Non-Negotiables: How to Stick to Your Habits

man's determined face implying non-negotiables

Non-negotiables are essential habits for success

Are you using them effectively…

Or are you by ravaged by transient emotions?

If it’s the latter, it may be time to draw a line in the sand.

Because habits will make or break you; they don’t discriminate.

Habits

Habits are the engine of progress.
 
Without constant repetition and practice, you stay crap.
 
Like a baby learning to walk, you must fall on your face enough to learn. 

But habits are hard to instil. We abandon them preemptively because change is hard.

Exercise seems like too much effort, so we break our new year’s gym resolution. 

Contacting potential customers is uncomfortable, so we put the business idea on hold. 

Re-reading a crappy first draft is cringeworthy, so we put the novel back in the drawer. 

But these commitments have potential, if only we’d reconcile ourselves to two immutable facts…

Discomfort 

Discomfort and suffering are inevitable parts of life. 

The more we push through them, the better. 

Like training a muscle at the gym, heavier weights in the guise of greater challenges are required to grow.

We become increasingly resilient.
 
By adapting to discomfort we:

  1. Transform ourselves into an Übermensch
  2. Separate ourselves from those taking the easy option

Time 

Despite adverts touting two-minute abs, any positive change takes longer than anticipated. 

But we’re impatient little devils.

We want rapid progress, an immediate fix, a quick hit.

That’s not how it works. Real mastery requires prolonged effort over a sustained period of time.

There’s only one sure-fire way to fail:

Giving up too soon. 

Compromise

When things seem hard or take too long, we make the worst possible mistake. 

We compromise. 

It’s the nail in the coffin for behaviour change. 

Beware of two types:

Internal

The most common compromise is personal. 

When the going gets tough, we talk ourselves out of doing the hard work, succumbing to fear. 

We let ourselves off the hook…

Then we hit the new habit on the head and retreat to the safety of what we know. 

Cue the fast track to failure.

External

Secondly, we compromise for our loved ones.
 
Making big life changes impact friends and family, disrupting their familiar status quo. 

So they drag you back to your old behaviour, which is really a reflection of their own beliefs and attitudes.
 
To resolve the tension you compromise, or worse still, sacrifice your goals entirely.
 
To make non-negotiable habits work, get tough with yourself and those around you. 

If your desire is strong enough, you know what to do.

Going all in

It’s easier to be fully committed than dabble. 

Tinkering leads to doubt. 

In weak moments you make weak choices and revert to your old ways. 

Eating shit. Watching Netflix. Getting drunk. 

Being fully committed means sticking to your principles. 

All decisions become binary. A simple yes or no. No thinking required. 

Every choice is predetermined, transitioning you towards the person you want to become. 

Peer pressure ceases to be an issue. You stick to your guns.

Clarity emerges from chaos. Life becomes easier. 

Define your non-negotiables

Pick up a pen.

What are your goals or areas for improvement:

Health, wealth, relationships?

Create 1-3 repeatable actions that would help.
 
Choose the one that would move the needle the most. 

Make this a daily practice, or non-negotiable habit, and stick to it regardless. 

It doesn’t matter how small the action, just that you do it every day. 

With every new completion, you build credibility with yourself.

When you want to give up…don’t.
 
Remake yourself, piece by piece. 



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