Create and Maintain Boundaries

Episode #13

In this episode, Tim & Doug take more examples from people taking part in the ‘The Activation Method’ and common problems and obstacles they face. The focus here is on creating good boundaries with yourself.

So many people struggle with structure and organization in their business and personal lives because they have failed to create good boundaries. If you have no boundaries or structure your life and business are freewheeling, you will never know what to say yes or no to and you will fall into the trap of people-pleasing and other people’s schedules and priorities will run your life instead.

With some really simple techniques, Tim & Doug help you control your boundaries and give structure to each day through planning and keeping boundaries for both business and your personal life.

What you will discover in this episode:

    • How to use free tools like google calendar or call to create and manage your boundaries.
    • The importance of scheduling time for everything you do.
    • Avoiding people-pleasing through boundaries.
    • Making sure your smartphone doesn’t control your day.
    • If you don’t set your own boundaries and schedule, your life will be run by someone else’s.
    • How to give yourself the power to say no.
    • Tim’s typical daily schedule and how it works for his business and personal life.
    • 4 actionable steps to start creating simple boundaries immediately.
    • Controlling the use of your smartphone and learning to turn it off!


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Episode Transcript

Doug Holt  0:00  

So it’s important to have those boundaries set and to make sure that you set them early and very clearly. Because otherwise, what’s going to end up happening is somebody else’s schedule, somebody else’s priorities are going to run your life. And that’s what a lot of people have going on today. 

Hello, everyone, and welcome to another episode of The Powerful Man Show. I am your host, Doug Holt, with my co-host, Tim “The Powerful Man” Matthews. Tim, how’s it going, man?

Tim Matthews  0:30  

God, I’m just in stitches laughing at how nasally your sound, and I’m doing amazing. Listen, guys, I tell you, to people listening right now. Quite honestly, Doug is under the weather. He has got an entire household that’s under the weather right now; his 19-year-old son, his wife, all down with a mysterious illness that got passed them by one of the men at The Alpha Reset. Yeah, Doug was saying, “I don’t think I sound very good, I don’t feel like I can deliver, and I’m sick.” I’m like, “Look, it’s good. Let’s just jump and be real. It’s nice to hear how you are dealing with this in the household and how you’re able to move through this together with the communication and boundaries you guys have in place. But also, one key thing that you said to me, Doug, and I’ve just kind of flew off here. But one thing that you said to me, Doug, was, wow, it makes me appreciate the boundaries and the processes I have in my life. Because when I’m not feeling this way, I’m just flying with stuff. So, Doug, back over to you, I’ll let you introduce yourself today as well.

Doug Holt  2:00  

I love it; we can have good fun. So clarification, my son is not 19 years old. He is 19 months, and so he is a walking incubator of germs. But this time, it was passed on from one of our brothers in The Alpha Reset over the weekend. We had a great time; we did have somebody who came out sick. Before he got there, great guy, he played full out. And then, we came back, and the leader’s coaches stayed with my family and me here by the beach. And Yep, they got passed on first to my son, and then down to me. So I’ve been up since 12:30 am, wide awake. And here we are, a little past 9 am still going strong. So I feel good. I’m excited to be here. Yes, I did try to dodge this recording. But happy to do it; I love all the responses we’ve been getting from the men. And you know what’s been interesting, Tim, is we get many responses from women who want their men to listen to this. And I thought that was interesting. Not surprising, but interesting. We could talk about boundaries around that as well. But yeah, I’m excited to be here. Once we get going. I’m always happy to share.

Tim Matthews  3:10  

Yeah, I love it. Because Doug, I want to talk to you about boundaries, and the reason I’ve chosen to bring this up is two things. One is what you’ve shared with me about feeling ill. It makes you even more grateful for the boundaries you have in your life, when you are healthy, and how that enables you and your family to live. It enables you to provide the products and, right now, in one of the groups in The Activation Method in week two of the pre-foundation. Week two is well; I’ll rephrase what I’m saying here. By week two, they have been through the truth, which, as you know, Doug,  the support season meant to realize the truth and break free from the lies they’ve been telling themselves. And they’ve also started to go through the creed, which is all the visioning work they do. And right now, they have come up with their commitments. So the one major outcome in each of the five pillars of their life, and they’re going to be committing to over the next eight weeks. 

