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Hi Greatist readers,

Happy Monday. I’m back with my final tip of the month on setting work-life boundaries! Over the last 2 weeks, I gave you tips on how to create a work routine and also how to eliminate distractions that get in the way of you being able to be productive. If you haven’t seen those, save this link, start there and then come back.

If you’ve been with me since week one, get ready for one of the hardest hurdles: ensuring your boundaries stick for the long term. This tip is going to be wrapped up in one single question…

Boundaries are rooted in the things that you value. It’s important to understand that when you say yes to something, you’re inevitably saying no to something else. To translate: If you value family, but end up choosing to work overtime and be late to dinner with loved ones, you’re placing your work over your family.

Boundary work is all rooted in choice. Is what you are choosing in alignment with the things that you value?

In a journal, draw circle circles, label each circle after these four things below:

  1. work/passions
  2. family
  3. relationships
  4. individual self

Only place the things you value inside that circle, and the things you realize you’ve been taking on that you don’t value outside the circle.

Then spend more time reflecting on how you can put these boundary practices to the test. What limits can you set to keep out those that fell outside your value system? What limits keep what you value close?

With consistency, you’ll be able to develop discipline with boundary setting; making the hard “no’s” easier and hard “yeses” more enthusiastic.

Remember to be patient with yourself as you navigate this journey. Boundary work isn’t always easy, but it’s necessary for living a full, whole and healthy life. See you next month for brand new self-care tips.

With love,
Minaa B.

Minaa B. is a speaker, writer, author of the book Rivers Are Coming, and a licensed psychotherapist based in NYC. She talks about issues ranging from self-care to social justice. Learn more about her work at minaab.com and follow her on Instagram.