“When you are saying ‘yes’ to others, make sure you are not saying ‘no’ to yourself.”

~Paulo Coelho

I’ve been a life-long fitness enthusiast, and I protect my weekly exercise efforts like nothing else. I call my workouts my ‘non-negotiables’ and it’s one area of my life where I consistently say YES to myself.

That got me thinking, because there are so many other important tasks I need to accomplish every week that I don’t protect in the same way. Curious right? And also a learning opportunity that I explore in this week’s helping hiatus musings.

Watch the video below, or read the transcript that follows, then assess and protect your own non-negotiables.

Hey, Michelle Cederberg here sitting in my car, in a parkade, just after teaching my weekly cycle class. Week two of my helping hiatus has completed. You can watch the videos to find out what that’s all about.

Basically, I’ve been trying to spend the month of April saying no to things that don’t serve me, that don’t move me forward in my personal professional goals. A big part of why this is important is because every time I say no to those ‘asks and tasks’ that don’t serve me, I get to say yes to myself and the tasks and goals that are priorities to me.

It occurred to me that this week, part of the helping hiatus learning has been to recognize the things that I regularly say yes to for myself, the non-negotiables as it were.

And for me, it is my workouts. I have been a personal trainer in my past, and I was a group exercise instructor for many years. I still teach cycle. I’ve been doing all of that for over 30 years, so I put high value in health for high performance. It’s what I speak about after all.

So, every week I teach a cycle class. Every week I train with my trainer. Every week I ride outdoors with my husband, or in the basement when the weather isn’t good, plus I walk the dog daily. My exercise is something that I absolutely prioritize for myself, whether I’m at home or on the road.

I think for all of us, when we’re planning our weekly schedule, we’ll factor in a few non-negotiables. Do you know what yours are?

Since exercise is my non-negotiable, it goes into my schedule at the beginning of the week, no questions asked. It’s an important, high priority appointment and nobody needs to know that it happens to be with my bicycle.

What are your non-negotiables during the week? Identify and protect them, and to help you say yes to yourself, make sure you add them to your schedule. Once that’s done, you can work your other commitments around these self-care tasks that you are doing just for you.

The Helping Hiatus is teaching me to prioritize how I use my time and where I give it. And I’m learning to be a little bit more discerning about how I do that. My exercise has always been an important thing to me, so it’s curious why I can be so rigid and protective with keeping that in my schedule, but there are other things that I far too easily let go. I’m going to have to look more closely at why I do that. Maybe you can share some insights that you have? Until next time I’m Michelle Cederberg reminding you that in order to Ignite High Performance, we have to prioritize those non-negotiables more often.

That’s my thoughts for this week. Helping Hiatus Week 2 is in the books. Onward.

I’m booking 2024 speaking engagements across North America RIGHT NOW. If you’d like to chat about how to bring me in to your organization to help your team eliminate burnout, increase engagement, and ignite high performance, pop me an email at hello@michellecederberg.com. I’d love to chat.

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Michelle Cederberg, Health and Productivity Expert, MKin, BA Psyc, CEP, CPCC
Hall of Fame Speaker, CSP, Certified Coach & Best-Selling Author



Using science-based strategies to eliminate burnout, increase engagement, and ignite high performance


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