How Nonnegotiable’s Supports an Intentional Life

A friend called for advice on a big life decision which is kinda an oxymoron since seemingly small decisions can feel big and vice versa. Anywho, after discussing a few options, my last piece of advice was to write a list of 3-5 nonnegotiable’s before anything else. Before you update the resume, check the cost of living on the other coast, and before you start talking to others about your plans, not that I encourage that anyway, write the list. 

The nonnegotiable’s are the must haves in your life. I must live close to family. I must live in an high-rise. My next job must allow all father's to be eligible for FMLA for our newborn. Whatever you need, perhaps the reason you’re making the life change, needs to be written out with a pinky-promise to yourself NOT to alter once you’re in the mist of change. It’s the list that will make you feel whole. Somewhat complete without compromise.

When I moved to Houston, I didn't have two nickels to rub together but I knew living in a new city where I only knew one person, my living situation required a few basics: my own room, even with roommates; a safe neighborhood; clean, and close to transportation. I didn’t waiver when apartments were available outside of the must have list, even if it costed significantly less. Why? Because I knew that compromise would end up giving me anxiety and ultimately, take away my peace of mind. And after a bankruptcy 8 years ago, I valued my peace of mind. Why no compromise? Well, I’m an introvert so I need my own space and alone time. I’m a single woman so I needed to feel safe walking home. I’m super freaked out by bugs so it has to be clean. And I didn’t have a car so I had to be close to the train. One slight change to the list would’ve been an emotional, desperate decision and, as we all know, those rarely turn out great.

My advice: Do the work. Make the list. Be intentional with your life decisions, the big ones and little ones.

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