5 Ways to Protect Your Boundaries

5 Ways to Protect Your Boundaries

One of the things that I love about the Passion Planner Daily is that it not only tracks your goals, but also your commitment to taking care of yourself. An essential way of practicing self-care is through establishing and protecting your boundaries.

In short, a boundary is how you express what is okay with you and what is not.

Because busyness and grinding hard is now the norm, experts and content creators are putting boundary-setting at the forefront of their conversations: Sarri Gilman’s TED Talk discussed the liberating power of saying no, while this post by @heyamberrae broke down the steps of setting boundaries by values, needs, and actions.

There’s a misconception in the planner community that we need to be busy all the time.

That is what a planner is for, right? Passion Planner does help juggle all our responsibilities, from family obligations to habits we’re cultivating, but its main purpose is to build a life where you can prioritize what’s meaningful for you.

Part of creating the life you’ve always dreamed of is saying “no” to anything that is not in service of that ambition.

If your plate was lighter, what would you have room for? Rest, play, creativity? Clear and blank space is powerful. The Passion Planner Daily was designed with 93 dotted pages of Spaces of Infinite Possibility, more room than ever to fill with what is important to you.

In this article, I’ll talk about 4 ways you can use the Passion Planner Daily to practice setting boundaries.

1. Schedule regular JOMO (Joy of Missing Out) days.

Unless I have an upcoming vacation, I struggle to schedule a time for rest or solitude in my planner. When I do get some down time, I wind up scrolling through my Facebook feed, looking at the highlight reel of people’s lives. My time off was being spent comparing myself to others and not fully enjoying myself in the present moment.

The antonym to the more familiar FOMO, or the “Fear of Missing Out,” I first heard about the concept of JOMO (the “Joy of Missing Out”) from this Shine article. Resolving to schedule JOMO, or “Joy of Missing Out” days in my planner was one of the most loving things I could do for myself. On these days, I explicitly give myself permission to have absolutely no plans or obligations, to release any guilt about how I spend that time, and to take a vacation from social media. Your JOMO days may look different depending on your own needs, but I highly encourage that you schedule them regularly in your Passion Planner Daily to recharge.

 2. Pick three to five people for support.

I always emphasize support in my articles because I believe that Passion Planning is a community effort versus a lone wolf’s journey. When it comes to setting boundaries, you need people in your corner who understand its significance for you. These people are going to be your cheerleaders who smack your phone out of your hands when you’re going through your work e-mail on a Saturday.

In her book Daring Greatly, Brene Brown recommends keeping a small card with the names of five people written on it. (She stresses that this list can be no more than five people.) These folks are people you choose that are in the proverbial arena with you; they have firsthand experience with the sting of rejection, pangs of not good-enough, and the all too familiar wash of shame.

Creating boundaries can be a massive shame trigger for a lot of people—it certainly is for me. Speaking up for myself is uncomfortable. I have used this list to remind myself that there are others who are on the boundary-building journey with me. Write this list in your Passion Planner Daily, either in the Who/What I’m Grateful For section on the inside cover, or the Ask for Support blank space.

3. Know what your boundaries are clearing space for.

Knowing your “why” for something like setting boundaries is crucial. This is going to be a driving force for you to keep doing what you’re doing, pushing through hard conversations and awkwardly declining invitations out. By beginning your boundary building journey, chances are likely that people around you are going to notice a change. If you’re a notorious “yes” person, prepare for people to be surprised when you say “no.” This is okay. You can’t control how people react.

A surefire way to overcome the challenges of protecting your boundaries is to know the purpose and significance of why you’re putting yourself through discomfort. What are these boundaries clearing space for? Is it for you to spend more time with your family? To begin the side hustle that you’ve been putting off? To save money for your first home? Whatever it is, know that it is important to you, and it is okay to say no to other things that are not a priority for you.

4. Do a future self visualization.

Visualize what a day looks like where your boundaries are respected. What can you now add to your appointment calendar now that you have room, or even better, what can you remove from your schedule? Use the Passion Planner Daily layout to physically write out what that day will look like for you.

Future self visualization is a really powerful tool. By writing your ideal day in your Passion Planner Daily, you are also connecting with the vision you have of yourself. This reinforces the “why” behind why boundary setting is important. By actively seeing what your life will look like with these boundaries set, you’ll be even more motivated to protect them.

5. Reflect.

Setting boundaries is a practice—it will definitely not be perfect. I know this from experience. I’ve walked into a room committed to say “no” and wound up with more things on my to-do list by the time I got out. It’s okay. This is when it’s essential to reflect to do better. Begin by asking yourself these questions:

  • Where do you need boundaries the most? What prevents you from setting effective boundaries?
  • What is one time where you listened to your inner compass to take care of yourself?
  • What are your ingredients for effective self-care?

Passion Planning is about creating a life that has meaning for you. Part of that is working to extract or minimize the things that don’t. Setting boundaries is not an easy process, but we can all work towards aligning our days with our dreams together.

Ready to embrace the power of blank space with the Passion Planner Daily? Pledge here!


Paula Votendahl is a Content Marketing Specialist with Passion Planner. In her free time she enjoys Passion Planning, eating Hot Cheetos, and watching British period dramas.