trying?”
Although the clients had spent a lot of time and energy coming up with holiday boundaries that would work for them, they had quickly gone by the wayside.
The significant contributors to getting off track were some of the hallmark traits of ADHD: impulsivity, people-pleasing, self-soothing, poor time management, forgetfulness, lack of organization, lack of attention to detail, etc.
Great, now that we’ve identified that we fell off the horse, how do we get back on?
- Focus on the “why.” Why did you set the boundaries in the first place? What or who were you trying to protect? Reconnecting with the “why” is powerful.
- Ensure your boundaries are reasonable and attainable. “I’m not going to eat anything that’s not good for me during the holidays” may be a bit more challenging than “I’m going to only have two cookies at the PTA meeting.”
- Give yourself permission to let it go, no shaming. We all make mistakes. Creating and enforcing boundaries and new habits is HARD. If you are doing it better than you did last week, give yourself a high-five, you are making progress.
- Enlist an accountability buddy. Finding a person you can trust to help keep you accountable can be powerful. If you want to stay accountable for your spending habits, maybe find a trusted partner to review your weekly spending. If you’re going to stick to eating only two cookies at the PTA meeting, as another person to grab the cookies for you, keeping you away from the dessert table altogether. If you want to stick to an exercise or sleep routine, ask a partner if you can text them when you are exercising or heading to bed.
- Remember, there is an opportunity ahead of you. I love the Chinese proverb, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” Maybe the past two weeks haven’t gone as planned, with renewed focus and dedication, the next two weeks can.
What has fallen by the wayside that, if re-engaged with, will help you maintain your boundaries, habits, and goals?
Cindy Jobs, PCAC
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