Through our Reflections series we share nuggets of wisdom from our ongoing research for the Holstee Membership as well as personal experiences that have changed how we see the world.
August 08, 2017

This one is non-negotiable.

There are hundreds. No, thousands. Or even millions of ways this day and every day could unfold.

Some of the day ahead is in our control. But most of it is not.

Unexpected appointments, errands, phone calls, emergencies, and celebrations will inevitably arise. Items on our “to-do” list will go unchecked.

It can feel like we are pursuing an unachievable goal, a never-ending list.

It can feel like it’s our fault we don't accomplish everything we wanted, like we have no control, like our willpower is fully depleted.

For months, I felt like this.

Working full days and often into the late evening, yet never fully catching up with my work and my personal goals. Despite all my efforts during the day, I never felt like I had done enough.

What is “enough” anyway? 😕

Then I stumbled upon the idea of “one non-negotiable” on Brian Johnson's Optimize website (which I highly recommend). This concept was developed by Michelle Segar, who has a PhD in Psychology and master’s degrees in Health Behavior and Kinesiology. In her book No Sweat!, she shares the idea of a self-care hierarchy.

Imagine a pyramid, and at the bottom is the one habit or goal that is essential for you.

Do that one thing, and your day is already starting on the right foot.

It could be getting eight hours of sleep, writing in your journal, or meditating.

For me, it’s going outside each morning and stretching. I need the fresh air and I need to move my body.

Because that’s the base of my pyramid, after doing it I feel like I'm going in the right direction.

It's amazing how by exercising willpower in one area of life, it becomes easier to use it in other areas of life.

While I still don’t always finish what I set out to do in my to-do list, on the days that I do my “one non-negotiable,” I know that I made an effort to set myself up for success.

What is your “one”?

Dave Radparvar
Co-Founder, Holstee

P.S. Not sure which goal you want to choose? Our Intention Guide explores the difference between intention and goals and helps you set up your own SMART goals.

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January 07, 2018

Life goals.

“Your audacious life goals are fabulous. We're proud of you for having them. But it's possible that those goals are designed to distract you from the thing that's really frightening you — the shift in daily habits that would mean a re–invention of how you see yourself.” - Seth Godin I was recently reflecting on what success looks like in my life. If I were to die in a week, a year, or a few decades, what would it take for me to be able to say, “Well, I did it — I accomplished everything I wanted. I lived a...


October 17, 2017


These days, I am finding myself wrapped up in the news — devastating tragedies, one after another.

My mind is filled with questions. Why would someone do this? How could it be possible? Why does it keep happening? What can be done now? The questions don’t seem to end.

I recently reached a point at which I was



October 03, 2017

Sandwich of the future.

I love sandwiches — both making and eating them. So when I heard that there was a famous man in Syracuse, Sicily, who makes just a few dozen sandwiches a day and has a constant line out the door, my interest peaked.

Turns out he doesn’t just make sandwiches but he



September 28, 2017

Wait till you see the flowers by the pool.

September 2015 was a big month for us.

I was about to get married, Dave was turning 30, and our third co-founder, Fabian, was about to start a new project after eight years of working with us on Holstee.

So at the very last minute, we decided to go on a combo bachelor-birthday-send-off weekend trip. We booked the only place we could find that was near nature and had availability that night. We borrowed a car and made our way north up Route 28 out of New York City.

When we arrived at the bungalow we’d booked, we looked around. Without saying anything, we knew exactly what one another was thinking



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