And they’ve also identified the keystone habits. So the one or two key behaviors that they get to commit to each day that if they do these actions, by default, that outcomes are achieved very easily and very effortlessly. Part of his process is that we get them to use Google calendar or iCal, some kind of online calendar, and upload all of that daily habits, the Keystone habits, into the Google Calendar. And then we’ll ask them to post a screenshot of this into the group. This morning, I reviewed some of the screenshots that the guy shared, and it always amazes me that these guys can build the businesses they build with so little structure and organization. But at the same time, that’s obviously why they didn’t come to us because their life is in chaos, they don’t have any boundaries in place. And even if they say, “I am using a calendar,” they’re either all slamming it and overcrowded, it was so many things. And so they are busy, not productive, or they are just not following it. I remember one guy in particular that when we asked him to use the calendar, so much resistance came up for me, he kind of froze because it was that level of structure and accountability that he feared. So when you don’t have something as simple as that in place, or rather, when you do have something like that in place that enables you to have boundaries. 

When you have boundaries and enable you to say yes, and then say no, rather than laying your business, for example, bleed into so many other areas of your life. And now this one guy in particular that I’m thinking of right now starts very simply. And these guys upload their calendar because we are supporting the man to instill new habits. He got a lot of his usual business stuff, team meetings, sales reports, and the usual stuff for him what he was putting in there. But because he saw a balance in his life in the past few years, everything’s been about business, he came into the program with health concerns, and also after another breakdown of another relationship. As a young guy as well, the early-to-mid-30s. This isn’t what he signed up for, so for him with his daily tasks, simple things like 8 pm phone go off, at 9 pm meditate and wind down 10 pm journal and decompression, 10:30 pm bed. They’re the simple things, the tiny things they didn’t have in his life before, which now doesn’t make him wrong or bad or weak or anything you don’t know what you don’t know, at the end of the day. But he didn’t have those in his life equally. 

It sacrificed his health so much. His life basically without boundaries as he was working 60 hours a week, and he would go to bed at 11 am, right up until going to bed. Sleep for a few hours, very disturbed sleep, lying awake, mind racing, and wake up and reach for his phone immediately again. Whereas now the boundaries he’s put in place, I mean that like I said, his phone goes off at 8 pm. Well, then the following morning, his phone didn’t come on until I think it was 9 am. And he had it on his schedule. And before that, he had time to wake up slowly, kind of waking at that time. Because ultimately, if we were caught up when we put our feet on the ground, what happens? Mind races; you just repeat the same biochemical environment that you’ve been in the previous stairs. So, as a result, every day is ground dog day, emotionally within your body. So although you maybe 30, 40, 50 years old, and logically, you may be an adult on an emotional level, you still operate from that same level of fear. Fight or flight you’re operating out of as a human void, offering our survival, although logically it might not mean to be one so emotionally you are. For this guy, he was setting up some wake-up times he could wake up slowly, and the phone stays off. Then it was his workout time because one of his commitments was his only commitment to health: to be able to complete a ten care run under a, I can’t remember the time. But anyway, regardless, the point of this is boundaries. He then put that running time in his schedule in the morning. And when he went to work, he then took care of his morning and priorities. He had two blocks of time he created for himself to focus on working on the business. So vision, strategy, those kinds of elements, and then obviously been available for his business team. 

So without this structure, he had no boundaries. He didn’t know when to say yes or no to so everything that came from people-pleasing. Everything came from the desire to be liked because he felt so worn out and so exhausted that he wanted to avoid confrontation. He wanted to just get along with people because that was the easier life was a result. It was unfulfilled. His health has been sacrificed; it wasn’t a great place for him to be living in. On that note, Doug, what you then said to me this week about; wow, it’s making me feel grateful for the boundaries that I have in my life usually and how I’m usually able to operate. I’ve stopped a while; we’ve got to share this with the guys. At this time right now, you sound a little bit nasally and sounding ill. We’ve got to share it with the men and the women.

Doug Holt  10:21  

It’s interesting, as you’re saying that Tim, here I am standing over here thinking, “Okay, which guy is Tim talking about?” Because you could have, that’s 80% of the men. Similar story. Now, some subtle nuances help me narrow it down a little bit. But most men and women, but most men have a similar thing going on, where they’re not controlling their life because they haven’t set boundaries. One of the things we were talking about is we often say, “Show me your calendar. I’ll show your priorities.” And when looking at people’s calendars, I have family time scheduled three times every day in my calendar. And a lot of people are like, well, that’s so restrictive. But I don’t have to spend time with my family at that time if I don’t want to, but what it does is creates a space where nobody can schedule anything else on top of me. This is my meeting for today; you and I talked before. This is you, and I always connect. You made fun of me and harassed me then too, as we both go back and forth a lot as guys tend to do. But this is it, right? You know, running six companies, the thing that I often say is, my company’s run better now without me in them. 

