Setting Goals: 3 Ways That Boundaries Can Lead to Freedom

The banks of a river act as a boundary directing the water to flow toward the sea. In this same way creating structure in our lives liberates us to focus our attention toward the things that matter most to us.

3 Boundaries That Lead to More Freedom

  1. Setting Goals: Having a goal with a sense of purpose can increase our well-being. Too many choices may cause us to feel uncertain, overwhelmed and even immobilized. However, when we have a target, our choices become easier to make and we know which direction to head. Decisions are less likely to become sources of anxiety. For example, if I am driving from Los Angeles to San Diego I know I need to go south on I-5 and not north. Goals liberate us to enjoy the here and now. Very often having a goal matters more than reaching the goal, because in this sense it is about wellbeing and peace of mind.

  2. Personal Preferences: If we value our health it would make sense that we would eat healthy, exercise, meditate, get plenty of rest and drink lots of water, right? And yet how many of us are exhausted, eat poorly, drink too much caffeine, and put off exercise and meditation for tomorrow? To live by our values we first have to believe in them. We need to decide what they are for ourselves and commit to them. We also need to live and act as if they matter. Very often negative habitual patterns or stress can override our value system and diminish our commitment. This is where rituals come in.

  3. Rituals: Through rituals we can sustain new and positive habits that are aligned with our values while actively letting go of old patterns that once had us imprisoned. When we do something again and again, like brushing our teeth or tying a shoe we no longer have to think very much about it. It takes very little discipline. We just do it. This happens with both positive and negative actions and choices. Positive rituals connected to our personal values can serve our overall wellbeing and create more ease in our lives. It frees up our energy so that our default actions become more in line with what matters most to us.

Put It Into Practice

  1. Decide on a positive and forward-moving goal. That means rather than saying “I don’t want to be overweight,” say “I want to lose x pounds and eat healthy foods every day.” 

  2. Write a short and simple value statement. For example, “I value time with my friends and family. Being healthy will afford me more energy to spend with the ones I love.” 

  3. Create one new ritual and implement it until it requires little effort. Then add another ritual and so on. Make your rituals sustainable and think small. Small changes can make a big difference. If your goal is to lose x pounds, maybe set a goal of walking around your neighborhood for 15 minutes every day. Pick the same time of day whenever possible. 

Experiment this week by applying this process to a short-term goal. Once you have put it into practice apply it to bigger goals and ideas in your life.

Here’s another insightful article from Joy Stone – Yoga and Positive Psychology: Calm the Complaining Mind.

Reprinted with permission from

Joy Stone is an experienced and certified Yoga Teacher and Personal Transformation Coach. She is also the founder of Soul Subscription – a holistic online membership designed to help you stay consistent on your spiritual path and true to yourself. With over 13 years of professional experience, she is passionate about helping men and women break free from fear, frustration and overwhelm and breakthrough into a life they truly love. Joy’s special style of coaching uniquely blends the most essential tools & life-empowering practices from eastern and western psychology & philosophy. She received her positive psychology education under Harvard Professor, Tal Ben-Shahar, Wholebeing Institute and her yoga teaching certification under the Anusara style — a therapeutic application of yoga psychology and practice. You can learn more about Joy and her work at

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