The “Non-Negotiables”

The “Non-Negotiables”


“I’m going to work out for an hour each day”

“I’m going to eat better”.

“I’m going to bed at 8:30 every night during the week”.


These are all admirable goals.  They definitely can lead to some good things.

But how often do we stay with the goals that we set? 

Goals, like training need to be worked on.  If you want a faster 5K time or to improve your back squat or bench press, you need to define:

  • What you want….and
  • How you will go about doing it.


The Plan:

Let’s start with one of the goals listed above:

“I’m going to bed at 8:30 every night during the week”.

How can we plan for this?

Instead of watching TV until 10pm, I’m going to go to bed 1.5 hours earlier. 

Is it as simple as just going to bed earlier?  It can be, but a lot of us, we forget about the “little things” that can get in the way:

  • Something I REALLY want to watch
  • Lost in phone.
  • Catching up on work.

We need to now decide how to remove these distractions:

  • TV off by 8pm
  • Phone on charger in another room by 7:30
  • Ending work day at 5pm, and all catch up work done by 7:30.

Will the plan always go this smoothly?  Possibly not—but now we have some boundaries to live by.

These boundaries set up the “Non-negotiables”.  These are “rules” that we set for our selves that become part of our process in achieving the goals we want to achieve.

To get better at completing these goals, we need to “train” this application every day. We can do this by taking steps to set ourselves up for success:

  • Stay out of the TV room
  • Create something other than the phone for distraction (book or creative pastime)
  • Shutdown the computer or put a time block on your phone for your email app.

Small steps like these help set up your success and take away a little of the need for “Strict discipline”.


We had to get here at some point.  There will be times when you have to decide what you want now versus what you want most.  This can be tough, as our emotions will often battle hard to control the “in the moment” thought to watch a show or catch up on social media. 

Keep goals top of mind.  Think about what will be gained by gaining an extra hour and a half of sleep.  Reminding yourself of the things that you want can be the final piece to keep you in alignment with your goals and keep you on the path to success




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