Choosing Boundaries For Life Success

by Lance Ekum on · 49 comments

Your life.  How are you living that? 

Today I have life coach Laura Neff with us.  Laura is the heart and soul behind "More In You" Life Leadership Coaching.  In this past year, I've had the wonderful opportunity of getting to know Laura.  In that time, I've come to really see the beauty of her soul shine through.  She comes from a place very much filled with abundance – abundance in life, in living, and in the potential in everyone. 

To get a real sense of Laura, check out a recent article she wrote on starting a bliss revolution.  That sounds pretty great, if you ask me!

Laura also has done a wonderful job of creating video to support her message,  and one I found very enlightening was her discussion around how we sometimes minimize ourselves by using the word "little"

It is an honor to have Laura here, as she shares her thoughts on how defined boundaries in certain areas of our life can really help take us to new heights in others aspects of the life we are creating.  Please join me in reading…

Choosing Boundaries For Life Success


Closed for the Season
Creative Commons License photo credit: akahodag

"Once we accept our limits, we go beyond them." ~ Brendan Francis

Greetings, readers of The Jungle of Life!

First off, can we all just stop and raise a glass/pom pom/pumping fist to Lance? I never, and I mean never, leave his blog without inspiration, and I’d be surprised if the same isn’t true for you. Lance, my friend, you are one of the brightest lights in our sky!

If you’re a devoted follower of the Jungle of Life, then I know you didn’t miss Lance’s recent guest post called Life Is Art, at the Evolving Beings blog. In this creative, spunky, and thought-provoking post, he challenged all of us to think of our lives as an ever-evolving work of art, created by the myriad of choices we make each and every moment of each and every day. As a Life Leadership coach, I have to admit to a fist-pumping, “Yeaaaah!” moment as I read his words. In short, I wildly concur, as that message is very much akin to the foundation of this work that I do in the world each day, helping people more powerfully lead their lives toward both who they want to be and what they want to create by the choices they’re making.

And wow, in that vein, are we off to an amazing start for the new year! Somehow, something has opened up a bit in our collective breath with the turning of the new year. The emotional/ financial/spiritual/fear-based gridlock of 2009 is beginning to loosen up, like an ice flow in the early spring when the first warm breezes start blowing through. Given the power, tenacity, and fierceness of the human spirit, all we need is a tiny crack to appear, and POW! We push our way out of what’s been holding us back, eagerly searching for what’s next and what’s possible. That’s what the beginning of 2010 feels like to me as I listen, watch, and experience this fresh start. We have much work to do, and it’s the good work of becoming more of who we truly, deeply are. Many of my clients and friends are excitedly choosing their word of the year (mine’s “Vitality!”), creating goals, setting intentions, and in the past three weeks have started exploring how their choices this year will help them experience those things as real in their lives.

Aaaaand that’s where things tend to get stuck/stalled/stagnated!

Being at choice + craving change = choosing something different to create the “Life is Art” masterpiece you can see in your mind and feel in your heart. It means saying YES, PLEASE! to what will get you closer to that vision and NO, THANK YOU! to what takes you further away. Simply put, each and every choice we make…and I mean the eeeensiest choices all the way to the huge ones…is either moving us toward or further from the selves and lives that we crave. 

So there’s a vital leap to be made from choosing the word/goals/resolutions/intentions to then really choosing differently, moment to moment, in order to see those things to fruition…choice by choice, step by step.

One way I’ve been playing with that this new year is by harnessing the power of saying “yes” and “no” by way of boundaries. I’ve noticed that unless I create boundaries within myself, for myself first, then not much happens differently on the outside in my life. Here’s an example:

Like many of you, 2009 was the year I dove into social media. Facebook and Twitter literally seem like a party that never ends, and both my business and my personal life have flourished in ways I couldn’t ever have imagined because of the time I spent there in recent months. (I’m writing this blog post because of meeting Lance on Twitter last year!) Work and play blur into a sparkly gray area in Social Medialand for me, and it’s been both a blast and a boon.

But, I’m also a solopreneur. And I have a laptop. The good news? I can take my work anywhere! The bad news? I can take my work anywhere! In 2009, I found myself doing things like cooking dinner, laptop on the kitchen counter, recipe website up, but then checking Facebook and Twitter while the onions were sautéing. I’d take my laptop upstairs and while my husband read or surfed the net on his own computer, I’d don my pajamas, hop into bed to chat with friends, connect with colleagues, and while I was at it, hop on over and check my email. ‘Cause I could. At 11:00 p.m.

Bottom line? I was becoming a bit addicted to being on the computer but could rationalize it to myself because “it was helping my business.” And, it was too much. My boundaries were non-existent, and work was bleeding into everything.

When “Vitality” became my keyword for 2010, I knew I had to create boundaries–by myself, for myself–around my time online. To do that, I’m experimenting in four different ways…creating time boundaries about when and how long I’m online, putting a temporary boundary up around Twitter, creating boundaries on the fly through “vitality checks” during the day, seeing if what I’m doing is creating or depleting my vitality and shifting my choices as a result, and finally putting a boundary up around my laptop itself, deciding that its primary residence is my office, and it only comes to visit my home on occasion..

You might notice that each of these boundaries are self-imposed. That’s the thing about boundaries…most often, no one’s going to set them for us. It’s up to us to harness the power of them for good, and I’m working toward with the example above.