I do vision planning, and I set those boundaries very clear. So no one else could take control of my schedule. So when things come up, I have a family, that’s my priority as yours is for you. That I’m able to do this and you know, when I do get hit, I’m human. My son got sick, and my wife got sick, and, of course, I’m typically the kind of going, “Okay, cool, I dodged this bullet.” And then next thing you know, I’m sending you messages at 12:30 am my time, and God got nailed, and here we are. So it’s important to have those boundaries set and to make sure that you set them early and very clearly. Because otherwise, what’s going to end up happening is somebody else’s schedule, somebody else’s priorities are going to run your life. And that’s what a lot of people have going on today. They have someone else’s priorities, and they’re scared to set those boundaries, because well, what happens? What if fires go, something happens to my business or something, and a client needs a call? Well, you got to look at the long term game here. What is that long term strategy, and how come you want? Fill those rocks in the jar, and I can talk more about that analogy. But that’s really the clear thing that you and I both do, and we talked about it quite often, is if you want to schedule something with, if somebody wants to say, “Hey Doug, or Tim, can you talk Wednesday at 9 am?” Well, chances are we can’t get when we could, but chances are we blocked that off with something else that we’re doing personally because you and I typically don’t start our workday till much after that.

Tim Matthews  13:15  

Yeah, thing for me, I tend to start my workday at about 11 am and then I tend to finish around 6 pm. I love that flow works really well for me. I’ve tried different flows, I’ve tried having different boundaries in place. I get it, you know, it can be scary, it can be daunting having these boundaries and saying no to things, but as this one particular guy is learning. Now, this is giving him the framework and the power to say no, and especially because he’s come through the truth and become free from the lies he has been telling himself. I need money to be successful, and I need money to prove myself that really does start with that foundation. Otherwise, if you just get the fact, go straight to the boundaries without having a foundation internally, it’s more than likely going to create more stress, in my opinion. The reason for that is because you won’t have that calm, grounded nature, the one enables you to be focused and pick out what really is important for us to be doing in the day. So they are still going to feel scattered and overwhelmed, and those were the things, and also, you have that level of leadership. Whereby calm, focused, clear. So, as a result, if you’re trying to create boundaries, but you’re not able to communicate that effectively, then sometimes you’re kind of pushing your team away. 

Because they just feel like you know, left for them anymore, and other elements go into that too. So, as well as business for me personally. The boundaries with Amelia as well; it works both ways. I create these boundaries in my life so that I can experience what I want to experience. That’s in my professional life and my personal life. So it’s just like, I’ll finish at 6 pm, which isn’t a hard rule, some days of work over somebody has to work less. But I know that evening is saved for either yoga, or Amelia, or massage, and sometimes Amelia comes with me and does all of those things too. But then during the day, that’s primarily right now reserved for my creative time in the powerful man. So for me to have the freedom to create what I desire within The Powerful Man, daily, two things get to happen. One is that I get to make sure that I’m honoring my boundaries with Amelia. So she feels seen, loved, supported, and now the quality time is her love language. So we can really connect in that. So, at the same time, it’s been important for me to make sure that I’m then honoring my boundaries in business. If Amelia comes into the office and wants to, can I just break my attention? She knows that during this time, I’m committed to doing something, quite honestly, and doesn’t get a good reaction from me. Because I’m in the flow, I’m focused, I’m there, I’m engrossed in something. Know that I don’t know that I blow up or go mad or anything, I just kind of ignore it. I don’t mean to do that, but I’m just so engrossed in what I’m doing. But it’s boundaries, and she’s then stepped over my boundary. Now, she wouldn’t like it if a business steps over her boundary. And I had my phone, our dinner, and I was disconnected at dinner. Now, I turned off that at the end of the working day because I want to be present with Amelia. So you get to have these boundaries across all different areas of your life, not just in business, but across all different areas. Because all every area touches you, and you cannot separate these different areas. 

They’re all touching wherever you go, and you take yourself. So as we were talking about this, you might be thinking, “Okay, cool, well, where can I put boundaries in place? And what can I do?” My advice to you would be to start simple. Start where you are bound in the morning on an evening, creating that personal time for yourself to actually do things that you love to do yoga, meditation, workout, journaling, morning, walk, whatever. Even in time, just to be as well have your phone turned off, and start there, start simple. And what’s going to happen when you do that, are you going to start to fill your cup and Doug, you say something brilliant all the time to the men. And that is you can’t pour from a cup that’s always been emptied. What you get to do is make sure that your cup is so full that it overflows into other people’s love. To do that, creating these boundaries in your personal life and your morning and evening times, we are going to start to help your cup be filled.

Doug Holt  18:28  

Hey, guys, I wanted to interrupt this episode because I wanted to talk to you about how almost 300 men are already taking control of their lives, their 4X in their business revenues, and they’re having more connected intimate sex using The Activation Method, all without sacrificing their relationships, or their health. Now, this is only an 11-minute case study we put together just based on all the feedback we’ve gotten from your listeners. To get the case study, all you have to do is go over to https://www.thepowerfulman.com/bonus/. So that’s https://www.thepowerfulman.com/bonus/, you can get that case study right now. It’s short, it’s right to the point, and it’s going to give you actionable points that you can take right today. All right, let’s get back to the episode. 

