In Empowered Living, Personal Growth & Expansion

Are you like the majority of women who…

  • Live in a world chalked full of to-do lists?
  • Let “have to” take priority over “like to”?
  • Put your own self-care last (waiting until you have “the time”)?
  • Hope one day you’ll “get healthy” when life slows down?

I’ve been there. And I was miserable.

Burning the candle at both ends (& having no time for self-care) was the recipe for disaster in my life.

I was on the verge of self-destruction in my mind, body and spirit.

Something had to change.

I needed to make myself (& my health) the number one priority on my “to-do” list.

After a little soul searching (and breaking through a massive amount of resistance) I embraced this shift in my life.

It was a difficult change at first…it felt selfish and even a little self-indulgent at times.

But I believe this wholeheartedly: How you choose to spend your day is a direct reflection of how you feel about yourself.

Do you believe that you’re worth putting yourself first?

If not, something has to change.

The truth is we must value ourselves enough to not leave ourselves with the leftovers everyday.

Why? Because:

Lifelong health (& happiness) is only sustainable when you take care of yourself.

No more, “Sorry, self! I was just too busy to take care of you today.”

When I made this shift in my life, I wrote down this list of my daily “non-negotiables”.

These are the things that I’ve decided are on the list of “must do’s” everyday.

If I commit to doing these things minimally everyday I feel completely nourished in my mind, body and spirit.

This is my list. It’s by no means the “perfect” list but it’s what works for ME. Your list of non-negotiables may look entirely different.

It’s important for you to decide what parts of your daily routine nourish you the most.

Think about your list of “non-negotiable” acts of daily self-care.

But remember: health isn’t about making yourself perfect. It’s about making yourself a priority.

Here’s the inside scoop on my non-negotiables and what I choose to do everyday.

  • Get up early (at the same time everyday)

This is my hardest one. When I’m tired I DON’T want to get out of bed.

But when I get up late playing the “catch-up” game all day usually means my non-negotiables go on the “like to” list. And the cycle usually continues the next day.

Waking up early allows me to carve out a little extra time to take care of my daily needs.

  • Make breakfast a priority

This is a must for me; otherwise, I get caught up doing something and breakfast becomes lunch. And then I’m ravenous (and more likely to grab an unhealthy choice).

When I feel especially pressed for time, a quick protein-packed green smoothie is my breakfast of choice.

Breakfast gives me the energy I need to get through my day.

  • Make exercise and movement a daily habit

For me, “required gym time” will never happen but a daily commitment to moving my body will.

Sometimes it’s yoga, a run, walking the dog or an afternoon of pulling weeds.

Changing it up daily keeps me from feeling bored and resenting my “exercise” time. Read more here.

  • Write a “to-do” list the night before

When I shut down my computer at night, I write down all the things on my mind that I’d like to get done the next day.

Two amazing things happen when I do this: one, I sleep better because I’m not ruminating about my “to-do” list for tomorrow.

And two, I wake up more focused on the tasks for the day.

  • Say “no” to those things I don’t have time for

Especially as a woman who loves to help people, this really challenging.

But saying “no” is probably one of the most empowering words in the dictionary!

Being overcommitted just stretches me way too thin and my nourishing self-care gets put on the sidelines.

  • Do at least one thing that is soul nurturing everyday

Sometimes it is cup of tea, a bubble bath, a pedicure, or reading a few chapters of a book. Or, on really busy days it may only be a 5-minute breathing exercise when I’m sitting in traffic.

But, taking a few minutes to do something for me I love fills my soul and rejuvenates me.

  • Practice gratitude before bed

Before bedtime, I take 5 minutes to write down those things I was grateful for throughout the day.

It has been one of the most powerful habits I practice.  Read more here.



It’s amazing how much better the day flows when I wake up with ME on my mind… “What can I do to nurture myself today?”

Self-care is not selfish or self-indulgent. We can’t nurture others from a dry well. We need to take care of our own needs first, then we can give from our surplus, our abundance. ~ Jennifer Louden

Try it! You might be surprised by what happens when you make yourself the priority and add some moments of serenity in your life.

I’d love to hear from you! What are, or what would you like, your non-negotiables to be?

Please leave a comment below.

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  • Zubair

    Superb article.