Is it working perfectly? Not yet. But is it getting me closer to where I want to be? Slowly but surely, moment by moment, choice by choice, step by step.

So as you move more fully into this new year of ours, I encourage you to think about not only what you intend to create for yourself and in yourself in 2010, but how the choices you’re making are moving you closer to or further from those intentions. Where might you benefit from creating boundaries of your own? How will they serve the masterpiece-in-progress that is your life?

Keep up with Laura by subscribing to her blog, and following her on Twitter and Facebook.

Lance writes stories from his heart, aiming to inspire and motivate, as you align more fully with YOUR true peak. When he's not here, you can find him hanging out with his family, riding a bike, or just generally acting goofy.   Sign up for the Thoughts from the Treehouse newsletter and get additional inspiration in your email inbox!
Lance Ekum
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{ 48 comments… read them below or add one }

Jen January 19, 2010 at 2:06 pm

Hey Laura.
Great post and I completely identify. Last year was my initiation into social media and blogging too and I found myself addicted to it! I still feel the same, but like you realised I needed some boundaries. I now switch everything off at the weekend, which has really helped. I feel rejuvenated when I come back and also enjoy weekends with less technology around.
ps – The focus I have created for myself is being grateful. 🙂


Sami - Life, Laughs & Lemmings January 19, 2010 at 3:01 pm

Hi Laura and Lance! After reading this post, I realised I’ve already set some boundaries for myself this year without really meaning to. For me, it’s all about working and doing less and chilling and being more. A major boundary I’ve set is to work no more than 8 hours a day. If I don’t get everything done I want to for the day within that time, too bad, it waits till the next day. So far it’s working well. The interesting thing to come out of it is that I’m actually far more productive (and peaceful).

Thanks guys! Great post Laura.
.-= Sami – Life, Laughs & Lemmings´s Last Fabulous Post ..Daisy List #22. Learn to Surf =-.


lisaschaos January 19, 2010 at 3:21 pm

The biggest challenge I’m currently having is making sure my husband and I can line up our goals. When you’re married it’s not as easy to just set private goals but we need to decide as a joint effort. I know I am feeling a tug in a slightly different direction than he is, so we just need to really get our heads together and figure it out. :0)
.-= lisaschaos´s Last Fabulous Post ..Macro-ing Pretzel =-.


jen January 19, 2010 at 4:50 pm

I really needed to read this today. My business is bleeding into everything. Thank you so much. My word for the year is CHANCE.
.-= jen´s Last Fabulous Post berry’s first commercial and a give away! (quisp, pick up sticks winners!) =-.


Jody - Fit at 52 January 19, 2010 at 4:58 pm

What an amazing post & chock full of thought for me! Boundaries & less boundaries too. I don’t do Twitter because I am nervous about how crazy it can get based on the fact that I am already on the computer too much!

I have to reread this all again & again & make some choices.

Thank you & Lance for having you post today!
.-= Jody – Fit at 52´s Last Fabulous Post ..Book Review – Female Brain Gone Insane; GIVEAWAY! =-.


Lynn January 19, 2010 at 5:24 pm

I am trying to not take on so much. Or at least slowly shed some of the thing I am doing. All worthwhile, but I am feeling spread pretty thin sometimes.
.-= Lynn´s Last Fabulous Post ..Jewel, shift and in the nick of time =-.


Jen January 19, 2010 at 6:23 pm

What a great article and something I need to practice more of. I have only recently begun unplugging on the weekend. No blogging, no computer, I don’t even check my email on my cell phone (most of the time). I am much better for it. Now I have to start saying no to family and friends who have learned that I am the one who always says “yes” even when I don’t want to. Baby steps.
.-= Jen´s Last Fabulous Post ..What The Hell Was I Thinking =-.


Liara Covert January 19, 2010 at 7:47 pm

Some people sense success has no boundaries and everyone has it. Some people also sense this is a symbolic concept that reflects degrees of self-acceptance. Always appreciate how you prompt your readers to reflect. We are all emissaries of love and light and awakening to our untapped potential.
.-= Liara Covert´s Last Fabulous Post ..Remember the path =-.


Jodi at Joy Discovered January 19, 2010 at 8:34 pm

Hi Lance!

Hi Laura! Great post! I love the idea of setting boundaries for success. I like how you emphasize the need to clarify the things we will say “yes” to and the things we say “no” to. And practice makes perfect! Good luck with your 2010 boundaries. I’ll apply these tools to my new year’s goals, too.
.-= Jodi at Joy Discovered´s Last Fabulous Post ..Off the Shelf: Parenting with Love and Logic =-.


Laura Neff - Life Leadership Coach January 19, 2010 at 9:25 pm

Hi Everyone! Thanks so much for your energetic and supportive comments! I’m struck by how the actual example I used about technological boundaries has struck such a chord, and found myself coaching someone this afternoon around this very topic…we remembered together that technology is there for us and to be used by us, not to run us!

Another way to use yes/no is to get clear about what’s going on with the choices we’re making in the moment. E.g., if I’m letting myself get sucked into my computer for too long, I can stop and ask, “What am I saying yes to right now, with this choice?” (Answer: low energy, lack of productivity, excuses, stress…ick!!) and “What am I saying ‘no’ to?” (Answer: vitality, productivity, joy, success, presence…bummer!). THAT can be a BIG wake up call!

