Goal Setting


Time to complete:
10 mins

To balance both a career and family, Prowess believes that we must holistically care for ourselves.  In this lesson, we will focus on setting boundaries, protecting our energy, and finding your “flow”.

Types of Boundaries: 


We want to dig into how to keep work at work even though you may be in your home office.  How we keep the client from asking more and more of our time (scope creep)?  How we keep ourselves from taking on unnecessary stress? Because no one has time for that.

Be protective of your schedule:

  • It is essential to balance your own schedule so that you don’t get drained.
  • Put your office hours on your calendar and honor this schedule.  If you block off 10am-2pm for Prowess work, then stick to it.  We create extra stress when we don’t respect the time commitments we have made.  
  • Include your own administrative work in the set time. A call with a client can be one hour but the prep time before and documentation after can easily grow into 2 hours.  Again, when we don’t create the room in our schedule, we generate stress for ourselves.
  • Set a time and reminder on your calendar to review your upcoming schedule for that day or week.
  • Have a shared calendar with your partners and caregivers, so they know when you have blocked off your schedule for calls and work.
  • Be proactive and know your limits.  If you have a family vacation, sick loved ones or important event, plan for it in your schedule.
  • Schedule your self-care time.  Don’t give up the morning run or other self-care appointments because someone asks if you can squeeze in a call.  Hold true to the commitments that you make to yourself just as much as you make to a client.  


Of course, managing schedules and communicating is key to creating successful boundaries, but there is also the emotional side.  For some who are introverts, one comment can throw us into an emotional hangover as we debate in our heads, “Did I offend them? Did they not know that was a joke?”  Or maybe the issue is more with taking on something new and that is going to stir up emotions for those in our inner circle.  So how can we be proactive and conserve our energy and be present for all that we want in our lives?


Don’t take on the client’s stress

There is an element of tension and anxiety that your clients will have regarding their company’s goals such as meeting sales quotas, reaching company milestones or even how someone delivers a presentation.  While you are trained to anticipate the needs around these dates and objectives, you can’t also take on the personal stress that surrounds them.

For example – you prepare an excellent PowerPoint for the meeting but whether or not everyone laughs at the team leader’s jokes is not your responsibility.  

OR you triple-check the agenda and follow-up items, but you are not responsible for the bad mood of the team leader because he had a flat tire that morning.  

Conduct yourself in the same professional manner with empathy, support, and returned focus to the meeting objective.  People respect when you can stay true to your standard of practice.

What to do if your client gets angry?

We are all human and you will make mistakes.  Instead of hiding, beating yourself up or trying to ignore the problem, face it head-on.

Psychology Today lists these 8 steps to avoid taking things personally:

  1. Know Your Inherent Self-Worth. If you know yourself and your worth as a person, you won’t be so quick to take the judgments of others personally. Take time to get to know yourself apart from who others may say you are. List five things about yourself that you’re grateful for, and call them to mind whenever you find yourself getting sensitive.
  2. Know Your Emotional Triggers. All of us have emotional triggers from the past. Specific actions people take may trigger us to become sensitive about particular things. For example, if your father was overly critical, and you tried to be perfect to please him, someone pointing out that you made a mistake could trigger you to feel more sensitive than another person might under the same circumstances. When you do get upset about a situation, ask yourself, “Am I really upset about this situation, or is this one of my emotional triggers?”
  3. Practice Authenticity. This is the practice of letting go of thinking that you need to be someone else and actually embracing who you are. You must genuinely accept who and what you really are to be authentically you. Practice authenticity by doing what’s best for you, putting yourself first, and really understanding what’s right for you.
  4. Make Mistakes. As the saying goes, “To become our best selves, we first have to be our worst selves.” Allow yourself to make mistakes, and understand that they’re just part of the map leading you to the person you always wished you could be. When you do make a misstep, don’t forget to forgive yourself. It’s important to take responsibility for your actions, but don’t punish yourself too much if someone disapproves of you. Accept that you aren’t perfect, and remember that there’s really no such thing as mistakes if you learn from them.
  5. Set Boundaries. Setting proper boundaries in your relationships will help you take things less personally. You put these boundaries in place by saying no to work, love, or activities that you don’t want to do or that harm you emotionally. Doing too much to please others can lead you to feel overly sensitive when they do something that upsets you.
  6. Let It Go. Use a painful experience from your past to help make you who you are. Use it to give you strength, empathy, and character. We all have something that has hurt us. Don’t let it define who you are. Instead, use it to get stronger and make yourself proud.
  7. Know That Kindness Isn’t a Pass to Acceptance. We tend to expect that if we’re sweet and kind to everyone, giving all of ourselves to them, we should be treated the same way back. But being kind to others doesn’t always buy their acceptance and approval. We better serve others and ourselves if we do things because we want to, not because we expect something in return.
  8. Be Logical.  When something upsets you or makes you feel uncomfortable, it’s helpful to take a look at the situation from a more logical perspective: Did the situation call for the reaction you had, or are you losing it unnecessarily? Is the other person really doing something wrong, or are you taking the situation too personally? If someone is genuinely being hurtful, can you ask for what you need or work on letting it go?

(Psychology Today Posted Feb 19, 2018)