Strange times. So weird. Ground-hog day. Scary. Uncertain. Heavy.
These are some of the words that are coming up regularly in my conversations with clients and friends right now. Today’s solo podcast:
How To Create Your Ideal Day, Every Day
is focused on carving a little certainty and comfort out of these strange times we’re living through. On making the most of what you CAN control.
With that in mind: How does YOUR ideal every day look?
No matter where you are in your life you can achieve some ideal every single day.
I’m talking less about the material things and rather about the much more important things. Have you noticed the ideal day is so often different when you imagine it with tomorrow in mind as you crawl into bed tonight – than how it feels when tomorrow becomes today and it’s time to get up and at-em! That’s why it’s important to do the ground work in advance and make it easier on yourself to avoid the path of least resistance which tries to drag you off course and into a day of meandering through lessor quality fuel, lower impact tasks and disappointing results.
Your starting point could be with your morning routine or perhaps working back from how you want to feel at the end of each day or as I’m going to run through now: starting with your personal values and how they impact your ideal day.
Your values are those states or feelings you seek out before all else. You are drawn to them. If you’re yet to get clear on your personal top 3-5 values then I strongly recommend rectifying that today.
It starts with eliciting your values – by brainstorming, judgement free. There’s no right or wrong though your values may well change over time. Think about how you spend your time and your money. Think about what gives you joy.
I’ll link to a list of values in the show notes though it’s basically limitless. Next step is to order your values by simply placing them in a sentence and asking: What is more important to me (value A) or (value B)?
More on working your values into your ideal every day soon.
Let’s get specific with 3 Steps To Create Your Ideal Day, Every Day:
Step One: As a broad guideline design the day that lets you experience your top 3 personal values.
A couple of caveats: First, make it easy for YOU to succeed. In other words don’t set the bar too high.
Second, utilise the power of the Reframe. This allows you to see a situation in a more beneficial way. Or encourages you to take the more beneficial action. I’ve devoted many shows to The Reframe and I’ll link to them in the show notes.
So if my top values are: Freedom, Integrity and Abundance how can I work them into my every single day?
I’m aware that these likely are not your values however I want to give some examples that will help you do the work to make this strategy applicable to you. Here’s an example for each of my values:
Freedom might be zero commitments or more achievable-ly reframed freedom might be a degree of control in choosing what you commit to or even an hour of YOU time each day.
To get even more specific, freedom to me means working with one on one clients only till lunch time and only 4 days per week. That likely sounds pretty cruisy or even unrealistic and I acknowledge I’m lucky to be in this position however also to make it happen I do start with clients at 5.45am on those “working days” and I might see 10 clients before lunch!
Freedom to me also means prioritising and structuring my day in a way that allows me to both be effective and also to have gotten enough done that I can enjoy that hour of ME time each day.
My next value is Integrity however I’d like you to think of one of your values as I run through this example. How can you live that value every single day?
Integrity to me means planning and eating the delicious vegan meals that keep my body looking and functioning how I want it to look and function. It also means planning and executing the exercising actions that keep me fit, strong and healthy. A minimum of 3 times a day I get to live with integrity at each meal and each day I get to live with integrity with each opportunity for both planned and incidental exercise.
You can imagine how framed this way – with the extensive groundwork I’ve laid for my mindset regarding my values and my ideal day – it’s actually going to be pretty HUGELY unappealing for me to choose either the eating or the non-exercising action that is not aligned with my values.
If this sounds like a lot of work up front, I’d suggest that sure it’s a bit of work. Some once off effort that you refine as necessary, that delivers so far as ease of results literally for the rest of your life! Compare that to the effort, the money and the disappointment wasted in not achieving what you’re working towards?
Finally, abundance to me could mean a stunning modern apartment in eastern Sydney and regular travel or more achievable-ly reframed abundance is the delicious meals I love that I get to enjoy every single day. It’s also the many relationships I get to cultivate and the incidental yet joyful conversations I (no longer!) give myself grief for allowing time to indulge in.
Abundance is also not rushing at least half my workouts each week. That might sound weird. However lifting weights is my happy place. It’s precious me time. I recognise this isn’t possible every day however I think it’s important to be aware of those things that you see as an abundant, joyful use of your time. To prioritise and schedule them. And at least some of the time, to avoid a hard finish – or that joy eroding rush factor – that can eat into the activities we love and turn each day into a hamster wheel.
Step Two To Create Your Ideal Day: Now integrate your ideal morning routine to start the day in the best possible way.
It’s important to make this morning routine both achievable and enjoyable. Rather than so daunting or time consuming you don’t even try.
Perhaps aim for 3-5 components to your routine. Ideally you’ll consider fuel, movement and mindfulness.
In the interest of achieve-ability a few “not to do’s” could also be helpful as the things you say no to are what determines what you’ll have the capacity to say yes to! For example:
Your not to do list might start the night before where you lay the foundation for your ideal day to come by NOT staying up too late and NOT spending the hour before bed mindlessly entrenched in social media or at the mercy of your inbox. Continuing on with that not to do list:
Don’t hit snooze as that’s signalling to your body today is not worth starting! It’s also a will power loss first thing.
