As the clock ticked over to 2023, what resolutions did you have in mind? Chances are there was a lengthy to-do list of habits you hope to embrace, things you want to do and milestones you plan to reach.
But as I was recently reminded, often change starts with small steps, which begs the question what one
thing could you implement right now to really amplify your results?
And if that habit was non-negotiable, how would it begin to positively impact your life and career?
Your ‘non-negotiable’ habit
The concept of a non-negotiable is inspired by legendary author James Clear and his much-touted book
I was recently prompted to re-listen to an audible version of this invaluable resource after chatting with
someone who was finding it challenging to follow through on their personal promises – that is, getting
into the rhythm of creating good habits.
In the book, which I strongly encourage everyone to read or read again, Clear discusses how you can form a new habit by introducing it in non-negotiable chunks.
While the action might seem small, this non-negotiable habit sets the tone for all that you do, often inspiring further good habits while allowing you to attain your goals without feeling overwhelmed.
Just one thing
The book and that recent conversation reminded me of the importance of picking the ‘one thing’ that will have the greatest impact and amplify all other habits.
For example, I know for myself, the habit of ‘getting up early’ offers the greatest return for effort. For me, it has far more impact than any other habit.
When I get up early, I get straight into my gym routine, which is then followed by my ‘GAMEDAY’ program.
In case you’re wondering, GAMEDAY is a purposeful self-evaluation and goal setting session, which considers both professional and personal perspectives, and encourages the opportunity to refocus, redefine and renew your intent behind your daily behaviours. But more on that another time…
Many times, I don’t do everything on my lengthy to-do list, but that one habit of getting up early sets the tone for the rest of the day.
That simple action has the greatest impact.
When I don’t get up early, I feel I’m forever chasing and trying to catch up, adding unnecessary stress to my workday.
When I do, I’m in command of my day, tackling tasks with a clear head and minimal stress.
While getting up early is my non-negotiable, for others that habit could look very different.
Their non-negotiable might be the night before ‘to-do list’ or getting to bed early.
For some, it might be logging their food intake to keep their health on track or filling their drink bottle to ensure they reach their daily water intake.
It doesn’t matter what habit it is.
It just needs to be simple. It should be one that is easy to embrace and one that can become your absolute ‘non-negotiable’ daily ritual.
Why one non-negotiable works
The one non-negotiable habit concept works because it’s based on the understanding that sometimes we just need to ‘trick’ ourselves into doing things we don’t normally ‘want’ to do.
The non-negotiable habit then also becomes the catalyst of other good habits, while the cumulative effect of each habit helps create a cascade of other useful daily routines that keep you on track.
You just have to commit to finding your first ‘non-negotiable’ habit.
So, with your goals for 2023 in mind and your to-do list at the ready, what’s the one single non-
negotiable habit that might well transform your life and career this year?