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Episode 134 Transcript: Resolutions Out, Non-Negotiables In

Nancy: Resolutions end up feeling restrictive and depriving. They have us look at what we want to create in our lives as a to-do list instead of a “get” to-do list. As you are crafting your New Year’s non-negotiables, really contemplate what is it that I will wake up and look forward to? What will my day be like, my week be like, my month be like, my year be like, if I put attention on myself first? 

Nancy: Welcome to the Nancy Levin Show. I’m Nancy Levin, Founder of Levin Life Coach Academy, best-selling author, master coach, and your host. I help overachieving people pleasers set boundaries that stick and own self-worth, anchored in empowered action, so you can feel free. Plus, if you’re an aspiring or current coach, you are in the right place. Join me each week for coaching and compelling conversations designed to support you in the spotlight, as you take center stage of your own life. Let’s dive in. 

Welcome back to another episode of The Nancy Levin Show. And if you are listening in real time, we are getting ready to ring in 2024. And what happens around this time of year is people are talking about New Year’s resolutions. And I’m here today to offer you a bit of a twist on this tradition instead of resolutions, what if you focused instead on your New Year’s non-negotiables? 

Your non-negotiables are what you must have in your life in order for you to show up at your most full and flourishing. These can be rituals, practices, promises you make to yourself to uphold. Because you know that when you engage in them, you are feeling your vitality, you’re feeling awake and alive, you’re feeling free, you’re feeling resourced, you’re feeling engaged in your own life. And when we are engaged in our lives, we are able to be present and giving to others from a place of generosity instead of obligation. So we all get to feel the goodness that we are creating inside of ourselves, and then we’re able to offer and share it with others, instead of feeling our resentment rising because we’re not taking good care of ourselves first and foremost. 

So my invitation to you as we are entering this new year is not to get hung up on resolutions. Resolutions end up having us feel a sense of failure. Resolutions end up feeling restrictive and depriving.hey have us look at what we want to create in our lives as a to-do list instead of a “get” to-do list. As you are crafting your New Year’s non-negotiables, really contemplate what is it that I will wake up and look forward to? What will my day be like, my week be like, my month be like, my year be like, if I put attention on myself first? Here’s the thing, we’re not looking for a whole bunch of things that you are going to resolve to do no matter what or that you are going to reform around. Your non-negotiables are what lights you up. What really have you filled with your own sense of fulfillment and joy and satisfaction in your life. 

So for example, I know that if I go to bed with my phone in airplane mode and my lights are out by 10 o’clock and I wake up in the morning, early, the first thing I do is meditate and then I journal all before I turn the wifi back on. I know that I will enter my day from a place of having checked in with myself first. I know I’m entering my day having given myself the most important part of my day. I also really look at how do I wanna feel tomorrow morning? And that begins to retroactively help me decide what I’m going to do tonight.So in other words, it’s non-negotiable for me to wake up in the morning and meditate and journal with my phone in airplane mode. It’s just what I do now. And to ensure that I keep the promise to myself, I need to reverse engineer and look at what needs to happen the night before in order for this to feel as great as possible. I know that I’m not going to get thrust into a request from the outside world or news from the outside world that’s going to shake me until I’m ready to engage. 

One of the things that I find so incredible is that when I went in 2015 to the monastery in Thailand to do an 11 day silent retreat, I had no idea I would become a consistent and regular meditator. It wasn’t what I anticipated. However, I really learned the benefits for me, and I can’t remember who said this, but there’s a quote I think about a lot. Essentially it boils down to “if you say you don’t have time to meditate for 10 minutes a day, what you really need to do is meditate for an hour a day.” And there’s something so true about that.

Nancy: Hi, it’s Nancy interrupting my own show. I’ve got a lot of exciting things coming up in 2024, including a brand new book plus a group coaching opportunity, unlike anything else I have ever offered before. To make sure you are in the know, pop on over to my website now and sign up for my free weekly newsletter at nancylevin.com/newsletter so you don’t miss a thing. Okay, back to the show! 

