Always Well Within

Calm Your Mind, Ease Your Heart, Embrace Your Inner Wisdom

Stay on Track with Daily Non-Negotiables

Is it hard for you to stay on track in these speedy times brimming with non-stop demands and endless distractions?

I completely understand because I face the exact same challenge.  That’s why I was delighted to discover the idea of “daily non-negotiables”.   Setting daily non-negotiables gives me the momentum I need to stay focused and accomplish my highest priorities.

Author Charlotte Rains Dixon shows writers how to keep moving toward their goals in her article What Are Your Writing Non-Negotiables?  However, non-negotiables can be created to enhance any aspect of your life:  work, health, creativity, fitness, housecleaning, relaxation, relationships, and others.

Ask the Important Questions

To get started establishing your daily non-negotiables, choose an area of your life or your life as a whole and ask yourself these kinds of questions.

  1. What is really important to you in this aspect of your life?
  2. What will have the most impact in terms of accomplishing your goals, whatever area they may encompass?
  3. What will take you furthest toward creating the life you would like to have?
  4. What will bring you the most satisfaction and happiness?
  5. What will leave you without regrets at the end of the day?

Create a Short List of Your Daily Non-Negotiables

Then, based on your discoveries, create a short list of daily non-negotiables.  Be realistic.  Aim for three items or even less so you can keep apace with your most important priorities.  If you need reminders, put them on a sticky and post them prominently in your well tread areas.

Once set, don’t haggle with your non-negotiables.  Just do them.

Keep your daily non-negotiables fresh.  The point of non-negotiables is to gain momentum and constancy in specific areas of your life.  It won’t help if you constantly change them.  At the same time, they need to be relevant.  So check your non-negotiables once a week or once a month to see if they need to be tweaked.

My Daily Non-Negotiables

At the moment, I have three daily non-negotiables covering different areas of my life.

  1. Meditation –  I’ve been meditating daily for six years.  As a result, I feel happier, calmer, and clearer.  I’ve learned that regularity in meditation is the key to stability of mind and emotions.
  2. Self-Healing – I’m in the middle of 21 days of Reiki self-healing.  Reiki is a relaxing hands-on healing art.  My daily self-treatment takes about 20 minutes.  It’s a chance to be present, aware, and tuned into my body while directing healing energy systematically from head to toe.  Taking time to care for yourself everyday naturally raises your self-esteem and self-worth.
  3. Writing –  This one has been challenging for me.  On my busy days, I tend to dive into my paid work and leave my writing in the dust.  Then, after spending a good chunk of my time online, the last thing I want to do is write on the computer.  To obviate this, I’m experimenting with writing freehand everyday.  I love pouring my thoughts and creativity onto paper, which then gestates into a proper article over the next few days.

These three daily non-negotiables keep me happy, health, and on track with my aspiration to make a living with words.  I know it would behoove me to create non-negotiables for my blogging and writing life as well.  That’s next.

Being flexible and flowing with whatever arises in life is also important.  It can be envigorating to shake it up and turn your routine on its head.  But there’s a danger of being too flexible and going with the wind.  You might suddenly find that your most important priorities are no longer a part of your daily routine.

Setting daily non-negotiables is one of the best ways to stay on track and reap the rewards of accomplishing your heart’s desires.  But you can also be mischievous and cheat from time to time!

What are your daily non-negotiables?

Thank you for reading and sharing!  If you enjoyed this article please subscribe for free updates by email.  With love, Sandra


Need a Writer?

Are you looking for a seasoned freelance writer who can communicate your message in an intelligent, authentic voice?  Check out my writing services and portfolio of copywriting, webwriting, and editorial content at Envision Writing.



What Do You Take Refuge In?


See Yourself through the Lens of Compassion


  1. Thanks for mentioning me and I’m so pleased you adapted this concept. It really works to keep me on track! By the way, the design of your blog is so soothing and pleasing I just sigh with happiness when I arrive here.

    • Charlotte, You’re welcome! I find this such a brilliant tool and am grateful to you. Thanks for your positive feedback on my blog design. That’s exactly what I intend so I’m glad it’s having a noticeable effect!

  2. Hello Sandra; Thanks for sharing your nonnegotiables. I currently have two. One, I spend at least 45 minutes each day exercising. It was originally 20 minutes, and i will be looking for some variety soon in how i get the time in. my other is to answer people’s emails as soon as they come in even if it means only telling them I will get back to them or to ask more questions about the subject of their message. I don’t have the pressures of a regular job, but we all have our distractions. And I love your idea about writing things down long hand when you think of them. Too often we are distracted or even tired out from the technology that is supposed to make our lives easier. Thanks so much for the guidance, Max

    • Hi Maxwell,

      Exercise is really important. I’m inspired that’s at the top of your list. It’s important to me too. That’s very kind of you to get back to people so quickly when they email you. It seems like a rare courtesy in these time. I suppose it benefits you in addition to the receiver as then your email basket isn’t all clogged up! Thanks for your thoughts.

