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  This year, let’s focus not on pushing ourselves relentlessly, but on building healthy boundaries – walls of well-being that protect our time, energy, and mental space. Think of these boundaries as your castle, shielding you from the overwhelm and allowing you to flourish. Here’s how to start laying the foundation in 2024. Let’s get started!
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  1. Know Your Value

This is the cornerstone of any boundary-setting journey. Recognize your worth, your talents, and the unique contribution you bring to the world. This inner understanding empowers you to say “no” with confidence and prioritize things that align with your values.
  1. Define Your Non-Negotiables

What are the activities, relationships, and spaces that are essential for your well-being? Whether it’s daily meditation, family dinners, or creative pursuits, identify these non-negotiables and fiercely protect them. Don’t let them become casualties to someone else’s agenda.
  1. Communicate with Clarity

Setting boundaries isn’t about building walls of ice; it’s about open communication. Express your needs assertively and honestly, without apology. Explain why certain requests don’t work for you and offer alternative solutions if possible. Clear communication paves the way for mutual understanding and respect.
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  1. Practice Saying “Not Now”

Sometimes, “no” feels too definitive. In those situations, try “not now.” This allows you to politely decline while acknowledging the request and potentially suggesting a future time that might work better. Remember, flexibility is key to navigating relationships and maintaining positive connections.
  1. Respect Other People’s Boundaries

Setting boundaries is a two-way street. Pay attention to the boundaries others set and respect them just as you want your own to be respected. This mutual respect fosters healthy relationships and creates a safe space for everyone to thrive.
  1. Be Prepared for Pushback

Not everyone will embrace your boundaries with open arms. Be prepared for some pushback, especially from those who might have benefitted from your limitless availability in the past. Stay firm, reiterate your needs, and remember that setting boundaries is about taking care of yourself, not pleasing others.
  1. Forgive Yourself and Re-calibrate

Setting boundaries is a continuous process. There will be stumbles, moments when you compromise or say “yes” when you mean “no.” Forgive yourself for these missteps, learn from them, and gently re-calibrate your boundaries whenever needed.
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Final Thoughts

Setting and maintaining boundaries is a victory for your well-being. Celebrate these wins, big and small! Acknowledge your courage, your self-compassion, and the newfound control you’ve gained over your time and energy. So, let this New Year be the year you prioritize your well-being. Embrace the power of boundaries, not as walls of isolation, but as bridges to a life filled with purpose, joy, and respect for yourself and others.
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This article was first published on 26th December 2023 and updated on January 7th, 2024 at 11:04 pm


Chidiogo Shalom Akaelu holds a degree in English and Literary Studies, from the University of Nigeria. She is a freelance writer, editor and founder of Loana Press, a budding online publishing outlet.

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