Don’t check social media or email. Instead use this precious early morning time for habits aligned with your most happy, healthy and effective (ideal!) day.
No late night, no snoozing, no social or inbox might instead mean YES to:
- A delicious, nutritious #plantstrong breakfast.
- 10 minutes meditation or journaling.
- Walking to work listening to a podcast you love or a short (even 5 minutes!) bodyweight routine if you work from home.
Step Three To Create Your Ideal Day: Assess and refine your day through the filter of: “How do I want to feel at the end of the day?”
Perhaps you could pick 3 words. Mine are: accomplished, grateful, excited.
So far as accomplished / satisfied / proud, ask yourself: What did I achieve today?
=> This is your opportunity to insert a little more structured work time into the broad guidelines of your day if you’re looking at it and realising not much actually got done!
Talking gratitude and ask yourself: What am I grateful for today?
=> The awesome thing about gratitude is it’s completely within your control how low your gratitude threshold is. I recommend feeling grateful really easily! For your first coffee and first laugh with a colleague. If you’re aware you’re not currently experiencing much gratitude in your every single day, it’s time to lower the bar.
Super importantly to escape the “ground-hog day” trap, ask yourself: What am I excited about tomorrow?
=> This is about focusing on the possibilities. On everything good that could happen. These positive expectations need to also be aligned with the actions you’ve taken. So again it’s a chance to assess how you spent your structured work time if you’ve got nothing you’re excited about.
For example it’s unrealistic to be excited about a new business opportunity if you did nothing to move the needle forward today.
I recognise today’s show is pretty in depth and is going to take work to action. Luckily I’ve taken the show notes for them and you’ll find them via strongbodygreenplanet.com. I think now more than ever it’s so very worth the effort. Covid times are very much the times to be in control of what you can control. Sure there are many variables beyond your control however there’s at least as many within your control.
With that in mind let’s recap those main 3 steps to create your ideal day and then I have a few more rapid fire options to share:
Step One: As a broad guideline design the day that lets you experience your top 3 personal values.
Step Two: Now integrate your ideal morning routine to start the day in the best possible way.
Step Three: Assess and refine your day through the filter of: “How do I want to feel at the end of the day?”
Here are a few more options to get the ball rolling: How do each of these look in your ideal every day?
- Your ideal fuel? I firmly believe that the food that is great for your body can also provide you with huge pleasure. This is more likely to be the case when you put some thought into it first though.
- Your ideal movement? Again I firmly believe that the exercise that is great for your body can also be pleasurable. This might take a few attempts to find what rocks your movement world. Consider whether exercise is precious YOU time or more enjoyable as part of a group / team. Also whether you’re at home, in a gym or perhaps prefer the great outdoors. If you’re really struggling perhaps revisit something you enjoyed as a child.
- Your ideal inputs? So this is the information you fuel your mind with. The books, podcasts and conversations.
- Your ideal exclusion of inputs? So this is the rubbish you don’t contaminate your mind with. The excessive social media, low value TV and various online rabbit holes. Self-awareness is key here. There are likely inputs you’re in the habit of getting sucked into that leave you feeling crap-o-la. It’s worth recognising just what you let into your mind on those days that spiral off track and end up less than ideal.
- Your ideal FREE / unscheduled time? This is probably my primary indicator of ideal in every single day. It’s an indicator of Freedom. It lets me know HOW and WHO I spend my time with is up to me.
- Your ideal interactions? Yours may involve laughter or love. They might be genuine or genuinely challenging and mind opening.
As a slight aside: So far as challenging interactions with loved ones I have a new concept I’m taking for a spin. I’m calling it conscious compartmentalisation.
Especially to my vegan friends, I’m sure you can think of someone you love who has beliefs and takes actions that are so incredibly hard for you to understand. Perhaps they claim to love animals and yet they eat them every single day. As you think about it you might feel frustrated and angry. How can an otherwise smart and compassionate individual be so selfish, so apathetic, so lazy or greedy? You know I’m speaking from experience right?
In planning today’s show I recognised I don’t want to feel as much anger and frustration each day. I live in a non vegan world and that’s a fact however I don’t have to let it exhaust me to the extent it has been. I can more proactively choose how I funnel my energy.
I can choose to not interact with some individuals. Additionally, for those individuals I love yet clash with, I can decide to put my love and the desire to continue our relationship in one box and my commitment to a vegan world in another box. I’m not selling out on my vision – I’m just not leading with it in every single interaction.
That’s it for today in Healthification. Huge across the pod-waves thanks to YOU for sharing today with me. I appreciate it with all my heart.
If you’ve enjoyed this show and gotten value out of it I’d super appreciate it if you pop over to iTunes or wherever you listen to the show and leave me a review.
Till next time, remember Creating a body and life you love is Freedom. (If this ex-carb queen, NON-genetically gifted, naturally uncoordinated VEGAN-chick can do it – so can YOU!!!)
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