Hi Friends! 

I hope you are living your best quarantine-life! I wanted to connect with you all on something that has been monumental in boosting my productivity on the daily and helped with mental health game.

I have a list of activities that I do each morning to get me to a good place mentally so I can get shit done. I call this list my ‘Daily-Non-Negotiables’  and honestly, it has changed my life. 

What are Daily-Non-Negotiables? 

Simply put, Daily-Non-Negotiables are activities that you complete everyday that enhance your life, make you feel good and put you in a headspace to be more proactive and less reactive during your day. While this is not a new concept– I’d like to give you a bit of a new perspective on it. My Daily-Non-Negotiables take me about 30 minutes to complete, sometimes more if I am having a particularly slow morning. The pushback that I get from a lot of clients/ people is that they don’t have – you guessed it– TIME. 

Welp, good news for you, we have a lot of time now and I can almost guarantee you that you are able to find an extra 30 minutes in your morning to practice your Daily-Non-Negotiables (DNNs). 

Why should I Care?

When we start our day by checking e-mail, social media or being woken up by our kids/pets we are immediately in a reactive space. This in turn activates our fight/flight response and raises our cortisol levels so that we spend our day feeling mildly panicked at every turn. You may not notice, in fact, you may have been in this state for so long, that a mild fight or flight response is your baseline and thats okay. 

Personally, I was in a space where I was constantly reacting to things from the moment I woke up to the moment I (tried) to go to sleep- and it wasn’t good. 

Do yourself a favour- decide that you’re worth an extra 30 minutes of awake time to put yourself in a good space to ‘slay the day’ (science-y term).

How do I do it?

When I first started practicing my DNNs I had big lofty ideas that I was going to wake up at 5am, workout, drink hot lemon water, meditate for 30 minutes, do some yoga, dry brush, drink my coffee, journal and a bunch of other stuff that I honestly can’t even remember. 

Well, of course that lasted zero days because I prefer to work out mid-morning, and there is no part of me that wants to get naked and dry-brush before the sun comes up, but also- it was just too much.

The practice of the DNNs is incremental. Begin to incorporate your DNNs into your morning, and eventually you will have space for everything you want to do. I started with journalling. When I was commuting everyday, I would journal on the train since I often woke up too late to do it at home. It wasn’t ideal but it was fine. 

Once I stopped commuting, I decided to journal before I did any sort of activity on my phone in the morning. Then I added in some EFT, and then face rolling. Now, I don’t even reach for my phone before these things are done- it stays plugged in until I am ready for the day. 

Implementing the practice of DNNs into your morning takes commitment, and a willingness to adapt. Commit to yourself, 30 minutes of time before you give your time to anyone or anything else. 

What if I miss a day?

I get this question a lot – and I think it comes from the idea that we have to be ‘on’ and perfect all the time. The best thing about DNNs is that they are yours. If you miss a day, just start again the next day or, do them later- it’s really not an all or nothing practice.

What does a Daily-Non-Negotiables practice look like in real life? 

I love getting up early- BUT with the time change and COVID-19, I have been finding my bed a lovely place to be in the AM until it gets light out, so here is what my morning looks like now. Here is a list of my Daily-Non-Negotiables:

  • Coffee
  • Journaling
  • Goal Setting 
  • EFT
  • Skin Care
  • Get Dressed

Well, it’s easy to list out things that we want to do, but what does this actually look like in my day? Please note: I do not have kids- but I do have a 9 month old frenchie who requires attention. 

My first alarm goes off at 5:45; I take my temperature and my thyroid medication (I have to do this at the same time every morning) and I take the doggie out for a pee- then we go back to bed and snuggle. Sometimes I fall back asleep, sometimes I meditate and sometimes I just lie there watching the room get brighter, but this is a new part of my DNNs, normally I would stay up but lately, this has been really good for my mental health game (plus, I can’t have coffee till an hour after my thyroid meds soooo). A little while later, we all get up. I put the coffee on, feed the doggie and take him out for his business  (poo, his business is poo); I pour the coffee into my carafe and we sit in the big chair. While I have my first few sips of coffee, I do my journaling/ goal setting; and write out my list of things I need to tap on today; then I do my EFT. Once I am done, I spend a few moments breathing (not even 5 minutes). After that, I do my face rolling and go upstairs. I wash my face and apply my face cream and get dressed. Then I pour my self some more coffee and check my phone/sit down to work. 

It’s important to note here that my phone isn’t a reward for finishing my DNNs, that is just when I end up looking at it. All of this takes me approx. 30-45 minutes from the time I sit down to journal. 

Incorporating Daily-Non-Negotiables into my morning has been life changing. It puts me in a really great head space and I have found that once I sit down at my desk to work, I am so much more productive/ creative that I end up getting more work done in a shorter time. 

My Challenge to YOU: Use this time that we have to build your own DNNs practice. What activities could you add to your morning that would put you in a better head space to take on your day? What do you wish you ‘had more time’ for? Let me know!