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5 Minutes

Importance of Non Negotiables in Life

Discover the importance of non-negotiables as anchors in life that guide personal values and principles. Learn about the benefits of non-negotiables, how to establish them, and how to stick to them in order to lead a fulfilled and purpose-driven life. Find out how self-discipline, accountability, setting boundaries, and maintaining flexibility can help you adhere to your non-negotiables and achieve your goals.
Discussing non negotiables in life
Written by
Bloom Clinical Care Counselling and Therapy Services
February 15, 2023

Without solid goals, it is quite possible to end up living an uncoordinated or purposeless life.  We are constantly faced with a series of options and activities, and not knowing who we should be or what we should do is an enormous challenge. That's why we need non-negotiables. Establishing non-negotiables motivates a purpose-driven life centered on a vision and becoming a better version of ourselves. No matter one’s career, profession or outlook on life, there should always be at least a few things that we consider non-negotiables.


What is a non-negotiable?


A non-negotiable is a fundamental value or principle that guides someone in the pursuit of realizing an objective or bringing their vision to life. Non-negotiables take precedence over all, they are any deeply held beliefs that are so important to a person that they will not compromise or break them. It's something an individual would avoid compromising with others and even with themselves. Non-negotiables could also include activities that could be a deal breaker for someone or an expectation.


In actuality, we all require reliable anchors in life and Non-negotiables serve as guideposts, showing us what and how to live out our values. Without non-negotiables, we are susceptible to being easily persuaded.


How can non-negotiables be used?


Non-negotiables can be used in all facets of life, personal development, work, academics, and relationships with others.  In a relationship, non-negotiables are qualities and values that must exist to maintain a successful and mutually beneficial partnership with happy and fulfilled partners. Some examples of non-negotiable in a relationship could be no swearing or yelling or hitting or cheating. It could be not settling for less than one's expectation in a partner. On the other hand, personal non-negotiables could be a morning self-care routine like praying and meditating, financial goals or working towards an optimum physical and mental health.


Having a list of non-negotiables is one of the proven ways to take charge of one's life and habits.

Benefits of non-negotiables


Non-negotiables help us decide how we want to be treated by the world. Without non-negotiables, a person would drift through life with no true sense of purpose, direction, or clarity. However, when it is respected, a non-negotiable has a lot of benefits. By putting our non-negotiables into action in relationships, we demonstrate to the world how we want to be treated. We also demonstrate to ourselves that finding that solid anchor within is totally possible and we are suddenly no longer subject to the whims of the world.

Establishing non-negotiable helps make better decisions, it's a powerful and an essential tool for accomplishing life goals. It provides structure and it's comforting to know we are not straying too far from what matters the most to us. It forces one to be more discerning about how they chose to spend their time. In fact, sticking to a non-negotiable for a small amount of time can drastically change a person's life. Others may not realize the specifics, but the reality that something has changed will be obvious. These non-negotiables we see as little habits can have exponential, life-changing effects.


How to come up with solid non-negotiables


Just as people are different, their non-negotiables are different. Determining our non-negotiables depend on our personal situation, and lifestyle. The most important thing is to ensure that these non-negotiables align with one’s core values.


A non-negotiable requires an honest introspection. What are our goals and areas of improvement? Reflection and seeking out the true intentions behind this vision will help in knowing how to come up with non-negotiable to achieve them. Besides, when the process gets tough, one can always use this reason as an inspiration to keep going. To be unyielding and consistent,  know the "why" behind the goal.


In coming up with non-negotiables, it's important to ask ourselves:


  1. What takes priority in my life at the moment?
  2. What compromises and sacrifices am I willing to make?


Furthermore, determine the consequences of sticking with these non-negotiables and gauge the willingness to pay them. Dig deeper and devise practical ways to implement these values. It helps to visibly list down non-negotiables, and break them into categories otherwise, they can become overwhelming.


How to stick to your non-negotiables


After making a list of non-compromising principles or non-negotiables, the next and perhaps most difficult factor is sticking to them.


  1. Self-discipline

Having the self-discipline to pursue ambitious objectives and see them to fruition takes a lot of effort. This involves completing the tasks that are necessary before moving on to the desirable ones. Likewise, making it a customary habit.  It also entails being aware of the appropriate times to say yes and times when saying no is appropriate.


  1. Accountability

While it's not compulsory to announce one's non-negotiables to the world, letting a few trustworthy people know about one's goals and the steps to achieving them, can keep us on track.


  1. Boundaries

These are boundaries for oneself and others. The ability to live with intention and purpose is disintegrated over time by thin boundaries and letting self-commitments go unfulfilled. It takes practice to successfully set boundaries. At first, it might be speak up about one's boundaries but in cases where our values and principles are challenged, it's better to quickly become accustomed to it.


  1. Flexibility

Always leave some room for flexibility. Occasional slip-ups shouldn't become a source for guilt, anxiety or shame. Non-negotiables can be changed with time, context and situations or life events. Moreover, they have to be reviewed and reevaluated regularly.



In the end, the principles that guide an individual's behavior are what determine the path they will take in life.  Without non-negotiables as an anchor, it is easy to dash around from one distraction to the next without any sense of direction. Notably, the point of non-negotiables is to lead a fulfilled life and be happy, and not to confine oneself in a self-made prison.


Are you struggling with non negotiables in your relationship? We may be able to help. 

At Bloom Clinical Care Counselling and Therapy Services, we have a team of Psychotherapists and Social Workers who are experienced and qualified to help couples set boundaries. Our therapists can help with a wide range of mental health issues, such as anxiety, depression, grief, couples therapy, child therapy, anger management, workplace stress, and stress management, to name a few. 

We currently have two locations, in Scarborough and Mississauga, to serve our clients and families across the Greater Toronto Area. All therapists on our team also provide virtual therapy across Ontario via phone and secure video calls. Our collective goal as a team is to help you flourish in life, guide you to your important milestone, and provide unwavering support. 

Scarborough Location

Our Scarborough Therapists are located at Third floor, 1200 Markham Rd suite 306 c, Scarborough, ON M1H 3C3 for in-person and virtual psychotherapy appointments.

Mississauga Location

Our Mississauga Therapist are located at 3024 Hurontario St #206, Mississauga, ON L5B 4M4 for in-person and virtual psychotherapy appointments. Similar to our Scarborough Psychotherapy clinic, the new Mississauga location also supports individuals, families, couples, and children seeking help with anxiety, panic attacks, depression, grief, couples therapy, relationship counselling, stress management, and child and youth counselling.

Struggling with you mental health? We may be able to help. Book a free consultation today.
Disclaimer: This article is solely intended for informational purposes and should not be construed as professional advice. The content of this article should not be used as a substitution to therapy, counselling, medical attention, or any kind of professional help. The author and Bloom Clinical Care Counseling and Therapy services strongly encourages readers to seek guidance from appropriate professionals if they are in need of assistance.