Boundaries

In both personal training and coaching, the issue of “boundaries” comes up fast and often. 

The people I work with are coming to me seeking change— be it in their body, their mindset or their life (although I’m of the belief that you can’t change one without changing the others.)

We’ve all sought change at some point in our lives, and the interesting thing about wanting to change is that every single one of us seems to want to change but stay the same at the same time.

We want to be/look/feel different, but we want to keep everything safely in-tact along the way.

We want a transformation and reconstruction, but only absent deformation and deconstruction. 

We want to change, but only if it’s easy.

But that’s impossible.

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When I start working with new clients, one of the first things I ask them to make it clear that something has to change for something to change is, “How far are you willing to go?” 

We have to find their boundaries so we can set action steps and expectations accordingly.

Regardless of what area of you’re life you’re seeking changes in, before you even begin, you need to get clear on what you’re willing and not willing to do (outlining boundaries), and then, you have to decide whether or not you’re going to accept or redraw those boundaries.

**You must accept the boundaries you’re not willing to redraw, otherwise, you will continue to run into them over and over again and feel frustrated at the limitations those boundaries produce.**

For example:

I want to lose weight, but I’m not willing to give up going out for lunch everyday at work.

If giving up eating out during the work-week is a boundary you’re not willing to cross, accept it, and accept the limitations this places on you progress (i.e. you might lose weight more slowly than if you were to cut back.) Finally, adjust your expectations for your weight loss with this boundary in mind. 

Outlining boundaries is extremely liberating.

When we accept our boundaries, we liberate ourselves from constantly wondering why we’re not seeing the growth we’re anticipating.

When we make the decision to redraw those boundaries, it is then that we actually start to see the growth we’re anticipating.

What’s more liberating than bringing the changes you desire to fruition by consequence of your own actions?


I encourage you to find your own boundaries right now in any area of your life where you’re seeking change, and then accept or redraw those boundaries as necessary. 

To do this, use the questions + sentence stems below along with my example at the end to help you.


OUTLINING BOUNDARIES: How far are you willing to go?

option 1: outline —> accept

option 2: outline —> redraw

categories to consider: health + fitness, work, social, romantic, financial

Goals / Things I want that I don’t currently have:

Roadblocks / Things I do/don’t do now that might be making it harder to get those things:

—> Non-negotiables (things I’m not willing to give up)

—> limitations that these non-negotiables produce (what is NOT going to happen as a result of keeping these things around?

—> Negotiables (things I might be willing to give up/cut back on)

—> things that become accessible as a result (what is going to happen in the absence of these things?)

Boundaries I accept:

Boundaries I’m redrawing:


MY EXAMPLE
(to give you extra guidance on filling out your own)

Goals / Things I want that I don’t currently have:

  • faster 5k

  • more financial freedom

  • community of female friends

Roadblocks / Things I do/don’t do now that might be making it harder to get those things:

  • wear myself out by biking and running on the same day sometimes

  • stay in/not go out during the week

  • not advertise my services/feel worried about “annoying” people with my products/offers

—> Non-negotiables (things I’m not willing to give up)

  • biking with Michael after work when we’re both off at the same time

  • date nights/”me time” nights

—> limitations that these non-negotiables produce (what is NOT going to happen as a result of keeping these things around?

  • I won’t get faster as soon as I’d like

  • I’ll forego opportunities to meet new friends

—> Negotiables (things I might be willing to give up/cut back on)

  • fear of talking about my work

—> things that become accessible as a result (what is going to happen in the absence of these things?)

  • potential new clients, more revenue, boosted confidence in what I offer

Boundaries I accept: quality time with myself/my partner

Boundaries I’m redrawing: fear/anxiety around sharing my work


Was this helpful? Let me know in a response to this email, or share your own boundary-outlining work with me for some feedback/help!