I have been a journaler since I was 11 years old. It comes very natural to me. And the combination of meditating and journaling is what works for me. That is what brings me into self connection. That is my number one non-negotiable. Another non-negotiable is hiking. I hike four to five days a week. Now, it would be easy for me to say I hike every day, and the truth is, most weeks I do. But I only set myself up for something that is reasonable, realistic, and doable. So four times a week I hike. If I do more great! Other non-negotiables include being very protective of my time and my calendar saying no when I wanna say no. 

Beginning my day with self-inquiry and self-reflection sets me up for whatever may come in my day. When I tune into the outside world, I’ve already given to myself first. So I’m not experiencing a sense of longing for myself. I’m ready to focus on what’s needed of me by others. I’m ready to focus on what’s happening around me. I’m ready to look at how I can be of service. I’m ready. And really, that’s the bottom line. I’m resourced and ready for whatever’s next. Before I had this core self connection, ritual and practice for myself, I used to be someone who believed that having no boundaries was what made me exceptional. Exceptional at what I did for others and exceptional at the way I would put attention on everyone else. 

Back then, I looked at my phone in the middle of the night. If someone called, I answered. I was always accessible, always available. Everything shifted for me when I put boundaries in place around my time and my sleep and my availability.

If you are someone who is making yourself 24/7 available to everyone in your life, I invite you to look at what will become possible for you, if you give yourself specific non-negotiables around your time, around your availability. Everything can change for you if you’re willing to give to yourself first. 

When you are considering creating New Year’s non-negotiables, this is an aspect of reinvention. Reinvention is returning to the essence of who you are. It’s not about creating a brand new you from scratch. It’s about returning to the truth of who you are, considering your needs, everything that you desire before you began packaging yourself to be digestible to everyone else. This is where your non-negotiables originate. Come back to the questions. 

What do I want?

What do I think? 

What do I need? 

What do I feel? 

What am I willing to stand by myself for? 

What is essential for me to show up at my best? 

What is essential for me to be able to give in my life the way that I do? 

What makes me, me?, 

And I have a hint, it is not everything you do for everyone else. This comes back to worth your worth. Your value is inherent. It’s not something you can earn. It’s not something you need to prove. It’s not corresponding to how much you do or give, your worth and value is tied to how willing you are to listen to and love yourself. The non-negotiables here are how you can build the muscle of self-love. How you can fill the needs for yourself that you may have been wanting someone else to fill, even though truly you are the only one who can. 

So this new year, I invite you to discover what lights you up so that you can name a ritual of self connection that you can engage in each day to come back to you. One of the reasons we don’t end up fulfilling all the resolutions we set is we make them big and they feel punishing. Non-negotiables, on the other hand, feel energizing. And with our non-negotiables, I will always encourage you to start small. What is the micro action you can take today in the direction of feeling your best? You can begin with five minutes of meditation, five minutes of journaling, five minutes of yoga or dancing or walking, whatever it is, start small and that way you ensure that you will get there. You are setting yourself up for success and you can build on it over time. 

You know, thinking back to my meditation retreat in Thailand, it is very intentional the way that we were taught to meditate. And it began in small increments. Five minutes of sitting, five minutes of walking, and then a break. And then the next day, 10 minutes of sitting, 10 minutes walking and a break, 10 minute increments each day rising up until we got to an hour, an hour of sitting, an hour of walking, and then a break. We didn’t start with the hour, we started with five minutes. You can do the same. Biting off more than you can chew doesn’t hurt anyone but you. And you do not need to compare your own non-negotiables to anyone else’s. Yours are yours. You know the best way to set yourself up for success. 

So as we ring in the new year, reach out and let me know how it goes with your new year Non-negotiables. Thanks so much for being here with me. I look forward to being with you again next time.

Thanks so much for joining me today. I invite you to head on over to nancylevin.com to check out all the goodies I have there for you. And if you’ve enjoyed this episode, please subscribe, leave a rating and a review. I’ll meet you back here next week.