Jan. 16. 2017
Written By:
McKel (Hill) Kooienga
McKel Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

McKel Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

Founder of Nutrition Stripped® and the Mindful Nutrition Method™

NS turns 4 years old in the matter of weeks and wow, have I learned a tremendous amount of the art of balancing work/life, manifesting your goals, and cultivating “success” through some unlikely factors! Questions of time management, work productivity, and my career have been flooding my inbox daily for the past year. I’m flattered and at the same time overwhelmed with the responsibility to give you what I feel you’re asking for…how you can do it too. Right? First off, as much as I have learned and practice I still don’t have it “figured out”, I learn every single day and I genuinely hope that never stops. I want to take you on the journey with me, first by talking about one of my favorite topics Why Knowing Your Non-negotiables is Imperative for Success. I chat with clients about this and how it relates to their life + work so beautifully.

“In this new series, I’m answering your questions about career, time management, productivity, and overall topics inspired by daily life about work/life balance. Join the conversation with your topics you’d like to see here and share in the comments section below.”

This new series may not be for everyone and that’s okay, but it was time I started answering one of the most requested blog topics: career related topics! In true NS fashion, I hope to make this series reach all of you in some way making it your own and hopes that it’ll help breathe new inspiration to help you live well. Although some topics will be career related per se, most will be about how to jive life + work balance together to live healthier and happier.

What are “non-negotiables” (NN) and why do we all need identify these in our life? Non-negotiables are simply put, things that are, well, not up for negotiating. Meaning, we don’t dabble, waver, or move these in and out of our life. They’re a constant, they can be compromised to fit schedules and our lifestyle but they should never be compromised at the core. Establishing your set of non-negotiables can be a powerful and helpful tool at maintaining balance and achieving greater success in your life and in your business. Success can be defined, and should be defined, differently for all of us – my definition is happiness. I feel most successful when I’m happy, in the flow, in alignment with my mission at work and in my home life, and setting up non-negotiables has continuously helped me stay on track! A tip when you’re establishing your non-negotiables, make them about YOU and what items make YOU feel at your best, optimal. Make these NN relate directly back to your goals and your vision of wellness.

I’m going to share a couple of my non-negotiables in this list below in hopes that it’ll help you cultivate your own list – I’d also really love to hear what yours are in the conversation section below.

Examples of non-negotiables (NN):

  • Eating nutrient dense food as much as possible (80-90% of the time) at least 3 meals a day
  • No work on Tuesdays and Sundays. For my love and I, that’s how the weekend is split with our differing schedules
  • No work before 9am or past 6pm. A challenge for me, but a practice nonetheless
  • Meditation for at least 10 minutes in the morning
  • Workout 5 days a week including swimming at least 1x a week which really gets me in the flow
  • Sleeping at least 8 hours every night
  • A monthly acupuncture appointment
  • A monthly massage
  • Having a coffee/tea date to catch up with your love or friend
  • FaceTime family 1x/week to catch up
  • No social media upon waking
  • Reading a self-development or personal growth book 1x/week
  • Picking up your kiddos from school
  • Taking your pup on a long walk a couple times a week

Once you’ve established what activities, behaviors, and items are highest priority for you, i.e. your NN that keeps you feeling your best, now it’s time to put it into action. Are there items that require an external factor, like FaceTime with your family? If so, communicate with them your new NN and how you guys can work this into both of our lives consistently. If a NN is purely internal like meditating every morning, then that’s on you to make goals and daily tasks surrounding that NN. Keep yourself accountable in the beginning by journaling, scheduling it on the calendar, etc. Anything you need to do to keep at it! Read up on goal setting here if you need a step by step guide.

What are your NN’s?

I’d LOVE to hear what your non-negotiables are! Beyond that, how do you feel when you don’t act with your NN in mind versus when they’re in action? Let’s keep the conversation going, it’s a 2-way street and I’m on the other end here- let me know your thoughts in the conversation section below.

xx McKel