Now, a few quick responses:
@Jen: Mmmm…gratitude… 🙂

@Sami: Kudos on your work boundary! Your shift in mindset is so important. I discovered last year that I had this thought running around in my head all the time that “I should be able to get EVERYTHING done in a day.” Talk about stress! When I let that thought go & replaced it with, “Everything that needs to get done today will, and the rest will be there tomorrow,” I experienced huge liberation. Congrats, and keep it up!

@lisaschaos: I hear you! And, in my experience, it’s actually vital to set my own personal goals/boundaries that support my individual growth and self care so that I can be more fully alive, happy, present and resourceful for my marriage. A bit of a different twist!

@jen: Ooooh…”chance”! I’m wildly curious about what that means to you!

@Jody: Twitter can be *such* a great way to build relationships & gain visibility for a business (like I mentioned above, that’s how I met Lance!), and for me, it does require strong boundaries and very clear focus on how & why I want to use it. Know that you can use it successfully, and it just takes some diligence! Thanks for your note! 🙂

@Lynn: I hope this post is timely for you. I can so easily spread myself too thin, too. (Even with lots of good stuff…too much of a good thing is still too much!) When I find myself in that place, I try to remember that I chose all of it, and I can choose to shift my levels of responsibility within the things I have going on, choose to let things go, ask for help, etc. If it’s tough for you to let things go, try to get really clear on what you’re letting them go for…i.e., what you’re building toward by releasing certain obligations. (Or, in other words, what you’re saying “yes” to by saying “no” to something else.) You always have choice! Sending good thoughts your way.

@Jen: Ah yep, there’s the relationship piece! We train everyone around us to expect certain behaviors (E.g., “She’ll take care of it, she always does!”), and sometimes they dooon’t like it when we start choosing differently. Trust that you’ll be able to handle it, and remember what you’re saying “yes” to. Sending you thoughts of strength and focus! And thank goodness for those blessed baby steps! 🙂

@Liara: You bring up a fascinating aspect of this topic…we’re completely at choice about how to use boundaries in one way so that we can be boundaryless in others!

@Jodi: YES!!! Practice, practice, practice!!! 😀

Lance’s readers rock! 🙂


Hayden Tompkins January 19, 2010 at 10:21 pm

This may not be the time to mention that I once tried taking my laptop with me into the bubble bath. (As you can imagine, it was HIGHLY awkward trying to not electrocute myself!)

I get what you’re saying here TOTALLY. I find that I don’t set boundaries when I am faced with a project that I am not sure how to think my way through. But Twitter? I know what to do with that!

P.S. Lance, LOVE this article and this guest. She is fabulous!!
.-= Hayden Tompkins´s Last Fabulous Post ..4 Steps Toward A Better 2010 =-.


J.D. Meier January 19, 2010 at 11:34 pm

Vitality is an energizing word. It’s like Pope-eye with spinach.

> my business and my personal life have flourished in ways I couldn’t ever have imagined
I think I’ll hop on the Twitter train this year. As long as I can ride it like a roller-coaster where hopping on and off is fine, that will work for me. I want to ride the dragon when the energy is there, over turn it into a sustainable chore.
.-= J.D. Meier´s Last Fabulous Post ..Use 3 Stories to Drive Your Day =-.


Hilary January 20, 2010 at 3:56 am

Hi Lance and Laura .. really interesting. I will set those boundaries .. and as I’ve progressed with blogging, friends, FB & Twitter – I’ve absorbed some of those things you’ve been saying and have never got hooked across – thank goodness. The same with searching on the net – if I can’t find it .. do it another way, or not worry about it – ie don’t waste more time than you have.

As this year goes on life is getting easier, some things are sorting out and my mother is sleeping much more – so I appreciate everyone’s comments and the fact that you’ve brought up the boundary levels. I think I read somewhere recently that ‘they’ do their emails, FB and twitter in the first hour of the day ..

Good to remind ourselves we can say no – to life things, as well as our online lives.

Thanks – Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories
.-= Hilary´s Last Fabulous Post ..Turning a team of oxen – any idea how? =-.


Lance January 20, 2010 at 4:28 am

I’m very much enjoying the conversation here on this idea of “boundaries”. And I just keep coming back to how, if we set boundaries in certain areas of our lives – wow! We can really take off in other areas! That is exciting just thinking about it. Computer time (or even specific program use – like Twitter) is a really good one to think about (and act upon), as that can be so easy to let “slip in” for a few minutes…which can quickly become much more.

@Hayden – Okay, you are CRAZY!!! Laptop in the bubble bath?!?!?!? Ha!!! Yep, I suggest that would be a great place to start with some boundaries! And yes – Laura is fabulous (that’s such a great word to describe her!), much like YOU!

@J.D. Meier – I love it (the Pop-eye reference!)!! And regarding Twitter – I think that’s one of the great things about it – you can pretty easily jump in or out as it works for you. I liken it to hanging out by the water cooler with really awesome people. Some of the conversation can be “fluff”, yet there can be those bits and pieces that can lead to some pretty cool things (like Laura and I meeting!).

@Hilary – Hi Hilary. That’s great that you have been able to not let some of these online sites absorb you. By saying “no”, it becomes that much easier to say “yes” to what we really want.


Lance January 20, 2010 at 4:29 am

This piece you have written strikes a chord with me. It can be so easy, without a “plan”, to just kind of let the day wander from one thing to the next. And even if we have defined goals, when we let other distractions enter into the picture – that can take time away from things that matter even more deeply. Laura, reading this is so good for me – because honestly, I haven’t been so good about setting this boundaries. And so that boundary is just a gray area, and one that can be easy to drift into for too long. For me, that can be online activities, too. Maybe it’s the convenience of how “available” these things are. Anyway, thank you so much for writing this – it’s something that is very much staying with me, as I think about moving forward in life.

And Laura, it really is an honor to have you here and sharing your wisdom so beautifully. You are a shining ray of hope and possibility in our world. It has been great getting to know you over the last several months, and having you here is like icing on that cake! Your sweet soul is touching lives, and I count myself as one of those touched by your ever caring heart.



Jonny | January 20, 2010 at 4:30 am

Lol, great post. I think we have all had our laptops present at inappropriate times, so we can all relate to being caught in the Facebook / onion sautee situation.
.-= Jonny |´s Last Fabulous Post ..Become An Idea Hitman =-.


Evelyn Lim January 20, 2010 at 4:34 am

I started putting time boundaries more intensively last year. And it turned out amazingly well! For a long time, I was addicted to my laptop. What I found out last year was that I not only could do without it, but I worked more effectively even with all the meditation breaks that I took. While I am intending to work on a number of new projects, I hope to plan for breathing space for myself in the new year as well! Great post!
.-= Evelyn Lim´s Last Fabulous Post ..Affirmation Gifts Lifestyle Mart Opens =-.


Natalia Burleson January 20, 2010 at 6:42 am

Hi Laura, first let me say you are so right about Lance, I couldn’t agree more.

What great food for thought. I realize that I have become quite addicted to my computer. I work from home. So, I’m on the computer a lot, but I don’t work 24/7 though sometimes you would think so because that feels like the amount of time I spend on the computer. I wake up and it’s the first thing I turn on and the last thing I turn off at night. I need to step away from the computer. I realize that you were talking about checking business email at 11 pm which I don’t have to worry about. But there is something to be said for realizing that something is taking over your life whether it’s in the name of work or pleasure it’s not good! 🙂 Thanks for that reinforcement. Time to set up some boundaries of my own. 🙂
.-= Natalia Burleson´s Last Fabulous Post ..Weigh In Weds =-.


suzen January 20, 2010 at 8:24 am

Hi Lance! Wonderful guest post – and I totally agree with Laura that you are really one of the brightest lights in the blogosphere!

Hi Laura! I can so relate to the laptop thing that I almost – almost – curse their invention. That is sure one of the biggest boundaries that needs some tweaking and from the comments, I see I’m not alone. While I don’t have a “business”, I suffered an addiction. I had to wean myself off by using timers or I’d easily spend entire days and nights blogging around. Now I set appointments with my computer. Much better!!!! I am back to living my LIFE instead of typing it away.

Thanks so much for this vitamin additive advice on boundaries. We all need them! And the coolest thing about them is they really aren’t “limiting” us, but rather freeing us up for more joyous experiences!
.-= suzen´s Last Fabulous Post ..The Magic of Giving – Healing 101 =-.


Heather Villa January 20, 2010 at 9:07 am

What a great, inspiring post! For this new year, I am working on changes in my personal life as well as in my businesses. I’m putting systems in place to better service my clients, more effectively and more efficiently.

Boundaries. I definitely need this. I work and then I work some more. It’s what I do. This year I’m learning how to accept NOT working. How to have time for myself and my family without feeling anxious about work.
.-= Heather Villa´s Last Fabulous Post ..The Antidote =-.


Megan "JoyGirl!" Bord January 20, 2010 at 9:29 am

Wow, Laura, your energy just BLASTED through my computer screen. I’m psyched! I’m pumped! I’m dancing in my mind and it’s all because of YOU and your awesome writing! (I’m also subscribing to your blog b/c I just love what you say and how you say it!)

Boundaries — YES! And they can change as we change. I’ve found that I, too, need boundaries. Last month, for instance, I noticed that I let computer stuff overtake me, as well. So I shut it down, for the most part, and walked away for a few weeks. I blogged less, emailed less, researched less… And I lived with face-to-face people & things more.

This month I’ve eased back into it, but those boundaries are clear and allow me to retain my enthusiasm for all parts of life – not just the electronic parts (which, in their defense, connect me with non-electronic people & things… but I digress).

Anyhow, I loved reading this, and am so excited to “meet” you through Lance.
Lance – thank you! Another brilliant guest post. We’re so lucky!
.-= Megan “JoyGirl!” Bord´s Last Fabulous Post ..Authenticity = New Definitions =-.


Evita January 20, 2010 at 9:41 am

Hello Laura

Wow I couldn’t believe how much I gravitated and was in parallel feel of what you were saying.

Yes – to the part about Lance….
Yes – to the part about solopreneur… (I am one too)
Yes – to the part about the boundaries because our work can go anywhere and that is both the blessing and the curse…..

It is exactly the journey I have been on last year and as 2010 set in I am making changes. As much as I love writing and the online community, I also pride myself on living with balance in every area, and that means I have to have some good boundaries when it comes to computer time.

Like you it is a work in progress but I like where I am going with my current changes to really fine tune the balance of my life.
.-= Evita´s Last Fabulous Post ..Redefining Success: Why I Quit My Job =-.


Mark Salinas January 20, 2010 at 9:47 am

Quite the journey Laura! Thanks Lance!
.-= Mark Salinas´s Last Fabulous Post ..Changing Course through Injury =-.


