Another way of saying No. Nope. Nopers!
Boundaries have a strange unavoidable way of bestowing freedom.
My mentor Martha Beck has written about the “contemplation” stage of change. This stage follows a time when you’re not even ready to think about change. But it's still before you’re ready to take action.
In other words, you’re now thinking about changing. And though not visibly action-y, it's a necessary part of the process.
(Let’s be real, it’s not the part where they hand out a lot of medals. Yay, you! Thinking about making change! Could you BE more AWESOME?! <- not what they say to you when you’re thinking about getting ready to make a change.
So we'll just have to do the cheering for ourselves. And I cheer you on, tirelessly! That's why I'm here every week.)
Anyway, here’s what will make the contemplation stage easier, more fun and a more powerful launching pad for making actual visible change:
Spend some time thinking about what you’re NOT going to change. And make a list of the things you’re specifically NOT willing to do in service of this change.
Agreements you are not making, tasks you are not taking on, things that other people may take for granted as part of this change but that YOU are NOTGOING TO DO.
This doesn’t need to be a list of what you’ll never do, no matter what, forever and ever, The End.
This is just for now. It’s a reassurance that you don’t have to tackle everything all at once. (Almost always the worst possible approach to change.) It’s a reminder to yourself that everything you do in service of change is a choice.
Here are some things I myself am not willing to do in service of eating sanely and staying a healthy weight:
- Give up pastry
- Give up dairy
- Give up gluten
- Do any kind of "giving up" at all, especially things that are trendy to avoid
- Practice any kind of restriction at all (I DO like to practice restraint)
- Eat things I dislike (after a fair trial) no matter how "good for me" they are
- Do any exercise I still don't like - after a fair trial - for any reason at all, including the sound of the instructor's voice or the amount of time it takes to prepare for the exercise
- Count calories
- Set up redundant external accountability programs
- Take nutrition advice from celebs and "gurus" and industry-funded "experts"
- Eat only in response to a certain degree of physical hunger, never accounting for other needs such as convenience, social grace, the needs of others, pleasure and the like
What are yours? I suggest you make the list right now. Knowing what you’re not willing to do is a great - and often overlooked - way of setting boundaries.
And boundaries have a weird implacable way of giving us freedom.
Stop bingeing and overeating. Immediately.
Download your free cheat sheet now.