And so when you think of a guy listening to this right now, maybe he’s driving to work, he’s at the gym working out or going for a walk or whatever it may be right now. What would be the top three things that they could take action immediately?

Tim Matthews  19:34  

Top three things. Number one, use a calendar. I know it sounds obvious and simple, but so many people are doing it. So I would say 99% of the men we work with, if not all of them and we work with are either a) not using a calendar, or b) not using it in a way that serves them. So we just got a calendar, other people can just book to film with as on when they’re one. So the first one will be to start actually using a calendar. The second one would be to, like I just said, block off that time for yourself in the morning or on an evening, make sure that you just start some simple rules at that time, a phone off, have your mobile phone off. If it’s from 8 pm, has it turned off? If it’s from 6 am until 8 am, have it turned off? Well, “Tim, how can I listen to music?” Well, on Spotify, you can download music and listen to your phone in flight mode. If your phone can literally be on flight mode until eight 9 am. So the calendar starts with the morning and the evening boundaries. 

And then the third one would be to feel free to keep it simple. I went through a phase when I used the calendar that I didn’t want to see any white on my calendar. Any white, I was like, “No, no, every minute has got to be taken up. Because if I’m not using every minute, then I’m wasting time.” Well, that’s just the same fear-based mentality that got me into the position I used to be in the first place. So I like to keep it simple; I’ve learned that my life is happier and was more successful at all levels when I keep it simple. So just have one or two key things you’re going to get done on that day and have them there. If you find in that this time, like when you when your employees want you or your staff want you or other people want you, then you know have that as a 30-minute chunk in the morning, have that as a 30-minute chunk in the afternoon, and have two chunks either side of that, where they assist you. We call them jam sessions, don’t we? We have a jam session. Let’s say it’s 90 minutes, where you’re working on what outcome and you get the work done, your phone’s on flight mode. Yeah, emails turned off. It’s a really focused time where you just get that one thing done. And then you may have another one in the afternoon that is freer for you to be available for meetings, and so on. And the other thing that I did, I’ll give you for the other thing that I did was I shared my calendar with Amelia,

Doug Holt  22:23  

There you go.

Tim Matthews  22:25  

So that you know, Amelia used to always ask me, “Okay, so what did you do look like tomorrow?” I will say, “I go for lunch, I do this in the evening,” or whatever. So I just eradicated that problem conversation, if you will, because we should have this in bed. Like, what the fuck? This is no, and I don’t want to be doing it in bed. I just shared the calendar with her, and that helped a lot. Look, if you want to put anything in for us, you think you want to go somewhere or do something, feel free, and they’ve got permission to just put it in there. Obviously, don’t put it in between if you can see what meetings or jam sessions in there. If there’s something you want to do on an evening, or you want to look after the dogs, or you need me to be somewhere, obviously, you can see, but what that has done is meant that she’s they’re not booking things in times, and I’m busy, or I’m unavailable rather. Also, it makes her feel more involved in what I’m doing. I chose to value her, and I love her, I want to be with her, you know, quality time, as I say is her love language. So four things there, in my opinion, are super simple that you could do right now, that really helped you to start getting boundaries in place. And then I want to give the fifth one. Just saying no more, just said no. For the most empowering words, you can use every time you say no to somebody else, saying yes to yourself and say no with love. You have to say no with fear of fire or force. Just say no with love. It’s just something that doesn’t fit; it just doesn’t fit. The boundaries are going to give you a great framework on what to build. Like Doug says, if you look at your calendar in a week’s view, that’s your life right there. “Show me your calendar. I’ll show you your priorities.” So if you’re looking at that, and it looks busy and overwhelming and confusing, then you’re going to get whereas if you’re looking at that. It’s exciting, fun, balanced, and then we’re going to get it?

Doug Holt  24:34  

Brilliant. I love it. Actionable steps, everybody can take right away, and I think something that you touched on Tim but to go into depth with because you’re so used to it is you with Amelia, your partner, you shared with her not only what you were doing with your calendar, but you also included her in that vision, and I think that’s paramount for business owners, your staff. If you’re creating new boundaries, share that with the people around you, and then share with them why it’s important to not only you but also to them and make it a win-win situation. Brilliant as always, Tim, any parting words?

Tim Matthews  25:14  

Get some rest.

Doug Holt  25:17  

Thank you, my friend. I will say absolutely. All right, guys. That’s another episode. That’s a wrap for us, of course, go over to the Facebook group, The Activation Method; we’d love to see you there. And as always, if you could leave a review that always helps other men find us so we can get the word out there and unchained these guys. Thanks again, and have an amazing day.