Tess The Bold Life January 20, 2010 at 9:49 am

Hi Laura,
I love the way you write as well. I’m the person who barely uses Twitter and Facebook and therefore haven’t grown as fast as I’ve wanted. I just can’t seem to give up hubby time (not interested in blog world at all), grand children time, face to face friend time, traveling, hiking and playing outdoors etc. So I have the opposite problem.

The only reason I learned to text is because my adult children and grand kids won’t answer the phone. LOL I’m amazed that my daughter and husband text each other in their home. I guess I’m showing my age here but hey there is not sense hiding it.

Anyway I recognize I won’t succeed if I don’t “get with the program so little by little I’m stepping up.”
Great guest Lance;)

Any suggestions?
.-= Tess The Bold Life´s Last Fabulous Post ..How to Build a Winning Work Ethic =-.


Karl Staib - Work Happy Now January 20, 2010 at 9:50 am

Life is about creating it instead of just letting it pass by. Because the more engaged we are in our lives the easier it is to get excited about our choices.

I’ve been working toward goals on my blog and many of them are coming alive. I’m self-publishing a book to help my speaking career. I’m also working on a big project to help companies take their work happiness to the next level.

I can’t forget my family. The light of my life (wife and child). Without them I wouldn’t have the confidence to do what I do.

Lance, great choice for a guest post. I’m all pumped up. 🙂
.-= Karl Staib – Work Happy Now´s Last Fabulous Post ..Work Happy Tip – Go Hug a Tree =-.


Laura Neff - Life Leadership Coach January 20, 2010 at 11:15 am

Hi All! Thanks so much for all the juicy comments! Blog dialogue (blogalogue?) is just so much fun.

@Hayden: Omg! I almost spit out my tea when I read your comment about taking your laptop into the TUB. Thanks for the laugh!

@J.D. Meier: The way I look at it, if I can’t participate in social media/technology and not feel vitality, then I’m out! I appreciate your sentiment about hopping on and off…a great reminder that WE are in the driver’s seat of social media, and not the other way around!

@Hilary: Thanks for your comment. The question of whether to hop online first thing in the a.m. comes up a lot, and most folks seem to feel that to start the day online can be a drain and/or a way to start the day focused on “other” and stressed. I’ve found that to be true, so a pretty strong boundary I’ve created (ever since my corporate days) is to “start my day with ME.” It does wonders!! Wishing you a year that continues to get easier and easier…

@Lance: We have officially solidified our membership in the mutual admiration society! 😀 Lucky us! Your comment made me remember the snow fences that my dad used to put up around our yard when I was a kid. They were made of thin slats of wood that lined up side by side, held in place by flexible wire, and were just enough of a barrier so that snow drifts would pile up against the back side of the fence instead of in our yard, even though a little snow would still come through. Dad constructed the boundaries each late Fall, but they couldn’t be left untended. Sometimes the snow would come so thick and fast, and with such wind, that the fences got pushed down. There was a vigilance and commitment on his part to the boundaries…so that they could do their intended job for us…that was necessary throughout the season. I think our internal boundaries are the same thing. It’s a big step to recognize where they’re needed, and to then set them, but then it’s a whole other commitment to tend them. Tend those fences, my friend!

@Jonny: Thanks! It’s good to know I’m not alone. 🙂

@Evelyn Lim: I *love* that you experienced more productivity via your boundaries. That’s what it’s all about! Woohoo!

@Natalia Burleson: Thanks for your comment! I commented above that, to me, it’s so important to start my day solidly with myself, for myself. When I hop online first thing, I get sucked away immediately. I encourage you to start there…carve out 30 minutes or so just for yourself when you get out of bed, whether it’s time that you spend thoroughly present to and enjoying a hot cup of coffee or tea, whether you watch birds at your birdfeeder, take a walk, read a few pages of an inspiring book, journal, whatever feels GOOD and ENLIVENING to you. Try it! You’ll love it! 🙂

@suzen: YES!!! Thank you for making the point that boundaries–while they can easily be perceived to be about limitations (which, in a sense, they are)–are REALLY about setting us wild & free within them to LIVE our lives fully!

@Heather Villa: Hi! So fun to see you here! Re. the anxiety, what *really* helps for me is to remember what I’m creating…what I’m saying a full-on YES to…by sticking to my boundary guns. Focusing on the abundance aspect of the boundaries can really help solidify the commitment and shift. Keep me posted on how it’s going!

@Megan “JoyGirl” Bord: Backatcha, babe! I think we must be kindred energy spirits! 🙂 I so hear the theme of balance in what you shared above. Yummy, and woohoo! Very glad to “meet” you, too!

@Evita: Isn’t there so much breath and space in allowing yourself to be a “work in progress”? I love that you used that phrase. It’s one I love and fully embrace OFTEN. 🙂 Cheers to your balance!

@Mark Salinas: Thanks!

@Tess The Bold Life: Hi Tess! Question: What would be the bold move for you in this?

@Karl Staib: Love your focus on active creation of life! Uh-HUH! And glad you left this post pumped up. I can tell you have a LOT to give from that place. Thanks for being here!


Tim January 20, 2010 at 11:40 am

Hi Laura:

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this very important subject. The word “boundaries” has been creeping up in a lot of conversations in the past few years for me. But, as someone who is also in transition, working at home and using the social media tools available to me…I could identify your challenges. Time management and my time spent online are becoming bigger issues for me. I can see how I am not always using my time in the most productive manner. Your post reminds me that I really need to set some boundaries for myself in order to be more productive and sane.

I just saw an ABC news piece about people that are so addicted to texting that they often put themselves (and others) in danger by either texting/driving or texting/walking. I think its because we really crave connection. But as much as these things are tools which can bring us (and our tribe) together…we should create some boundaries. In any case, I really enjoyed your post and thanks to Lance for letting you share some great stuff!!


Laura Neff - Life Leadership Coach January 20, 2010 at 12:04 pm

Hi, Tim. I saw that special, too, as well as the whole show Oprah devoted to the subject just a few days ago. Your comment that “I think it’s because we really crave connection” struck me, and made me wonder, “When I’m allowing myself to get sucked into the computer in an unhealthy way, what am I disconnecting from?” There’s a way that when I allow myself to unhealthily run after connection via email and Facebook and Twitter and email and back to Facebook and…etc…I’m actually disconnecting from my own accomplishment, greatness, success…I’m disconnecting with my best self, really, after a certain point. Boooo! No good for anyone! And even more reason for boundaries that will serve who I’m growing to be.

Thanks for your thought-provoking comment!


Sagan January 20, 2010 at 12:10 pm

Boundaries are important! WE are the ones who control them, and we dictate how we alone will live our lives.


Audra Krell January 20, 2010 at 4:16 pm

Great post Laura and Lance!

“That’s the thing about boundaries…most often, no one’s going to set them for us” and you don’t want them to either, boundaries like fines, jail time, etc are usually what other’s in authority set for us! : ) It’s definitely best to grab the bull by the horns and set boundaries ourselves. Thanks for great reminders!


Jannie Funster January 20, 2010 at 9:31 pm

Hmmmn, office boundaries, eh? Since I’m tapping this comment on my iPhone while Hubby and I watch the news, I might consider where and when I go online.

Amazing about your Face Book and Twitter connections, lucky you, Laura to have met Lance on the latter. We all love him to bits. And we find nothing but the best inspirational stuff here in Lance Land.

My 2010 word is GIVE.

Thanks both of you for an uplifting post !


Catherine January 21, 2010 at 12:08 am

Laura – Thanks again for bringing this topic up. After just having our coaching session end on the note of boundaries around internet/computer time – it was REALLY GREAT to read all the other comments here and learn how others have shifted their focus or redirected themselves back to Vitality and being more present in the moment.

I relate to getting sucked in to e-mail, facebook, twitter, e-mail, and repeat! And how I am no longer available here to my family when I am draining my energy in this way.

Today I started a new boundary which was to NOT go to the computer first thing in the morning.
I did end up there soon after and kept checking e-mails randomly almost compulsively for the rest of the day when ever I had a free second which didn’t feel very good.

So….More boundaries are necessary!

My intention is to take more photographs and post them on my blog – than to be wasting so much time online….

Tomorrow is a new day!

Thanks again laura. Loved the coaching session and your 20/20 e-course!!!!


Hilda January 21, 2010 at 8:08 am

I feel like this post is a message from the Universe:

“Hilda, step away from the laptop!”

I’m on my lunchbreak, and my laptop is on my lap! My internet connection was down for a whole week, and only returned on Tuesday night. And I was SO frustrated to not be able to get online, but I sure as hell wasn’t bored. And now of course I’m back online – endlessly – and for some reason, today I’m feeling a bit more tired than I was feeling a few days ago…. I wonder what might be draining my energy??

Ok, message received. I’m going to set those boundaries and take a little break now. Thanks Laura!


Nadia - Happy Lotus January 21, 2010 at 8:32 am

Hi Lance and Laura,

Lance, thank you for introducing us to Laura.

Laura, you are talking my language! 🙂 So often people fence themselves in by rules that they created and then forget that the boundaries can be broken at any time. We are the creators of our world and we create our world by the choices that we may. We just have to be careful what we choose and to make choices that reflect what we really feel and think.


Susan C Brown January 21, 2010 at 8:37 am

Wow! This post really resonated with me, and it’s exciting to read all the comments and see that the same is true for so many people!
Thanks for this reminder of the value of boundaries. I think I’m a lot more productive when I can keep those boundaries in place, but the creepage and seepage of online work into the other hours of my day keeps happening. It’s a real discipline to maintain those boundaries, and your post is such positive encouragement about something that’s truly important.


Angelia Sims January 21, 2010 at 11:28 am

Hi Lance! Hi Laura!

I think it’s great you met Lance on Twitter. Definitely a social networking success story!

Lance, You make the world a brighter place for sure.

I think my addiction goes beyond any boundaries, as I’ve most likely broken the speed of light barrier when it comes down to my internet usage. (going where noone has gone before-uhhhhexcept the bathtub!)
Laptop at home, Mac at Jason’s, Dell at work and the iPhone for all things in between when I’m (gasp!) not connected. Lordy! I think I need a 12 step program and internet anonymous meeting. (can I find one online?)
Seriously, thanks for the post and the reminder there is life beyond a computer screen.

.-= Angelia Sims´s Last Fabulous Post ..NyQuil, Please! I can explain! =-.


Terie January 21, 2010 at 11:47 am

This is a very thought provoking post. So there’s no one out there setting boundaries for us? Darn!! It’s what we do with our children, we set boundaries. For ourselves, as adults, I agree. It’s a big step and we must (OK I must) acknowledge, accept and do. I have to say that I am guilty of spending too much time online doing nothing really, not being productive.

This message is a great reminder that like children, we too need to set some boundaries.

@Angelia – I’ll join the IA with you, online of course 🙂
.-= Terie´s Last Fabulous Post ..Walking- taking small steps for big changes =-.


Lance January 21, 2010 at 7:50 pm

@Sagan – And it’s up to us, each of us, to set those boundaries. They don’t just set themselves.

@Audra – Hey Audra! Yep, when we set the boundaries for ourselves, it’s boundaries that really have meaning. I think that’s important, because that’s what is really going to get us committed to these boundaries, when we have something backing them.

@Jannie – Hey, I hear you Jannie! Well, I don’t literally hear you (do you know what I mean – that would be some super excellent hearing though, wouldn’t it, if I could really hear you). And it’s been great to have taken something that started on Twitter to another level. Laura is way awesome, and I consider myself honored to know her. Just like you Jannie…you are something pretty special, you know…

@Catherine – Hi Catherine, and welcome! Such a big part of this, for me, is awareness. Just being aware can make a real difference in me “seeing” how my time is being used. And your day – I think it’s baby steps and awareness. You had both – and there’s much good in that. Maybe there’s room for improvement, and you are seeing that, which is so good. Keep at it…and I will too…

@Hilda – That computer can suck us right in, can’t it!! And I find your story very refreshing, as it shows that you survived just fine … and in fact, thrived! Enjoy your “breaks” from technology (although I definitely love having you here too!).

@Nadia – Hi Nadia. Laura is a wonderful, sweet, and caring soul. Hey, that sounds just like YOU! So, yes – it’s about choices. What choices are we making, and are those choices taking us closer to or further away from all of our dreams, desires, and goals. It’s a great question to ask ourselves, and really to help us set those boundaries to keep us connected with what truly matters. Great thoughts Nadia!

@Susan – Hi Susan! It’s easy for us (I know it is for me) to let myself drift, even when I’m trying to focus. Laura is really onto something here with this – when we set those boundaries for ourselves, we give ourselves such a great opportunity to flourish!

@Angelia – Hi Angelia! Twitter has some awesome possibilities! That is, of course, if we don’t let it take over our lives (it’s easy to be sucked in…I know!). So…you have avoided the bathtub! That’s success, right!! And your looking for the online version of IA!! Ha!!! I love it!!! Hey, we could all hang out together in there! Wait…wouldn’t that be Twitter???

@Terie -Right!! What’s the deal, we have to set our own boundaries?!?!?!? Ha!! Setting those boundaries…if we don’t do it for ourselves, no one will… And – I’ll join you and Angelia in IA – haha!!


Wilma Ham January 21, 2010 at 9:36 pm

Yes, boundaries, mostly they are set for us and normally I do not like those, so I brushed all boundaries with the same tar. Boundary was a bad, confining word.
Now of course I am learning it is about choosing what to do coming from love with integrity.
Because only when you choose what you love to do with integrity you know when enough is enough and the world won’t tumble down when FB and Twitter haven’t seen you for a while.
Lovely to see you here Laura @ Lance, love to you both, xox Wilma
.-= Wilma Ham´s Last Fabulous Post ..Ann-Marie on The Third Person in our Relationships =-.


Amit Sodha - The Power Of Choice January 22, 2010 at 9:48 am

Great post.

I actually did a communications sebbatical last year whereby I didn’t use any tech for a week. The only exception was occasional email and only once a day for important things.

So much good came of it and I changed many habits. I got rid of all instant messengers, I only use my email, blog phone fb, or twitter. I spend much less time overall on the net and it’s given me more space and time to do things that are important to me. I’ll still use my laptop if I need to but just disconnect from the net so I can focus on the quality of writing for example and not get distracted easily.
.-= Amit Sodha – The Power Of Choice´s Last Fabulous Post ..Don’t Let The Attitude Of Gratitude Turn You Into A Pushover =-.


Robin Easton January 22, 2010 at 12:30 pm

This is a wonderful post, Laura. You writing is also excellent and alive. 🙂 I related to this part a lot: “…moment to moment, in order to see those things to fruition…choice by choice, step by step.”

I am having to find boundaries with being on line. NOT because I’m addicted to it or even like it, but since I have book coming out later this year, being online is crucial to my work. I think I would be more like TESS here, where I am perfectly content (even MORE content) to be with my sweetheart, hiking, gardening, jogging, nature photography and more. But I also am smart enough to see that to promote and book or any business (I’m a solopreneur as well) that I need to be visible online.

The one truly remarkable thing about it is people like Lance, and so many others that I know here…people like yourself who are SUCH good people. Nonetheless, I struggle to find those boundaries of what I need to be doing and what is not as productive. Still learning.

Thank you for the encouragement you offer and doing so through honesty as well. I REALLY value that. Hugs, Robin 🙂


Diane Fit to the Finish January 22, 2010 at 7:19 pm

I have learned to set boundaries over time. With a large family I have to divide my time and energy appropriately. It’s definitely been a learning process for me, especially as I started my blog last year.

Lance – thanks for a wonderful guest post!
.-= Diane Fit to the Finish´s Last Fabulous Post ..Are Weekends Harder? =-.