  3. Hi Sandra, I think having a list of things we’re going to do each day regardless of what’s going on is a great way to respect ourselves and to keep in mind that the ultimate purpose of all of our frenetic activity is our own well-being.

    • I very much like this idea of keeping in mind the ultimate purpose of all our frenetic activity. That’s really the main point. Thanks for highlight it.

  4. Hi Sandra,

    Interesting post.
    My daily non-negotiables are the Art of Allowing & Stay Focused. I think these two cover the essence of what I intend at this point in time in my life. I try not to get distracted as much as possible. I believe it’s best if we take it easy with ourselves and don’t overload our days with tasks and aims after tasks and more aims. In that sense you are absolutely right when you mention Meditation.

    By the way, Good Luck with your new website venture. Aparently I still receive your email notifications etc… cool!

  5. I love “the art of allowing”! This is the first time I’ve heard that specific phrase. I’m fully with you when it comes to not overloading our days with tasks and aims.

    Thanks for your good wishes for my new ventures. Glad you are still connected!

  6. jean sampson

    I have three non-negotiables at the present time. One is to exercise daily and the other is to eat consciously and use supplements. I think another, more subtle one is that I feel and express gratitude each day for all the simple things in my life, like a wonderful shower, good food and a comfortable bed to sleep in. A good post, Sandra!

  7. Jean,

    Gratitude, that’s very special! A wonderful reminder. Thank you! The others are very good too. Gratitude is like food for the soul. 🙂

  8. Love this post and concept, Sandra. I think ‘giving’ is one of my non-negotiables and something I try to focus on daily. Not only to others but that’s a main part of it – to help or give to others in some way each day. And to myself – in giving myself time to grow as a person, meditate, etc.

    This is like building habits consciously for the things that are really important to us in life! Jean, in the above comment also made me think of a non-negotiable that I’m not as productive on – being more present in my life. that was the new year’s resolution and what I’m going to be working on more every day:)

    • Those are great, Vishnu. These are two qualities that will take you far on the spiritual path. The whole purpose of my writing is geared toward giving so that is invisibly included in my daily non-negotiables! I like the way you framed this as building habits consciously for the things that are really important to us in life. Wishing you success with your New Year’s resolution!

  9. Sandra: Hey, this is my first visit to your site and it is really nice! I am glad to have found it. ( :
    I have the hardest time with distrations, losing focus, losing motivation, and losing momentum. I recently took a few steps towards changing my life by following advice of Napoleon Hill (Not sure if I spelled that right). I created a short term goal plan that I intend to say out loud twice daily.
    Hopefully this will help me make some much needed changes in myself and my life.

    What do you think?

    Best wishes,
    William Veasley

    • Hi William and Welcome,

      That sounds like a good strategy to me. I also find a good approach is to work on one goal at a time. Sometimes, we loose our focus, motivation, or momentum because we are trying to do too much at once. I like the single focus strategy, but that’s just me! Good luck. There are always ups and downs on the path of change; ideally we can learn from the downs. I wish you the best!

  10. What a timely post for me to read! I have slacked off this week from the most important non-negotiable, which is engaging in some spiritual practice first thing every morning. My second one, which I’ve also slacked off of, is my martial arts training. I think I’ll just stick with two and see if I can get back on track.

  11. 🙂 Sandra, “daily non-negotiables” is a house word for us. And yes, there are days when it is difficult to keep up – especially when the time allotted for a must-do whizzes past and must take up the space of another must-do.

    I’ve got to get back to meditation too – but I’ve been consoling myself saying that I stay calm anyway. 😀

    I would like to learn Reiki too!

  12. Vidya,

    This is the dilemma we all face, isn’t it! It’s challenging when the must do’s blend into one another. I’m glad you are staying calm amidst it all. Hope you are all to get back to meditation soon! Thanks for your thoughts.

  13. I like this post as it reminded me to check in with myself and see how I’m doing. My non-negotiable list includes starting the day either in solitude or with a nature walk, eating well, meditating, getting my contracted work done, spending time with my husband, pets and friends and expressing gratitude for how much joy they bring me, blogging and sleeping well. Sometimes all goes according to plan and sometimes it doesn’t.

    • I find reminders are helpful as well. They bring us back to home base. You have wonderful clarity about what’s important to you! As you say, some days are smoother than others but it helps to know what gives us our fundamental nourishment. Thanks for sharing your perspective.

Comments are closed.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén