A to Z Guide to Thriving in Life Health & Wellness

‘P’ is for Priorities – Learning to set the boundaries

April 18, 2018


Priorities and learning to set boundaries is vital if you want to thrive in life.  Many people wear the badge of ‘being busy’ as a sign of accomplishment, when actually they are doing more harm to their bodies and health.

I know from experience, I would proudly try to juggle all the balls in life while slowly wearing myself out.  I thought I was the master of multi-tasking and then some!

I am older and wiser now and realise the importance of setting priorities and accepting what is important in my life.

Setting boundaries isn’t just exclusive to mothers or career people.  Grandparents should also set boundaries so they don’t become the regular babysitter for their grandchildren.  I offered to mind  my grandson weekly and when my daughter travels, because I wanted to and fortunately, my daughter never takes advantage of me.  However, sometimes grandparents feel they have to give up their life to help their children and feel guilty if they aren’t available all the time. It all comes down to choice and setting boundaries for what is suitable to your lifestyle.

How can we thrive if we are being pulled into different directions which require our attention?

In her book ‘Mastering the Mean Girl – the no-BS guide to Silencing your Inner Critic’, Melissa Ambrosini suggests we ‘Stop the Glorification of Busy’ and embrace the ‘ebbs and flows of life’.

No matter what stage of life you are, there will always be responsibilities or obligations that are fighting for your time.  Instead of trying to find the magical balance in life, Melissa suggests that you need to go with the flow.  You need to include flexibility as life can throw curve balls to many well-laid plans.

To avoid becoming over-whelmed and suffering ‘burn out’ you need to put together a plan which should also include time for yourself.

Women, especially, suffer from feeling guilty if they take some ‘me time’.  However, what use are you to your family, friends or employer if you are constantly battling against time to fit everything in and never taking a break to just breathe?

5 tips to Prioritize and Set the Boundaries so you can Thrive

1. Learn to Say No

This doesn’t come easily to many of us as we want to please or help others.  However, not having the ability to say ‘No’ without feeling guilty will add to the stress and anxiety in your life as you try to do it all. Trust me, I know from experience.  I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been stressed out because I simply couldn’t say ‘No’.

When asked to do something – Ask yourself how important this is to you, your family and the person asking?  Will the world end if you say ‘No’ I can’t help?  Rate the importance of the request and weigh it up against your current commitments.  It is hard to say ‘No’ but people will understand because we are all busy.

The worst thing you can do is say ‘Yes’ and not deliver or it affects your health or your relationship with your family.

2. Ask for help

Don’t feel inadequate if you ask for help.  It isn’t a sign of weakness and certainly will take the pressure off.  Remember you don’t have to take on the responsibilities of the world.

3. Take time out for yourself – Self-care is important!

Make a ‘date’ with yourself and put it in your diary.  If you have a family, discuss this with them and explain that you need to take some time each week or preferably each day, just for yourself.  Even if it isn’t daily, it must be regular and this time is YOURS to do whatever brings happiness, relaxation and enjoyment.   Getting up a little early to a quiet house each morning and taking time to breathe, reflect and feel gratitude can start your day well.  You might prefer to go for a walk in the early morning or do some mediation and yoga.

4. Turn off Technology

Don’t let technology rule your life.  Take time away from laptops, social media and your smartphone and do something of value for yourself.  Spend more quality time with your family, go for a walk and enjoy nature, listen to music, chill out and watch some TV, read, meditate or do some yoga – anything that takes you away from technology for a period of time.  It really is within your control.  Oh and keep your mobile phone and laptop out of your bedroom!

5. Eat your frog first

This phrase is from Melissa’s book and is actually from a book called ‘Eat That Frog’ by Brian Tracy.  So what does it mean?  Melissa suggests using an online task management app called ‘Things’.  Every morning you do a ‘brain dump’ into the app with all the tasks you need to do.  Then you rate them into three categories:

  • Tasks you don’t like, but are important (the frogs) – these are the tasks that usually promote procrastination as you don’t really want to do them.  Dealing with the ‘frogs’ first thing in the morning means you are able to tick them off the list and move onto more enjoyable things in your life.  Not dealing with them keeps them hanging over your head like a cloud – so just get in and deal with them.
  • Tasks you like and that are important
  • Tasks you like but are unimportant

Of course, I’m a list girl so I quite like writing down what I need to do or achieve during the day.  Whatever works for you is your choice. It is a matter of getting all the things whirling around in your head onto paper and then working out the level of priority for each one.

Do you try to keep all the balls in the air?  What can you do today to Prioritise and Learn to Set Boundaries?


In my next post in the A to Z Guide to Thriving, I’m discussing ‘Q’ is for Quality not Quantity – 5 areas in life where Quality trumps Quantity I do hope you will join me.

If you have missed previous posts in the AtoZ Challenge 2018 just click here to find them all.

You might also like to check out my Over 50 & Thriving series.  In this series, published every Thursday, guest writers give insight into what ‘Over 50 & Thriving’ means to them.

Want practical and motivational ways to learn to Thrive rather than just Survive in life?  Click here and Subscribe to receive my daily posts as they publish plus a FREE COPY of my E-Book ’10 Ways you can start Thriving Today’.

Let’s Start Thriving Today!