Jannie Funster January 22, 2010 at 8:59 pm

Can you hear me NOW?? 🙂

dittoes on thinking you’re swell.

And I’ve very much enjoyed reading through these comments. I learned that Karl has a wife snd child. And I loved Nadia’s comment so much I’m going to post part of it for my daily quote tomorrow. I just love these comments and this post so much I think I’ll just read them again. Megan Joygirl is such an infectiously enthusiastic hoot. And so are you, Lance.
Stay happy!!
.-= Jannie Funster´s Last Fabulous Post ..“Yes – Kids Sure Do Say The Darndest Things” Part 2 =-.


Stacey / Create a Balance January 23, 2010 at 5:42 am

Laura, I like how you took the word Boundaries and transformed it into Vitality. As Lance knows, when I was thinking about my 2010 word of the year, the word Discipline kept creeping up in my mind. I know I need more discipline around my business, my exercise routine, my eating habits, etc. But discipline for my word of the year just didn’t sit well for me. I transformed discipline into the word Expand so I can expand on what I want to focus on this year instead of holding on to things that no longer serve me. Setting up boundaries is definitely part of that equation.


Lance January 23, 2010 at 7:46 am

@Wilma – Yes, that’s really it. When we set these boundaries for ourselves, based upon integrity and love, we are in a place that is very much filled with what truly matters. And that’s a great place to be!

@Amit – Your point is well taken, Amit. Sometimes it can be really good to completely step away from some of these things we think we “need”. And in doing so, we see how much they might really be holding us back from letting our true selves shine.

@Robin Easton – As I read this Robin, the word that I keep thinking of is “harmony”. If we can live our lives in harmony with what matters to us – that is such a great place to come from. And this might mean a hike with our spouse, or playing with our kids, or going online to promote our work. It all touches upon what matters deeply. And sometimes, it can be easy to cross over and be “less productive”. This isn’t always “bad” though, as there can be much good that comes in these less productive moments too. Again, I think there’s a certain harmony here, too – and especially when this all touches upon our soul in some way. Robin, I know that you very much come from a place that does this. It’s why I see you in the light of this word “harmony”, and how it really goes back to a place within you that matters. It is so good to see.

@Diane – Hi Diane. Yes, with a large family, I can imagine that boundaries become even more vital to the success of your whole family. Having three kids, I know that these boundaries are necessary for us to function as a whole.

@Jannie – Hey Jannie…hey I think I DO hear you!!! You are singing, aren’t you! This world is filled with some amazingly great people – and I’m honored to have so many of them share openly here! So, Jannie, know that I deeply love you and your amazing greatness here! Happy Saturday!!

@Stacey / Create a Balance – Hi Stacey!! Yes, we have talked about our words of the year (what a great conversation that was – and it really helped me to focus on what my word for this year would be). The word EXPAND is such a great word for you, Stacey. And I’m watching that unfold already in this new year, and love what I’m seeing! You are a shining star here, and know that you have also helped me immensely through all of our interactions. I can’t wait to see where this year continues to take you, dear friend…


Dave January 26, 2010 at 11:24 am

I’m not a regular follower of this site, but I found this post to hit spot on with something I’m struggling with. I’m also a solopreneur who finds themselves face deep in a macbook for hours on end each day b/c I have myself believing the more I’m on it the better I’m be. How ever everything else is passing me by in the meantime. A great post, boundaries are something I need more of and I’ve taken a lot from this post to get my started. Tank You.


Laura Neff - Life Leadership Coach January 26, 2010 at 2:44 pm

@Audra Krell: Lol! YES! We need to become our own police/authorities, but in the BEST of ways!

@Hilda: May you not see this note for a while, because you’ve been so successful in acting on this message from the Universe! 🙂

@Nadia: Love it. You made me think about the unconscious boundaries that we make, which often don’t serve us. This post is about making *conscious* boundaries that will actually *serve* our growth. Yeehaw!

@Susan C Brown: “creepage and seepage”–so funny, and so true! That’s exactly how it feels!

@Terie: “online of course”…LOLOL!!! And I like what you’re pointing to here…so many of us can do this so well with children. The good news? We KNOW how to set healthy boundaries. Now we (Lol…I…) just have to point that skill toward our own well-being in a conscious way.

@Wilma: thanks so much for your sweet post! And YES! “Boundaries,” as a word, comes with beaucoups baggage. Big kudos to you for shifting the meaning of the word for yourself into something that’s good!

@Amit: WOW. What a great example of someone who’s taken the leap and created some very healthy boundaries for yourself. Thank you for sharing…you are inspiring!

@Robin: Aww! Thank you! Keep fighting the good fight…choice by choice! 🙂

@Stacey: Isn’t it so cool how something like boundaries can enhance a focus like “Expand”?! Logic would say otherwise, but hey, this is your masterpiece to create…you get to make it all up, and you are! Work that boundaries-enabled-expansion, woman! 😀

@Lance: Hi! 😉


Stacy November 30, 2012 at 2:03 pm

This post and the comments it has engendered are so true. I spent too much of my life not setting good boundaries (with food, relationships, work, etc). By the time I reached the age of 40 my life was nothing like I had imagined it would be growing up. I finally learned how to take care of myself first and how to say no when too much is being asked of me. Several people left my life when I started to make these changes… and at first I missed them. Now I’m just glad that I didn’t wait any later to learn the lesson about setting appropriate boundaries!


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