Do You Have Guardrails in Your Life?

I have been listening to the Andy Stanley podcast series about having guardrails in life for the past few weeks. I called them red flags for as long as I can remember, but guardrails is probably a better word. As life gets more complicated there are more devices to pull us off track, and people and situations can stop us from achieving our objectives and goals. The formal definition of a guardrail is “a system designed to keep vehicles from straying into dangerous or off limit areas.” They are designed to keep the damage from being as bad as it could have been; and to create small accidents in order to avoid big or fatal accidents.

Guardrails are never placed in the danger zone because they are meant to keep us out of the danger zone. This applies to work and personal life. Here is a question – when you did something bad or something you should not have been doing, were you with a friend? More than likely the answer is yes – smoking, drinking, or other activities that you knew were bad for you or were in a direction that was not aligned with your objectives or goals. I love Andy Stanley’s quote, “Our culture baits us to the edge, but then chastises us when we take the bait. How close are you pushing the limits? If someone you loved was watching, would you do the same activity?

I historically use red flags to hold myself accountable for goals and objectives like running a ½ marathon a year, health goals, family goals, and purpose goals. After listening to the podcast I feel that adding guardrails to my life related to my kids is another worthwhile step. Put the rumble strips in, then the guardrails, so they don’t go over the cliff – the fatal action.

Do you have red flags or guardrails in your life? Would you be proud of your actions at work and home if someone you trusted and loved was watching you? Be true to yourself all the time. When you fail, which we all will, get up and put another flag or guardrail up so it doesn’t happen again.

Action Items

  • Inventory your friends
    • Are they pulling you in the direction you want?
    • Are they pushing your comfort zone in the wrong direction
    • Evaluate and Change!!
  • Do you have enough flags and guardrails in your life?
    • Are you protecting your marriage/relationship?
    • Do you have boundaries at work with co-workers?
    • Are you being the parent or friend you want to be?
    • Are you taking care of yourself – health, growth, learning, spiritually, balance? Do a Life Plan if you can’t answer that.
  • If you are asking “Is it a sin to ________________” – you are in danger zone.


  • Acceptance leads to influence (when I am accepted)
  • Acceptance can be dangerous

Live your life as best as you can with a conscious proactive mentality. Good Luck and remember it is a journey.