2 Strategies to Feel Good Every Day
“How do you want to feel in your body and in your life?”
This is one of the first questions that I ask every client that I coach.
Some common feelings: free, light, strong, energetic, excited, abundant.
Everything that you do in life is either bringing you closer to those feelings, or taking you farther away from them. Either raising your energy or depleting it.
That includes what you eat, who you spend time with, what you listen to, your daily habits and routines, and everything else.
When you are dieting, obsessively counting calories or macros, over-exercising and picking apart every flaw in your body, it doesn’t contribute to you feeling the way that you want to feel (even though we do it because we think we will). If we are being honest, usually it just conjures up more feelings of failure and shame, triggering emotional eating and low-vibration energy.
In order for you to feel the way that you want to feel as consistently as possible, there is a lot of inner work to be done on your beliefs—which is why working with a coach is so effective—but there is also work you can do in your OUTER world, too.
If you want to feel free, light, strong, energetic, excited and abundant, you need to take radical responsibility for what is in your life, build routines and rituals around the things that make you feel that way and eliminate the things that don’t.
One way to do this is through setting non-negotiables and boundaries.
Non-negotiables are things that you are intentional about incorporating in your days that help you to feel good and show up as the best version of yourself possible. They are the things that elevate your energy and make you feel rejuvenated.
Creating your non-negotiables can be a fun experiment, as they will be constantly evolving as you do. Two great areas to start thinking about where you can increase your self-care are: physical health and energy/emotional health.
You can begin by asking yourself these questions:
→ What are the things I can do on a daily basis that allow me to feel my best and be my best self?
→ What are the things I can eat or drink on a daily basis that allow me to feel my best and be my best self?
→ What sort of activities make me feel most alive?
→ What foods or activities give me a ton of energy?
Once you have a list going, start implementing them in your life to see how they feel. Treat it like an experiment: keep the things that feel like they work and ditch the things that don’t.
For example, some of my non-negotiables are:
→ Implementing a morning routine for a minimum of 30 minutes that consists of journaling, meditation, reading, praying, movement, or whatever feels right that day.
→ Drinking at least one of my yummy, nutritious shakes per day.
→ Getting in some form of movement or exercise to circulate the energy in my body.
→ Getting out in nature in some way every day.
This list has been constantly evolving as I figure out what works for me and what doesn’t. I used to have the non-negotiable that I had to write in my journal every day, but some days it feels like other things like reading or meditation would serve me better, so I had to create flexibility to listen to my body and do what feels right in the moment.
But two things that stay consistent:
1) These are my non-negotiables every day, and I am particularly diligent about implementing them when I am traveling or when I am feeling uninspired or “off”
2) I do not judge myself or beat myself up when I don’t do them. Shit happens! It’s ok. We have to be willing to forgive ourselves, get back up and go again.
If you set a non-negotiable that you are consistently not doing, ask yourself: Am I resisting this even though I know it feels really good? Or, does this not feel really good anymore?
If it’s the former, it’s just your ego trying to keep you safe and small and not giving you permission to truly thrive. You can push through that. If it’s the latter, switch it up! You have unconditional permission to change your mind.
On the other hand, boundaries are what you put in place to protect your energy and to keep things out that deplete you.
These are harder to set than non-negotiables because they often involve having tough conversations, saying “no”, disappointing others, and dealing with people who do not understand.
The most important thing to remember when you are setting your boundaries is that when you show up at your best, you can give SO MUCH more to other people, and you will do it with a happy heart.
Handling our job, our household, and serving and supporting others can be a great joy, but when we do it at the expense of our own health and happiness, it can breed resentment, burnout, and frustration. Setting boundaries that protect your energy helps keep you feeling filled up so that you can live life from a place of lightness and ease.
Here are some questions to ask that will help you set your boundaries:
→ What are the things (or situations, people, etc.) in my life that drain my energy or make me feel bad?
→ What things in my schedule do I dread?
→ Where can I make changes that will allow me to spend more time with my loved ones and do more of what I love?
→ What are the demands that other people place on me that really annoy and frustrate me?
Just like with the non-negotiables, you can start plugging these into your life by:
A) Writing them down, creating the necessary schedules and structures and making a commitment to them.
B) Having clear communication with others in your life.
Communicating your boundaries to others does not have to be unpleasant or awkward if you do it with a spirit of grace and love. If you set boundaries from a place of love and service for yourself and others, you can communicate them in the same spirit.
Examples of some of my current boundaries include:
→ I sleep with my phone on airplane mode and don’t turn it on until I have completed my morning routine.
→ I don’t coach on the weekends or after 8 p.m.
→ I have a 24-hour response time on emails and messages from clients.
→ I run every potential work or social appointment through a set of criteria (like, will this cause me stress? and does this feel really good?), and say no if it doesn’t check all the boxes
Finally, as you begin to work with non-negotiables and boundaries in your life it is important to address your relationship with structure.
I find that people usually fall in one or two categories: those who totally resent any sort of structure and want to feel free, and those who thrive in structure and have a hard time being spontaneous or going with the flow.
Two important things to remember: structure creates freedom and you always have permission to change your mind.
Non-negotiables and boundaries promote clarity in our lives, which leads to more deliberate, intentional choices and actions. They are fluid and can be changed at any time. They are not meant to box you in or make you more rigid, but to promote more feeling good, whatever that looks like for you.
When we create loose structures in our life that serve to honor ourselves, as well as those around us, they can cut through the chaos and allow us to actually live our lives with MORE freedom because we are not leaking our energy in a million different directions.
Like this post? Check out my interview with Lizzie Moult on the Wild Success podcast all about non-negotiables!