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  • Reply Kimberly April 18, 2018 at 02:53

    So crazy that “P” is up when I’m just getting started with my rounds for “o”… Half a world away, but so close through technology. Amazing, isn’t it?
    I’m practicing eating frogs, but spend a lot of time chasing the shiny objects. This is spot on and actually resonates with me. Pick the important. Prioritize, don’t procrastinate. Very Prudent. 😉
    Sorry, I couldn’t resist… P’s are ringing in my ears…
    Important tips, thanks!
    Passing Down the Love #AtoZ

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 18, 2018 at 11:46

      Yes I’m probably way ahead of time Kimberly but being ‘Down Under’ the time zones are crazy. So pleased you enjoyed the post and love the P words you have mentioned. Now I have them ringing in my ears! Have a great day! xx

  • Reply samfiftysomething April 18, 2018 at 03:03

    A brilliant post! I’m terrible at saying no, always have been, but am not too bad at creating priorities. I do like the ‘eat the frog’!! I will start to do that. Thank you really useful post ?

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 18, 2018 at 11:45

      Yes it isn’t my strong point Sam, either. I like the ‘eat the frog’ as well – get the bad stuff out of the way first. Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!

  • Reply Jennifer Jones April 18, 2018 at 12:58

    More good advice Sue. Especially to grandparents. I feel very sad when I saw grandparents give up their lives for their grandchildren. That’s not what grand parenting is meant to be. Eat your frog first! When I read that I had no idea what it meant but I love the reminder.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 19, 2018 at 18:22

      I didn’t know what it meant either Jennifer but I think it is a great thought. Yes I love doing things to help my daughter with my grandson and she is expecting #2 in June. However, it is on my terms and they are so appreciative of what I do for them that I know I’m not taken for granted. xx

  • Reply Retirement Reflections April 18, 2018 at 13:54

    And, I thought that I was the ‘Master of multi-tasking’…even when research said that I was fooling myself. Once again, you’ve offered very solid and doable tips. I look forward to reading your five suggestions for Quality over Quantity!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 19, 2018 at 18:23

      Yes I thought I had that black belt in Multi-tasking too Donna! 🙂

  • Reply Leanne April 18, 2018 at 17:33

    I’ve become a big fan of boundaries Sue. I spent waaayyy too long letting people step over my lines and trying to do all things for all people so everyone liked me. Now I’ve learned that I need to prioritize myself and I have the time to do that. If I have to say No or I put my needs ahead of other’s wants, then that’s okay. It’s only selfish if I disregard others and lose kindness – so really it’s all about balance again.

    Leanne | http://www.crestingthehill.com.au
    P for Practice makes Perfect

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 19, 2018 at 18:25

      That is true Leanne about selfishness. We can still be kind and look after others as long as we leave some love for ourselves as well. xx

  • Reply Kalpanaa April 18, 2018 at 18:11

    I’ve voted for you on the Annual Bloggers Bash Awards. I read your post with interest and I love the idea to ‘eat your frog first’. Wonderful advice.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 19, 2018 at 18:43

      Oh thank you so much Kalpanaa for the vote and also your lovely comment. Have a great day! xx

  • Reply Sue April 18, 2018 at 20:12

    Ooh I love that idea Sue, “stop the glorification of busy”. I always think people who say they’re “too busy” make the rest of us (with better boundaries) look bad!! But maybe I’m just lazy…….. 🙂

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 19, 2018 at 18:27

      Well I’m not sure you are lazy Sue but there are plenty of people out there who are just SOOOOO BUSY!!!!!! 🙂

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 19, 2018 at 18:29

      Well I’m not sure if you are lazy Sue but there are plenty of people who are SOOOO BUSY!!! doing what I’m not sure but they are busy! 🙂

  • Reply karen@profoundjourney.com April 19, 2018 at 00:19

    We’re in synch again, Sue. My post today is about saying ‘No’ – from a book titled Present Over Perfect.

    I love productivity systems and I love making lists. I love studying time management and I used to love the illusion that all is achievable with the perfect system. Then I realized that the perfect system is an illusion and I started embracing your five tips. They’re all possible now that I’m retired. It’s a wonderful feeling to be able to go Walden on Sundays and to start practicing some self-care.

  • Reply Shirley Corder April 19, 2018 at 00:25

    Once again, Sue, we’re on the same wave length. (Not with our posts this time, but with our attitudes.) I also get so frustrated with grandparents that allow themselves to become deputy parents. I love my grandkids as much as anyone does, but I’ve had my share of being a full-time mother. Now I want to enjoy being a GRANDparent, and that doesn’t include being available 24/7. Persevere if you want to improve your life and your mind. #atoz

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 19, 2018 at 18:33

      Exactly Shirley but when we do spend time with them there is nothing better! xxx

  • Reply Natalie April 19, 2018 at 00:34

    I agreed that self care is so important, Sue. I think of the oxygen mask instructions when we fly. Put the mask on yourself first. You’re doing so well with your A to Z Challenge. I look forward to reading your Q post.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 19, 2018 at 18:34

      I think I need the oxygen mask Natalie as the AtoZ is killing me LOL:) I’m enjoying it but it really is a challenge. Thanks so much for your support. xx

  • Reply Debbie Harris April 21, 2018 at 07:14

    How did I miss this one Sue??? This is so relevant to me at the moment with so much going on and plans to be made. I take on board your advice about grandparents and I love your tips on prioritizing – all so useful. I am slowly learning how to say no but for years I couldn’t do it and ended up just wearing myself out. Love the eat the frog first – I haven’t heard that before!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 21, 2018 at 13:33

      Oh I find it difficult but am starting to learn – even at 60! Better late than never as we can wear ourselves out trying to be everything to everyone. I loved eat the frog first and it really works!

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