Defining an Ideal Day

What is your ideal day? I don’t mean the thrill of skipping a days work or spending all day relaxing by the beach because of a busy work life. I mean what is your ideal day? Even the most adventurous people still have some structure. So, what makes up an awesome day?

Perhaps it is easier to figure out first an ideal day is not. It is not boring. It is not a never-ending vacation. Think of the perfect day as if you could live any type day repeatedly. If you had the perfect life, what would an ideal day be for that life? What would you do? Who would you see? What would you eat? Where would you go? Where would you be? Who would you be if you lived this life?

This question is probably much easier if you already know what you want to do with your life and have defined life goals.

My Ideal Day

Let’s use me as an example since people reading this already know my personality. My ideal day includes:

  • Nature (beaches, mountains, etc)
  • Never ending challenges
  • Helping people
  • Writing
  • Reading
  • Thinking
  • Physical exertion from physical activity
  • Dreaming
  • Animals
  • Adventure
  • Making money
  • Stars (noticing the stars)
  • Productive
  • New experiences (travel, new places, new places to eat, new activities, etc)

Because I like things to always be changing with new challenges, new ideas, and new experiences, my ideal day reflects that. But also, if I have not helped anyone even in a little way, then I don’t feel like I have done what I need to do. Because of this, I don’t work well doing the same thing over and over. I don’t like to always program in the same languages, have a set schedule, or do a repetitive task.

You might notice a few things are obviously missing from my list like:

  • Friends/Family
  • TV
  • Feeling of safety
  • Cleaning
  • Cooking
  • Creativity
  • Exercise

Some of these are purposely left off. Friend and family: while I don’t want to live my entire life in solitude, my ideal day can often be in solitude, but my ideal day can also have people around.

Some of these are counter to my ideal. Feeling of Safety: while I don’t want to always be in a war zone, I want adventure, and adventure also has some risks. For me, a life of complete safety is not much of a life, for some people, this might be at the top of their list.

Some of these I can take of leave. Cooking and TV: while I would miss never cooking or watching Star Trek (or Stargate) again, I would never want TV to be part of my everyday. Cooking, I would rather have someone just put food in front of me. I like to cook and will never give it up, but my day is happy and complete without cooking.

Some of these are implied. Creativity: Writing and handling challenging issues definitely require creativity.

Some give the wrong mental picture. Exercise: I love to be physically active. I love to hike, rock climb, white water raft, rollerblade, and just generally move around. I love movement, but I don’t like exercise. Exercise to me means running in place on a treadmill, biking in place, or elliptical machines. The only machines I like to play on are weights and the never ending stair machines. I would rather go hiking 2 times a week for 5 hours each time, then spend 1 hour 4 times a week on a treadmill. So exercise gives the wrong impression of what I want to create in my ideal day.

Applying the ideal day to you

If you don’t have a list of objectives you want to accomplish, making a list might be a good first step. Knowing where you are going is key to getting there. The journey is great, but you might want to find out what you are working for before you find out you walked in circles.

You can start by asking yourself some questions.

  • What makes your day happy and complete?
  • What makes a day a good day?
  • What do you like to do?
  • What are your hobbies?
  • What do you do for fun?
  • What do you do to relax?
  • Who do you like to spend time with?
  • When you have a day or a week off work, what do you do?
  • What do you like to do today that you liked to do 10 years ago?
  • What do you like to do today that you can see yourself doing in 10 years?
  • What overall themes do some of your past times have?

Try to focus on what you want in your day, not on what you don’t want. Instead of saying, “I don’t want to be bored.” Try saying, “I want constant change and adventure.” Some people hate to be alone but instead of saying, “I never want to be alone,” instead try, “I love to be surrounded by friends and family.”

This creates the possibility of having many ideal days that can be different from other ideal days. For example, I love to walk on the beach for hours. However, if I walked on the beach everyday for hours for years on end, it would no longer be an awesome day because it would be too routine. Since, I don’t like everyday to be exactly the same, doing something I love everyday would ultimately bore me and I would no longer love it. This might not be the same for you. I know people who eat the same thing everyday for lunch and never vary it – and they like that. That is included in their ideal day.

Given the criteria I gave above here are 3 days that are all very different that still fit my ideal day.

Day 1

Wake up early

Walk on the beach for a couple hours

Write fiction for a couple hours

Program a computer app or game

Go out to a late lunch / early dinner with friends

Run as a volunteer EMT

Day 2

Wake up early

Take a walk/jog

Write a blog entry

Discuss accounting and finances with my accountant

Read

Pick something up someone dropped

Begin plans on a new business

Day 3

On vacation

Hit the white water early in the day.

Raft all day long

Help setup and prepare lunch and dinner

Camp out under the stars

If you have ideal life, it makes getting up in the morning easier. If you are happy and positive because your life reflects you, then life around you reflects that. Everyone’s ideal days look different because people are different. Not everyone considers rafting and camping under the stars to be ideal, but that day as well as all the other days listed, hit every single thing I want in a day. All my days are unique so I don’t get bored. They allow me to be physically active, creative, work, play, make money (passive income on vacation days, or perhaps find material to write about), help people, etc.

So what do you need to make your ideal day? What does your ideal day look like? What can you do to bring your ideal day into the present and not just a dream?

Adrienne :)

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