Creating Non-Negotiables

Posted February 19, 2014 by Rebecca Niziol in Life After Five

As we get older we start to realize that there are just some things we need in life, and those are non negotiable. When you really know yourself, what fuels you, and what doesn’t, you can start to make better choices around how you spend your time and energy.

One of the best ways to feel fulfilled mentally, spiritually, and physically is to recognize or create a list of activities that serve you in being the highest version of yourself. These are non-negotiable activities that you commit to not because you have to, but because you know the power that comes from consistently engaging in your chosen ritual. These must-do parts of your day are your times to refuel and restore yourself.

I’ll use myself as an example. I need about 5 things every day. The rest of my time can vary greatly and I can engage in many different things, but these 5 things must always be there. When I don’t do all of these things, I can feel a difference. In fact the quality of my day is highly dependent on my commitment to the following list. Skipping 2 to 3 of the 5 means lower levels of energy, being on an emotional roller coaster, and a cranky, reactive me.

The first 2 ensure my body is at its best. The third helps me to mentally stay on top of my game, and use stress to my advantage. The fourth is my emotional fuel. The last one is my spiritual turbo boost, keeping me connected and calm. You probably have a handful on your list as well that support you in a variety of ways.

Use my list to get you started:

  • 3 meals a day – this might seem like an easy one, but it’s something I have to remember to focus on. I’m highly active and switch gears many times throughout my day, so it’s easy for me to go 6-8 hours without eating. Then I crash. 3 meals a day, even if it’s something light like a juice and some nuts, ensures my body has the nutrients it needs throughout the day.
  • 30 minutes of physical activity – getting my body moving, whether it’s on a yoga mat, paddle board, or simple walking outside makes the world of difference. One skipped day, and I can feel it. Two, and my body start feels sluggish and slow. By doing just a little bit every day my blood and breath start flowing, two processes vital to our overall health.
  • smallchangeBIGshift – this in-the-moment stress tool helps me take advantage of the stress in my life, and shift my perspective in any moment to see more of the truth. Walking through the 3 simple steps of the process (awareness, choice, and sharing) pushes me to remain in higher levels of consciousness throughout my day, and actively assists me in managing stress and all that mental chatter. The sharing aspect also helps me to deepen relationships and create more connections, always a bonus!
  • Quality time with my partner – there’s something about dropping everything else and getting deeply connected with a person you love. My boyfriend and I make it a priority to take time every single day, no matter what (he lives in a different state right now). This time each day opens me up emotionally, allows me to express more of my authentic self, and remember how powerful love (and I) really am.
  • Meditation – this one is probably the most powerful for me, and the one that if I skip I notice the most (I’ve only skipped it once in the last year). 15-20 minutes of mediation is like a spiritual shower where you get to cleanse yourself of all the crap that you’ve taken on throughout the day. It’s a quiet and still time when we can tap into a deeper, wiser, and more loving part of ourselves.

Now that you know my 5 non-negotiables, and the reasons behind them, what are yours? Think of the things your need (and deeply desire) on a daily basis that light you up like nothing else?

What do you need physically? Mentally? Emotionally? Spiritually?

Remember when creating non-negotiables, it’s best to keep them simple, straight forward, and authentic to you. Make it easy enough that you could do it anywhere at almost any time. Only commit to the things that truly empower you and then value that time as your top priorities each day.

About the Author

Rebecca Niziol

Rebecca Niziol, ELI-MP, is many things: a life coach, yoga teacher, dancer, event planner, connection catalyst, and your new best friend. Her mission is to empower others to live the authentic life of their dreams. After years of traveling North America and Europe, she is happy to have found a home and community in Chicago.