My wife thinks I’m a robot.
Why? Well, over the past few years, I’ve managed to adopt new habits and ditch old ones at the drop of a hat, without ever entertaining those old habits again.
4 years ago, I drank my last drop of alcohol, before deciding it wasn’t for me and giving it up completely (not a sip since).
6 months ago, after researching the terrible environmental, animal, and health effects of animal agriculture, I went completely plant-based, and haven’t missed it for a second (your bacon obsession is just in your head).
Every weekday for as long as I can remember, I’ve headed out to the gym, no questions asked.
And for the last few weeks (and for the foreseeable future), I’ve sat down every single weekday morning to write a new article and email to those who support me and my work.
Perhaps my wife is right…
But while this level of discipline may seem impressive to some, the truth is it’s been very simple.
I often get asked how I’ve managed to be so disciplined with some of the exact things that many people struggle with, so I wanted to share how I’ve done so.
Essentially, I’ve employed the same strategies I’ve been sharing over the past few weeks:
- I focused on sticking to my habit just for today
- I made stupid small commitments and leveraged the power of momentum
- I told myself I just wasn’t going to quit
- I came from the place I was trying to get to
- I focused on being the kind of person who sticks to the habit
But there’s one more strategy I haven’t shared that I wanted to discuss today, and that is something I like to call ‘bright lines’.
First, let’s look at how most people attempt to make a positive change in their life.
Perhaps you tell yourself that you’ll “only drink 1 or 2 beers at a party”.
Or “I’ll exercise a couple days per week”.
Or maybe “I’ll write a book this year”.
The problem is that these are blurred lines (cue Robin Thicke).
What we really want is bright lines.
Studies have shown that it’s actually easier to stick to something when we make a 100% all-in commitment than if we aim for 99% commitment. This is because it’s easier to know if we’re hitting our goal or not, and it eliminates any possibility of failure.
This is also why I believe if something is important to you, you should do it every day, preferably as part of your morning routine.
If you want to get in shape, make it a bright line that you move your body every day.
If you want to quit alcohol, make it a bright line that you don’t drink, period (or at least only drink on a specific day).
If you want to write a book, make it a bright line that you sit down every morning (that’s how I’ve been knocking these articles out every day!).
By using bright lines, you make it clear to see if you’re on track or not, and you don’t need to think about whether this is a day to show up or an off day.
Make that decision once, up front (today!), and you’ll never have to waste time or energy making decisions when the pressure’s on.
Where can you create some bright lines in your life to rule out all possibility of slipping up? Commit to going all in, make it a non-negotiable, and create some bright-lined, 100% goodness.
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