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How to Set Healthy Boundaries

If you weren't taught what healthy boundaries were growing up, then odds are that this is going to make you feel uncomfortable. If you're unsure whether you learned what they were, notice if you feel uncomfortable saying the word "no" to someone (even when you want to). Do you sacrifice your needs for others? If you're nodding yes, then you may benefit from learning how to set and maintain healthy boundaries.

Setting boundaries based on values creates a roadmap for how to navigate the ever changing landscape of relationships and life. It's also important to know that your values can change at any given time as you grow and evolve. They aren't set in stone. The trick is to keep showing up, and to live in alignment with what's important to you.

So that brings me to my first step: Prioritize your Values

First consider what you value more than your comfort.

Examples of Values:

Health, Personal Growth, Honesty, Reliability, Communication, Independence, Trust, Education

How to Determine Your Values:

The easiest way to see what you value is to notice where you spend the most time, energy and money. Write down your observations. Make a list of what you think you value and where you spend the majority of your time and resources.

Journal prompt: Where can you shift to be more in alignment with what you value?

Example: If you value Communication; Notice where in your life. you aren't communicating effectively. Then actively choose to communicate your feelings/needs (without worrying about how the other person will respond). Consciously choose communication over staying comfortable. Notice when you're falling back into old patterns of being.

Sample of Values

Authenticity, Adventure, Balance, Peace, Calm, Collaboration, Community, Compassion, Curiosity, Environmental Awareness, Forgiveness, Generosity, Growth, Spirituality, Trust, Health, Humour, Independence, Loyalty, Optimism, Respect, Spirituality, Patience, etc

Make a list of your values and post it somewhere visible as a reminder each day.

Step two: Recognize Your Needs:

No one can tell you what you need, only you know that. Recognize where your values and needs meet. If you value health, then your needs may be to eat healthy and to exercise. Each day you'll make a conscious choice to say no to everything that isn't in alignment with your values.

Step 3: Determine Where You're Out of Alignment:

Notice where in your life you're not practicing what you preach.

Do you say you value communication? But avoid uncomfortable conversations?

Do you say you value your health, but don't eat healthy or exercise?

Do you say you value trust but aren't trusting of others?

Make a small shift each day to live in alignment with your values and goals.

Examples to get your started... (fill in the blank)

  • If I value my Health, then I need...

  • If I value Collaboration, I need...

  • If I value Community, I need...

  • If I value ____________, then I need _________

  • I need __________, so I will say/do _________ to stay in alignment with my values.

Healthy Boundaries is about honoring your needs first.


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