We all have those moments when we set goals and decide that we want our lives to be better.
Sometimes it happens on New Year’s Eve or on our birthday. Other times, something happens to us that wakes us up and makes us realize that if we don’t make a change now—we never will.
Maybe it was a loved one’s illness that reminded us how little time we have, or we heard a story of someone just like us who achieved something big. And just like that, we get a fire in our belly to do something NOW!
But that kind of fire is hard to sustain. Eventually, it goes out—and we slip back into our old routines.
So, how do we change this? How do we sustain that drive to create real change in our lives and achieve our goals?
By making it a part of our daily routine.
Instead of overhauling your life on January 1st every year, do a few small things every single day that will get you results.
What is one thing that you can do every day that will get you closer to the life that you want? Make this your non-negotiable. No matter what, commit to taking this action every single day.
For example, if you want to get into shape, maybe you decide to go for a long walk (or run) every day.
Or maybe you want to feel more positive about your life, so you decide that you will share what you’re grateful for at dinner every night (and have your family follow suit).
Whatever you decide to make your non-negotiable, stick to it. Decide that you will live by this action every single day, no excuses accepted!
I first learned this term “non-negotiable” from Keith Cunningham, and it changed my life. As soon as I heard it I knew that it was a MUST to creating the life that I want.
Why are non-negotiables so powerful? They help you focus on what you really want and makes it easy to get there, one small step at a time.
I now have several “non-negotiables” that I abide by every day. As long as I stick to these non-negotiables, I know I am living my best life. I like to think of them as my “commandments,” a list of principles that I stand by always.
Here is my list of non-negotiables:
1. Do the right thing every day of your life—even if it is the hard thing.
This is a tough one, right? It’s … well …. HARD to do the hard thing sometimes! But since I’ve made this my non-negotiable, it’s always at the forefront of my mind. So whenever I feel stuck about what to do next, I say this to myself and it reminds me to just do the right thing, no matter how difficult it is.
2. Appreciate something in nature.
This one only takes a few minutes a day, but it makes a big difference. Sitting outside in the sun, going for a walk or just smelling some freshly bloomed flowers fills me with calm and renews my spirit.
3. Be grateful for the day.
There are so many studies that show that gratitude makes us happier, but it is so easy to forget to do it! By making this my non-negotiable, I’ve made it my daily habit to take stock of everything around me and feel grateful for it all: my family and friends, my health, my business … everything!
4. Help those who want to be helped.
This is a lesson I had to learn the hard way. For so long I wanted to help the people who were drowning. But you know what I learned? Those people weren’t ready for it. They didn’t want to be helped. And instead of me lifting them up—they dragged me down! I vowed never to do that again and I made it one of my non-negotiables to help those who WANT to be helped.
5. Be better than you were the day before.
It’s not realistic to change everything in our lives overnight. But we can take little steps every day to get us closer to the person we want to become. So instead of holding myself to an impossible standard, I aim to be just a little bit better than I was the day before.
6. Stay true to yourself.
This is really what it all comes down to. Listening to that inner voice inside of you, no matter how foolish it sounds or how many people say you’re crazy! When I have followed my gut and stayed true to myself 100%, I’ve never been steered wrong.
7. Remember that my health is my wealth.
We often don’t appreciate our health until it’s gone. But I’ve made it my priority to take care of my body and be grateful for my health every day! As Bobbi Brown said, “The most important thing in life is health. If you take care of yourself, you can do anything.”
8. Love yourself.
Loving yourself is really a life-long journey, but I do something every day to love and take care of myself. I say my affirmations, I take relaxing baths, I get my nails done. And when I’m finished, I feel like I have more to give to others.
9. Have no regrets at the end of each day.
One thing I cannot bear is the thought of getting to the end of my life with regrets. So I play big, take risks and make sure that every day I’m making time for what is important to me, like my family and friends. At the end of the day, I love the feeling that I gave it my all!
So, what are your non-negotiables? What will you commit to doing every single day to feel happier and more productive?
It doesn’t have to be a long list. Even if it’s just one or two things, write it down! Just make sure they are things you are truly committed to doing.
Use this list as a guide as you navigate your life. If you do this, matter what happens, you can rest assured that you are always on track.