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How to create your perfect day

‘Creating your Perfect Day’ is a visualisation and journaling exercise that can be used to help you get clear on the future you want to create for yourself.

It’s one thing to know that you want something different in life or to know there’s something more for you, but it’s another thing to tap into the specifics of what this could look like. For some it can be daunting to try and imagine a whole different life so starting with planning one ideal day is a more manageable first step.

Follow this exercise to start getting clear on what your dream life looks and feels like.

Step One – Start brainstorming

Closing your eyes, imagine yourself 5 years from now. You wake up and feel excited to start the day, you’re living your dream life and know a great day is ahead of you. What will the day bring to you? Write down everything that will happen from the moment you wake up to the moment you’re back in bed, ready to sleep.

To help, consider these questions:

  • How do you want every day to look?

  • How do you want to feel every single day? What are you creating daily?

  • Who are you with?

  • What places are you exposing yourself to? What passions are you fulfilling?

Take out a blank piece of paper or open a new document on your computer and fill the first half of the page with the answers, in broad terms, to these questions.

As an example, Lewis Howes, The School of Greatness podcast host and former pro athlete, shared his results from the very first time he did this exercise years ago:

Lewis’ perfect day On my perfect day, I wake up next to the woman of my dreams. I’m preparing to compete in the 2016 Olympics with U.S.A. Team Handball, so I head to an intense training session with my coach to increase my physical strength and athleticism. Then I’m working on my TV show on a major network and supporting my company team with my projects that inspire entrepreneurs to follow their passions and make a living around what they love.

Step Two—Write the itinerary Next, write out a detailed itinerary for the next perfect day. It should include your obligations and your desires, and the timings for each. The schedule should list out every step you need to take to reach your end goal as that’s the point of this exercise; to help you achieve your vision.

Here is Lewis’ version of his daily itinerary from when he wrote his first book:

Tomorrow's perfect day

  • 7:30 a.m. Wake up, meditate, and enjoy the views from my balcony.

  • 8:00 a.m. Healthy breakfast with green juice or a smoothie.

  • 9:00 a.m. CrossFit/kickboxing or private skills-training session.

  • 10:45 a.m. Check in with my team about projects of the day.

  • 11:00 a.m. Complete the top three tasks that were on my list before bed.

  • 12:00 p.m. Healthy lunch at home or lunch meeting with someone who inspires me.

  • 1:30 p.m. Back to the top three on my to-do list, recording interviews, doing videos, or working with the team.

  • 3:00 p.m. Physical therapy to increase flexibility (two days a week).

  • 5:00 p.m. Pickup basketball, hiking with friends, swimming in the ocean.

  • 7:30 p.m. Healthy dinner at home or out with friends.

  • 9:00 p.m. Read, watch a movie, go to events with influencers on the town.

  • 11:00 p.m. Make a list of what I’m most grateful for today, create a “completed list” of what I did today. Write the top three things I want to create tomorrow.

  • 11:30 p.m. Meditate, sleep, dream, recover the body.

One thing that Lewis hasn't included here is the feelings associated with each activity or event. Consider including not just what you’re doing but how you want to feel doing each thing as you plan your day. Use as many senses as possible to help you with this.

Step Three - Set a micro goal Choose one or two things on your itinerary that you will do tomorrow. Working towards your perfect day doesn’t require an overhaul of your existing routine. Start small and find small, achievable wins to incorporate that will help you improve your life and feel hopeful.

Pick one or two of these micro goals and schedule them in your calendar to commit yourself to doing them. Tomorrow, you’ll be one step closer to your perfect day.

If you keep going, this can set up your year to include the best days of your life. It will also help validate your vision. If your vision doesn’t fit in with your perfect day at either the macro or micro level, consider changing your vision or be more open, honest, and creative about what it will take at a daily level to work toward achieving your goals.

If you’re struggling to get started, take a look at this list of prompts to get yourself into the headspace of what it is you’re wanting to create.

Here are some questions to ask yourself to get going:

  • What time do you wake up?

  • Where do you wake up? If you don’t wake up at home, where is home?

  • What is the weather like?

  • Do you have a morning routine? If so, what does your morning routine consist of?

  • What types of activities do you do throughout the day? How long are you spending on each activity?

  • What do you eat and drink throughout the day? Where do you eat and drink? Are you alone or with other people?

  • Do you do any exercise, if so, why type and for how long?

  • Do you see anyone else in the day? If so, who? What do you do together?

  • Do you have an evening routine? If so, what does it consist of?

  • What time do you go to bed?

  • How do you feel as you lie in bed?

Ta-dah! You have a perfect day all planned out and ready for you!

Here are a few final points to note:

  • Aim to repeat this exercise at least once a year. Not only does this help exercise your visualisation muscles and more clearly envision your ideal future, but will also help to reflect the natural changes to your perfect day over time, as well as the fact that you’ll begin to achieve the things you have set out to accomplish.

  • Write your day in the present tense as if it is happening to you today

  • Typically, it’s recommended to imagine your ideal day 5 years from now to start with. This seems to be a good balance between being close enough that it’s in the relative near future but also allows enough time for even distant feeling projects to take shape.

  • Don’t forget to add the date you do this exercise so that you know when you first wrote it and can look back on it in future to see how far you’ve come!

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