Non-Negotiables for 2019

In the fall of 2018 I joined a book club. I joined despite hating book clubs. I don’t know why I hate them – I’ve never been in one – but the pressure to read on a group timeline, I suppose, is something I have never been interested in. But, I joined anyway, because I wanted to read the book that had been selected and because it was a “one book and done” club. I assumed I could make it through six meetings and discuss one book, then never return.

Much to my surprise, however, I loved the experience. And I really enjoyed the book – the first book I had read for pleasure in, oh, I don’t know . . . years!! And that was all it took. I have since finished reading six additional books (and listening to three others) – and I now have a huge stack of reading planned for 2019. My book club experience was just another example of saying “yes” instead of “no” and being open to new things!

That being said, we shouldn’t say “yes” to everything. And as the book we read – Being Boss by Kathleen Shannon and Emily Thompson – instructed us, we should always know what our non-negotiables are. As Shannon and Thompson note, “‘Non-negotiables’ help you create steadfast boundaries, habits, and routines for the things in your life that are of the utmost priority. Non-negotiables often make everything else in your life run smoothly – and if your non-negotiable is neglected or broken, nothing else seems to work quite right.”

We definitely take this concept of identifying our priorities as the gospel here at proFmagazine, so we decided to focus our last live Twitter chat of 2018 on what our various non-negotiables were for the coming year. This way, we could make them clear and hold ourselves accountable. Below are just a few of the comments we received regarding non-negotiables for this new year.

  1. Boundaries. This concept was at the top of everyone’s list, given we all know we must have them in order to be our happiest, healthiest and most productive.

  2. Self-care was also a constant theme, although methods may vary. But in general, caring for and being gentle with ourselves on a daily basis in whatever way works is a non-negotiable commitment we were all insistent on making.

  3. Interaction with inspiring people (especially women). There was tremendous support for surrounding ourselves with great people. As Melanie put it, her non-negotiable is to “spend time with women that inspire, encourage and actively engage in creating balance. It fills my reserve and reminds me that together is how we thrive.”

  4. Honesty, truth and open communication were also high on the list of what is non-negotiable in our lives.

  5. Shared values. Finally, dedicating time and attention to those who share a sense of empathy, who share a commitment to social justice, and (as Jacque put it) who share political beliefs when it comes to deep personal relationships was included on everyone’s non-negotiable list. We all agreed that it’s important to distance ourselves from those we find toxic and do not motivate us to be our best selves.

Feel free to send us your own non-negotiables, and we will add them to the growing list of what we know will lead us to our most amazing selves! Happy 2019 to all of our readers!


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