Own Your Non-Negotiables

Although I’m an early riser and definitely a morning person, I’ve never been a roll-out-of-bed-and-go kinda girl. I like to take my time…to meditate, then ritualistically have my coffee, write in my journal and look out the window. Even if I have an early flight or am on the road with an early call-time, I get up at least 2 hours before I need to leave. This isn’t for primping and prepping, but rather to ensure I have ample time to be with myself, before engaging with the world.

I block this time out – in my already very color-coded calendar – in yellow for ME. In direct response to an overwhelming time in my life of overbooking myself into a corner with no time to eat or pee or get outside – I’ve been scheduling absolutely everything! My daily meditation, journal-writing, hikes…even grocery shopping! I’ve noticed that by claiming space in my calendar for my non-negotiables, I easily and effortlessly keep these commitments to myself, just like I would if they were appointments with clients.

With this practice, I’ve also been able to create a calendar – and a life – with much more time for myself than I ever could have imagined. Gone are the days of everything being back-to-back-to-back! Instead I have all the time I need for a fulfilling workday, complete with contemplation, fitness, food…and bathroom breaks!

Knowing your own non-negotiables leads to a resentment-free life of liberation and love.

Make a list of five or more non-negotiables—behaviors that you won’t tolerate or that you must have in yourself to feel satisfied by your relationship. Here are some examples from my clients:

“I must have the time and space for myself that I desire.”

“I must go to sleep and wake up on a schedule that suits me.”

“I will not tolerate any more rescuing of others; I can’t save anyone. I’ll simply support them in a way that doesn’t compromise my own happiness as they solve their own problems.”

How would your life change if you made a commitment to your own non-negotiables instead of other people’s priorities?



  1. Diane on August 15, 2018 at 8:16 am

    Awesome advice and perfect timing! I am about to start a new position that will have me in the car (2) hours a day and 8 hour’s in the office. I feel like I’m being shipped off to a desert island as I’ve had much more work life balance than this in the last two years. I will be scheduling myself for sure. Hay house radio, podcasts, audio books for my car time to start. Thank you.

  2. Lynn Jenssen on August 15, 2018 at 9:10 am

    I’m in the same position Diane. I’m in a new season and It’s important I’m aware of my non-negotiables before resentment builds. For me, it’s time in the morning for meditation, coffee, a walk with my dogs. And after work, more dog walking, and a scheduled bed time. I’ve had two years off and I needed it. I’m ready and aware now. Thank you for the support of other women who are awake and aware.

  3. Reenie Vincent - Community Concierge on September 12, 2018 at 1:30 pm

    Hi Diane! I work remotely now but I remember when I had a long commute, I would look forward to jumping in the car in the morning! What a switch! That time in the car with me and my favorite authors and guides became a sanctuary for me. I noticed I enjoyed my job more, too. I wish the same for you! 🙂

  4. Reenie Vincent - Community Concierge on September 12, 2018 at 1:37 pm

    Hi Lynn! I resonate on all of this, especially the dog walking part. What a gift our animal companions are. My shepherd/hound mix heals my heart daily, and gets me out walking twice a day in a nature…a ritual I can’t imagine giving up. Happy you’re taking care of you!