Want to stick to your disciplines, whatever they are? Set up bright boundaries that your mind cannot miss. “Nothing to eat after 8pm and one cheat meal a week,” is a bright boundary. Every Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday the iPad seconds timer app is a bright boundary for me. There’s no missing the red screen and the reps in black. Bright boundaries help your brain and in the process help you stick to something, even something that stinks or simply hurts for awhile.
Weighing yourself every morning is monitoring. Texting a cheat is too. Practicing with a BTL buddy and truth teller is a form of monitoring. Asking someone to watch you and give you feedback in the moment is monitoring. Videotaping your presentations and studying the tape is monitoring. Monitoring yourself helps you stick to disciplines. The most disciplined people on the planet spend very little time exercising their willpower. They’ve come to understand exercising willpower takes too much energy. So, they invest their willpower in building bright boundaries so they don’t have to think. I always thought it was funny when my Mom would get up after dinner and immediately brush her teeth. Her clean teeth were a bright boundary to stop her from snickysnacks later on. Funny, huh.
Today, a team of six cyclists is 213 days from departing for our third trip to the French Alps. We have two newbies and four veterans. The facts are plain and beautiful. We will climb between 8,000 – 10,000 feet each day for 9 days. This will be beautiful, chosen, suffering. There is not much we can do to increase our power output between now and then. Remember, climbing is all about physics (power to weight ratio). So, since we can’t move the power needle much, I’m reminding my fellows to set bright boundaries regarding weight. The key is not waiting until we near departure to focus on this discipline. That would be kinda like a wrestler waiting until right before a big match to get control over their weight. Makes no sense, right? So, my teammates, like me, are setting bright boundaries right now.
I am not monitoring anything about my rides and don’t even have a computer on any bikes. This is not normal, but works for me. When I ride, I just ride and take it in. Beauty over going beastly. I push whenever my body feels like it and ease off when it feels depleted. I listen to my body. Don’t get me wrong, there are times when I train hard. There are moments of chosen suffering in the saddle, just not that many. Most rides are base miles. I do lots of trash talking and promoting of silly chatter between comrades. Cycling is fun. My monitoring efforts are around food, drink, and dessert. I track my weight, how many drinks I consumed, and how many desserts went down each week. My monitoring is bright and focused. I set bright boundaries for what matters most (to me – you gotta figure this out for you, friend) in preparing for our tour of the French Alps next June. Preparation now leads to enjoyment later. Fact.
Where do you crave more discipline in your life? Why do you want this? What’s the big dream that’s your personal jet fuel? What are the patterns to your problem (clearly mine are around weight rooted in empty drink/dessert calories)? How are you establishing bright boundaries for yourself? How are you monitoring yourself? Who is holding you accountable? Dream and do, friends. Dream big in work, life, and even in your hobbies. Set bright boundaries and have fun. Who knows, maybe you’ll be joining us for France quatre in 2023.
Prepare now. Enjoy later. Good…