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Setting Healthy Boundaries

Did you say 'yes' when you really should've said 'no'?


How does it feel when you say you say yes to that request you really want to say no to? Have you ever taken a moment to think about what it is you are actually agreeing to? Or has it become an automatic habit?

We live in a fast-paced world. Ordinarily our lives are full to the brim with activity and plans, we flit from one task to the next suddenly finding ourselves at the end of another week, or month, or year! Why do we fill our time so completely? Let's think about how always being obliged to saying yes makes us feel, and what value is there to saying no?

Warren Buffett

“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”

Why can saying no prove so useful?

Saying no, actually allows us to focus out on the things we really desire. When we say no it allows us to protect and take care of ourselves.

Each individuals’ boundaries will look as different as our own unique finger print. Here's some simple steps to help set yours:

  • Be clear about what it is you want
  • Be direct and you don’t need to apologise
  • Expect resistance but don’t let it deter you
  • State consequences where appropriate

Don't expect too much of yourself at first - it takes some practice! Especially if we like to please others and not cause upset, or you think you may be judged for saying no.

It can take some time for us to find the courage to actually say no. But, if you start little and build up you can begin to break the yes habit and gain more confidence.

One last thing...

Remember to take care of your needs, as adults life presents us with more responsibilties and it's easy to become that person who helps everyone out before taking the time we need for ourselves. Saying yes isn't all bad - it's good for our wellbeing to give to and connect with others. Just check with yourself first before you automatically say yes - because it's ok to say no

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The tailored approach LiveWell Dorset uses to come up with solutions to the things that are stopping us achieving our goals, is based upon work done by University College London developing the COM-B model of behaviour change. In this model, all behaviour is influenced by understanding a person’s capability to change, their opportunity to change and their motivation to change. By understanding which of these is the biggest barrier to change, we can tailor support accordingly. This model of behaviour change is at the centre of the support we offer, online and in person.

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