How to Set Boundaries and Achieve Your Goals

How to Achieve Work/Life Balance

Busy meeting professionals understand better than most people: There are only so many hours in a day. If you want to take on new opportunities at work or at home, you need to clear some space in your schedule -- and that requires learning to say the word "no."

"When I started my first company 10 years ago, I had an unhealthy tendency to constantly do things for other people while getting nothing in return," author Samantha Radocchia writes in an article for business magazine Minutes. "I was saying 'yes' to everything -- side projects, events, business ideas. I didn't have the self-awareness or self-confidence to say 'no' if it meant I might upset someone or miss out on an opportunity. That type of situation can only go on for so long."

Eventually, Radocchia finally learned how to say "no" by embracing the idea of boundaries.

"The art of saying no really comes down to … making decisions from a place of abundance, rather than fear," Radocchia says. "When you make fear-based decisions, you're generally thinking about missing out … The worry that you'll miss out on something leads you to take on everything, But when you consider decisions from a place of abundance, you think about how an opportunity will fit into your life. You consider that it might be a good option, but you realize there will be plenty more opportunities if you turn this one down. And the only way to get to that mindset of abundance is by setting boundaries."

To define what her boundaries are, Radocchia makes a written list of all her goals, including what she wants to achieve, what skills she wants to develop, what kind of people she wants to work with, etc. "I say 'no' to anything outside of that list," she concludes. "Remember, you're not necessarily missing out or denying yourself opportunities. You're making room in your life for the things you really want. Think of it like a closet. If you never clean it out, you eventually run out of space for new sneakers. If you want something new, you have to make room for it."

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