2020 is the year of owning my boundaries. It’s time. I called it.
The year itself called it, too. Literally. If you follow numerology at all (the study of numbers and their spiritual significance) 2020 is a 4 year, which means: This year’s overarching theme is stability and solid foundations. Proponents of the system say that the work we do this year to stabilize our foundations in all areas of our lives – our relationships, careers, and living situations, will be major for setting us up for success in the long-term. Hence: Boundaries. It’s time!
Now, whether you’re into numerology or not, I think we can all agree, this year feels like the year to lean right on into saying no, claiming what’s rightfully ours, and being unapologetic about our truth. Right? 2019 burnt us out, taught us the very real importance of self-care, and gave us permission to say THANK U, NEXT. It’s time for boundaries. For mental health, happiness, and overall success.
Feeling this resolution for yourself too, boo? Here’s where I’m setting boundaries for myself in 2020:
1. Boundaries with Myself
This is the most important place to start, IMO. There are the obvious necessary boundaries – screen time, Netflix, coffee, unlimited mimosas, etc. But there are a great many other boundaries each of us needs that only we know we need. For example, I have a no-social media in the morning rule that I honour no matter what because it’s proven to be major for mental health maintenance. When I don’t do this, I feel it. And it doesn’t feel good.
Maybe for you, you don’t allow yourself to think certain thoughts when you look at pictures of yourself, because you know it takes you into a spiral that’s really hard to get out of. Or, maybe you need to assert a boundary that prevents you from holing up in your apartment and working until you feel like a shell of a human. Consider the things that are all too easy to do (maybe even things that ‘everyone else does’) that ultimately are not self-loving, for you.
Only we know the boundaries we need to create with ourselves, so there’s self-awareness and commitment required here, but it’s such a key part of supporting myself.
2. Boundaries with the Internet:
Our phones are constant companions, and sometimes it’s like they’re an extension of us. At best, our internet access is a beautiful outlet for self-expression and connection – and at worst, a portal to comparison and self-loathing. The tricky thing is: Sometimes the line between those can be so fine. For me, actually using my screen time app (and resisting the fear of looking at it), was a really helpful way to stay feeling in control of my social media relationship. I know my general mins and my maxs, and how I tend to feel different in a day when my numbers are above or below a certain amount. This is a simple move with a big impact, for me. In 2020, there is a boundary between my own thoughts and ideas and the internet. In 2020, I remember that I am also a body – a human! and that staying grounded is a top priority, no matter what.
3. Boundaries at Work
There are too many people out here trying to hire volunteer interns to do the work of entire departments, or people offering exposure in exchange for work. This is not OK, to me. If we don’t honour our worth, who will? We need to know our specific hard nos (and hell yeses!) and be willing to create boundaries around them. We all have to be our own advocates in our careers, to a certain extent. Know your worth, then add tax, I say. Toronto is not an affordable city to live in!
Additionally, if you work for yourself like I do at the moment, working all the time is likely a thing. In 2020, I am committing to supporting myself in actually staying productive, and that requires BREAKS. I can’t possibly have productive days if we stay up all night working, right? Working like a martyr or a workhorse is no way to project money-magnet energy, I often remind myself. And this is true no matter who you work for – even if you’re not your own boss, you are your own boss! Be a good boss to yourself, friends.
4. Boundaries in Relationships
If Ariana taught us anything in 2019, it’s that in dating, healthy detachment and an ability to stay grateful and high vibe go hand in hand. The truth is, so much of our relationships, even the most intimate ones, really isn’t personal.
I think about this concept from the book The Four Agreements at least once a week:
“Nothing other people do is because of you. It is because of themselves. All people live in their own dream, in their own mind; they are in a completely different world from the one we live in. When we take something personally, we make the assumption that they know what is in our world, and we try to impose our world on their world. Even when a situation seems so personal, even if others insult you directly, it has nothing to do with you. What they say, what they do, and the opinions they give are according to the agreements they have in their own minds…taking things personally makes you easy prey for predators.”
This perspective rules my dating world, in 2020. There is a boundary between me and taking things too personally. Assuming that I should be something for someone that I’m not ready be. Assuming that someone is something for me that I haven’t communicated clearly. No assuming. Boundaries and clarity rule the day.
5. Boundaries with Strangers
There’s nothing quite as gratifying as blocking a fool in the DMs or unfollowing someone I just don’t want to see. My social media accounts, your social media accounts, all of our personal accounts are our own safe spaces, and we must assert boundaries to keep them that way. The reigning queen of Instagram, @jstlbby really put in perspective when she said: “you think a nasty comment is going to make me take my smile away? You think talking about me and saying something bad about me is going to hurt me? You’re the one that’s hurting.” No hurting soul on the internet has the chance to threaten to take my smile away, in 2020. I wish for everyone to set this intention. We must curate our feeds to be the digital spaces we want to be in – especially if we are content creators or building our personal brands. We need to prioritize our online vibe protection. Curate in those happy people. This matters!
(Story by Contributing Editor, Kait Fowlie)