My Own Non-Negotiable Rules to be my Best Self 9


Yesterday I read a post by Abundant Mama, in which she shared her own non-negotiable rules for living a happy life. Her post hit home with me because sometimes life gets full and I zoom through my days, taking care of everyone and everything. Then bedtime comes and as I stand in the bathroom brushing my teeth, I look in the mirror and remember all the things that help me thrive- and I realize I’ve spent a day or a week forgetting about the simple things that help me be my best self. 

To get back on track, usually all it takes is piece of paper, a pen and some moments of quiet. When I write down my non-negotiable rules, I come back around to remembering who I am. For a moment, the hum of the world stops and all of the outside influences fade. Typic (1)I know myself better than anyone. I know how energetic I feel when I’m eating well, and I know how sluggish and weak I feel when I eat too much sugar. 

I know how good I feel when I go to bed early and get enough rest to get up early and write in the morning, while the kids sleep. I know how I feel when I laugh with my husband and sing with my kids and get some time outside everyday.

When I slow down enough, I remember my non-negotiable rules for being my best and instead of feeling like I’ve lost myself, I remember who I am, and what helps me thrive. 

IMG_7255If you’ve been going through the motions and you feel tired and hungry, with a foggy brain and a heavy heart, grab a paper and a pen and write down your own non-negotiable rules.  What helps you thrive? 

Here’s a list of my own non-negotiables……

  1. Sleep.  When I don’t sleep enough, I’m hungry, irritable, depressed and emotional, but with enough sleep, life is actually really good! For me, sleep is such an important part of my well-being. 
  2.  Less Sugar. For me, sugar is like a horrible, addictive drug. It gives me blood sugar highs and lows, it makes me tired, hungry and even moody. But when I eat more protein and cut sugar out, I really feel great. My energy returns and my body thanks me.
  3. Laughing with my husband. Every couple has their “thing” for us, one of our things is laughter. Secretly, I think we’re really hilarious together, but we’re both sort of introverts so unfortunately, no one except us ever sees this side of us. 
  4. Embrace quiet time. Time to read, to learn and to write.
  5. Cut the clutter. Clutter and I are not friends. When I create clutter-free spaces in our home, I think more clearly, I find things easier and our family stays more organized.
  6. Time hands-free and offline. I love social media, I really do, but I need hours in my day where I don’t check in (and I’m not good at this). Usually I pre-schedule NW Healthy Mama Facebook posts and then, I need to put my phone away and stop checking it. Having certain hands-free hours is good for me and for my family.
  7. Go to my yoga class. Yoga is teaching me to be present and to be thankful for my health. It’s one of those things that is clearly so good for me.
  8. Spend time with like-minded women with big hearts. I want to spend my time around women who live well, mother well and cheer for each other. These women exist and I love the heck out of them.
  9. Practice immense gratitude in all moments. Thankful people are happy  people and there’s no way around it. 
  10. Teach my children to love well by example. When we spread love together, it feels like right then, I’ve living in the way I was created to live. I want them to know how rewarding it is to make someone’s day better. I want to teach love. Model love. Be love.

I’d love to know what your own non-negotiable rules are … what would you put on your list?

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About Angela Strand

Angela is a wife, mama to three little ones and a lifelong Washington State resident. Besides facilitating the NW Healthy Mama website, she loves being involved in her kids' school, hiking with her girlfriends, growing all the things, writing, reading and taking photos.


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9 thoughts on “My Own Non-Negotiable Rules to be my Best Self

  • Deanna

    Oh how I love this! I’m going to bed early (without my phone!) and with my journal to write my own list. Somehow when it’s on paper, it’s so much more important to honor. Thanks! 💞

  • Ingunn

    I have a (selfish) request…would you be interested in hosting a no sugar challenge or something here? Or just a goal-of-your-choice challenge? Apparently I need something to keep me accountable.

  • Jessie Emslie

    My dad and I call our lists our “Happiness Inventories.” Just like yours, it’s a list of things I have to do either on a daily basis or frequently to be well. My list looks a lot like yours. I’m an extroverted introvert (is that a thing?), so in addition to quiet moments to myself for reflection and planning, I also need “real life” time with people. It’s a balancing act for me. Too much time by myself, and I feel alone and left behind. Too much time with others, and I feel unfocused and stressed.

  • irene Sandberg Philips

    My list is very similar to yours. Also, since my “love language” is touch, I like to pet my dog, my cat and get lots of hugs every day. I seem to be much happier when I spend time outdoors during the day. That can be as simple as sitting on the porch, listening to the birds or watching the sunset. Thank you…this was fun.