As we embark upon a brand new year, it is the perfect time to reflect and decide where we want to improve in our life. In an effort to cover the whole self, I like to think of goals that will grant overall-type results or goals that can bring a sense of completeness. When you set boundaries in your life and take care of yourself in every way possible, you will ultimately live in peace. I believe living in peace, meaning real peace within and peace with others, is the healthiest way to live. But the ability to actually live in that peace can sometimes come with a hefty price. Getting to that place will depend on how bad you want it and what you’re willing to sacrifice to get there.
Setting boundaries may require a number of actions on your part. When you set boundaries in your life, it is important that they benefit your overall well-being. These boundaries include people. There are people who are good for you. There are people who are not good for you. There are people you are good for. There are people you are not good for. All of these matter and it is your responsibility to decipher who is who. It is just as important to be clear about what you can contribute to others as it is what they can contribute to your well-being. It’s usually easier to determine who is good for you as opposed to who you are good for but both are a must. Sometimes people need or want from you what you don’t have and can’t give. To ignore this truth and allow the relationship or connection to continue can very easily create misunderstandings, become toxic or even detrimental. It takes a lot of courage and honesty to acknowledge and admit who works for you and who you are better for but it’s absolutely necessary. Time spent involved in unhealthy connections for a long period of time can stunt growth in your life in so many ways. Not only that, they can also cause setbacks that become very difficult to bounce back from. Another necessary boundary needed in your life is deciding what you do with your time on a daily basis. Yes, you need to create boundaries even for yourself. It is true that the details of your day will determine the outcome of any goals you set or how well you succeed in life. It is important to know what is good for you, what activities elevate your life and what can hinder you from achieving your goals. Overindulging in some activities you like or even love can sometimes become a distraction for you. Most of the time, these activities involve other people which may make it difficult to address. However, your decision to lessen the time you spend indulging in such activities will either be respected by others or it may alert you that there’s a need to adjust your boundaries for certain people. It is okay if your boundaries tend to fluctuate from time to time. Achieving peace in your life is a process and is closely tied to growth in your life. There will always be lessons for you about the people around you and even in how you spend your time. When you learn the lessons and apply them, you grow. The more you grow, the closer you move to a peaceful life.
Taking better care of yourself is another rewarding new year goal if you put in the work. Along with setting those boundaries, the obvious implication of taking care of yourself is usually in the physical sense. You should always understand what that means for you and do it but there are also many other ways to take care of yourself. Along with looking good and working on your physical health, it is important that you do things like guard your heart. Be mindful of the conversations in which you engage. Meditate and pray consistently. Reflect on past achievements as a reminder of what is possible. Be patient with yourself but with a stern expectation of excellence. So many things can fall under the goal of self-care and your doing so will reap many rewards. Nobody can take care of you better than you can.
With all of these boundaries and self-care, you are well on your way to living peacefully, what I believe is the ultimate goal in life. When you think more before you act and think more before you speak, you grow closer to peace. When you take the time to weigh all of your options, you make better decisions and move closer to peace. When you trust that the discipline you apply towards your goals is working, you appreciate the confirmations when they show up and you move closer to peace. Every growth spurt in your life is a step towards peaceful living and it is important that you acknowledgment each of them and hold on to the hope they give you to keep going. This year has been an unfortunate time for many people but if you are reading this, you are still here and this message is for you. A new year is around the corner and in spite of all you may have endured this year, there is still hope. Revel in the idea that somebody somewhere is rooting for you. They need to see you pull through and make it through because it will give them hope. Here’s to your new year and if not all, I hope you will take some of this with you.
Tawana R. Powell