It's not easy to say no things. If you value the people in your life and you want to give them the best of yourself, you find yourself often doing too much and sometimes squashing your own habits and or goals in the process. There is no end point to this exercise, it is an ongoing practice with hills and valleys, just like anything else.
Some of the most balanced people I know - those who handle stress very well and are organized and successful - practice this boundary-setting exercise without apologies. I admire them. It requires repetition to get it right, and can take a bit of discomfort until the people around you begin to accept and even respect it.
It's important to be able to look in front of you and decide what you want the next week or the few next weeks to look like, to know that a million other things might pop up, and to plan how you might handle those things in advance. If you just fly by the seat of your pants at all times, it's easy to let months go by without any real focus and before you know it, all the small slips will be composing a big picture that you no longer internally identify with.
If you understand that you're happier when you feel in control, when you have the time that you need in order to strengthen the things important to you (health, work, relationships?), it's vital to plan ahead of time for how you might handle those unexpected situations, and at all costs, make a commitment to yourself.
The work that ALL trainers do, on top of composing customized plans, offering accountability and guiding you along your nutritional journey, is to help you to plan for the unexpected and to stay true to your commitment to your health which, at the end of the day, is your jumping off point for all other things you do in your life. When I mention health I don't just mean an illness-free condition, but also your hormonal stability, mental clarity, energy levels, happiness streams, stress management, sleeping habits and navigating along social situations in a fulfilling and constructive way.
I've lost my balance as many times as anyone else while trying to juggle conflicting balls in the air in order to make everyone (including myself and natural fluctuating moods) happy. But you can't juggle from a place where you lack wellness, and you can't have wellness without having a commitment and a plan. So when it comes to boundary-setting, that is where you start. The commitment, and the plan.
If you begin to feel off-kilter, you absolutely must, guilt-free, be able to decline and withdraw in order to create the space you need to build your strength and endure a balance that gets you to your best self. From there, those who need you will be grateful that you did.
Those who respect you will support you. And just in case you need a starting point, know that this girl over here behind her laptop sure supports you. As usual, if you have any questions, drop me a line. I'd love to hear from you.