Ever set yourself to an idea that you KNOW would be awesome and have a great return for you?
Maybe it’s starting your day with meditation, or a cup of lemon water.
Maybe it has something to do with honing a skill like writing or getting in reading every day. Perhaps it’s taking a walk every evening to wind down from the day, listening to classical music while you stroll. It might look like setting a clear boundary around You Time where everyone knows that until X time every morning you are offline in your home, you are not to be talked to and you won’t do anything for anyone else until that time.
Maybe a non-negotiable is a scary thing to think about because it feels like an inflexible commitment, or like it’s selfish, or you worry that you simply won’t have time for it. Maybe you’re not fully sure what a nonnegotiable actually is…
A non-negotiable is a committed action you take, that has deep meaning towards accomplishing something or protecting something valuable in your days. It’s often something that looks selfish or rigid. Might even feel overly structured.
Here are a few examples of nonnegotiables I’ve used and that I’ve seen others use:
- 20 minutes of meditation every morning before you speak to anyone
- No working more than 4 hours a day, 4 days per week
- Life and work schedule cannot interfere with ski season
- Must write 2,000 words per day
- Cannot work more than 180 days per year
- At 5pm on Friday, all work ends and will not begin again until 11am Monday
- A cup of lemon water is the first thing consumed within 10 minutes of waking daily
Some of these might seem odd. Who the hell only works 180 days per year? My mentor does. It’s a non-negotiable because he has crafted his lifestyle and his business to accommodate. (And if thinking this way scares you because it’s so outside the norm, joining my Facebook group would be beneficial to you. And at the very least it will challenge your idea of what is possible.)
But don’t dismiss this just yet.
Here are the benefits of creating these for you individually, for your business, for your family culture, and even within your marriage.
- It helps build consistency toward a desired outcome – therefore a greater likelihood of achieving it
- It cuts through the bullshit of chaos and changing demands from the outside world
- It keeps something important to you in focus
- It fills your tank, because if you haven’t filled your own tank you’re not nearly as effective for others and in life
- It establishes routine and structure, and you get more done in less time, more effectively and often of high quality when you have structure and routine
- It protects core values and guides decision making
- In business it creates culture
- Narrows down must-dos versus not-so-important distractions
- It makes you feel damn good
- Promotes your own personal well-being
The key to determining your nonnegotiables is first looking at your core values. Have you ever thought about core values? I mean of course, we all have things we believe in, but among those, there are a few that rise like cream to the very top – they trump all others.
For me, as an individual (not as a Mom or wife) my core values are around freedom of thought, of lifestyle, freedom from what society believes I should do or what it thinks success looks like. My core values are freedom to decide how to live my life, not having to ask a boss if it’s ok for me to take some of my measly vacation time to enjoy life and wait for approval based on the company’s needs. Not needing to wait until school is out to schedule a family trip somewhere because the school system doesn’t value outside and more worldly experiences. My core values are based around freedom to live my one wild, precious (Mary Oliver) and only life how I see fit.
And some of my nonnegotiables around that are homeschooling my kids – they will never set foot in traditional, compulsory, state-managed schools ever again. Getting my husband home from a corporate job so we can work together and travel, come and go as we please. Living out the details of entrepreneurship in front of and with my children so they see a different way of life rather than the school-college-career-spouse-house-kids-work-die culture.
My biggest non-negotiable is the time I schedule weekly for personal growth. Nothing gets in the way of that, not even my own business. I never would have become so clear about my core values if I hadn’t taken the time to first understand me, peel away the crap CHOOSE who I wanted to be, rid myself of outside indoctrination, and get surrounded by the right people, and remove the wrong people. Personal growth is the biggest thing my kids understand about me and they respect the time I dedicate to it more than anything else. As does the hubby.
As soon as I began my growth journey and began making tough but freeing decisions around how I spend my time and energy, how I want to experience my one and only life, and how I want to use my particular set of talents and skills to influence others, I started to see amazing things happen.
Opportunities, crazy opportunities, appear when you start doing different and better. Money begins flowing when you set intentions and stop letting life and people get in the way (and this does not mean sacrificing life with HUSTLE HUSTLE HUSTLE). The most important relationships begin to strengthen and blossom. And you begin to have a greater impact on the world around, whatever around you means – family, church, local community, business, global online community…
Nonnegotiables help make these things happen.
What nonnegotiables could you create that would support your desired outcomes in life? Think on it. It’s an important one.
P.S. A quick note about adding non-negotiables to your life. Start with something small and that already is something you kind of do. Build upon that thing. If you jump into things like changing a lifestyle habit, like suddenly cooking all your own meals when you used to grabbing takeout for work lunch every day, you’re likely to fail at maintaining that behavior. There is change science that needs to be built into making significant changes like that. I can help. But you have to join my newsletter to for more of that… Join me by subscribing below.