I watched an online training from Chris Ducker last year where he graciously shared with us how he begins each year. It included a practice of setting ‘Non-negotiables.’ If you read my post about choosing a guiding word, then you know that resolutions are not my thing. Just like choosing a guiding word appealed to me so too did Chris’ practice. It was simple, intentional and a chance for me to affirm the changes I wanted to see in my life.

More than affirmations

I knew these ‘Non-negotiables’ had to be things that were going to make significant transformations in my life. So I began to reflect on the habits that were holding me back. Habits that, if different, would cause a ripple effect of change in all areas of my life. In no time at all, I had my list of things that I would no longer do, say or tolerate from myself or others. I choose three to five and posted them, so I could track them as the year went on. 

They were more than affirmations for me. I gave them the power of commitments. I listed the change that adhering to them would make in my life. Next, I created an action plan for each one of them. I listed the immediate steps that needed to be taken to start seeing my ‘non-negotiables’ take flight. For example, if you’re ‘non-negotiable’ is to no longer compare yourself to others online, then you would start by unfollowing everyone and everything that caused you to do that.

Once I started taking small actions, I would cement them into a habit over 21 days and check in on my entire list once a month. When I could honestly say that one ‘non-negotiable’ was no longer an issue, I would take it off and up my game on others.

Setting your own ‘Non-Negotiables’

My wish for you this year is that you take the time to create your own list. Here’s what you need to do:

1. Reflect on your everyday and identify 3-5 things that, if you no longer tolerated them, would create a ripple effect of positive transformation in your life. 

Maybe it’s the excuses you use to NOT drink more water everyday. Perhaps it’s all the reasons you tell yourself that you need to hit the SNOOZE button every morning. Or maybe it’s saying ‘Yes’ to help everyone else before taking time for yourself on a regular basis.

2. Create an affirmation around each of them that completes the sentence ‘I will no longer tolerate…’

Remember that these are things that you will no longer tolerate from yourself AND others. Don’t feel the need to beat yourself up in all 3-5 affirmations. There are likely a few things you need to stop tolerating from others in your realm.

3. Underneath each affirmation, take a moment to briefly outline what change no longer tolerating this thing will make in your life. 

I generally use bullet points when completing this step.

4. Outline the immediate next steps you need to take to start seeing these ‘non-negotiables’ begin to really work in your life.

This is always a bullet point list.

5. Make a daily date in your calendar for at least the next 21 days to check in on your progress. 

After you feel like you’ve created a habit around consciously checking in and taking action on your ‘non-negotiables,’ then you can move this checkin to once a month.

6. Get to work!

Remember when you feel like you’ve cemented this ‘non-negotiable,’ you can remove it from your list and double down on the remaining ones snowball effect style. Do not add more until you are confident you’ve accomplished the initial list first. No need to overwhelm yourself, and you picked these 3-5 for a reason. Trust that and see them through.