Have you ever done a perfect average day exercise?
If you have no idea what I’m talking about, here’s a good article…
But if you don’t want to take the time to read the article, the summary is: envision and write down your ideal random weekday as a way to make achieving it a goal for the future. And don’t worry. You can participate in this as much or as little as you like!
Maybe you’re working during this ideal day, maybe you’re independently wealthy at this point, maybe it’s something in the middle. All of those are valid desires. This isn’t a bucket list or dream vacation day where you wake up at South Base Camp on Mt. Everest or when your butler knocks on the door of your over-water hut in Bora Bora. It’s just a normal Tuesday.
I’m not into meditation or visualization or manifesting, so this always feels a little woo-woo to me, but I do see the benefit of it and I’ve been steadily moving toward attaining my perfect day for several years even though I never completed the exercise.
Step 1: Write down/Type out what happens on your perfect day. Do this however it makes sense to you – like a list of events, like a schedule hour by hour, ordered from most important to least, scribbled down however you think of each moment, whatever.
Step 2: Arrange your day chronologically. That doesn’t mean you have to start it at 6am, just start with whatever happens first during your day, whether you’re waking up at sunrise or after lunchtime.
Step 3: Make no moral judgments on the things you’ve written down. If your perfect day means you lie in bed and watch game shows until 11am and someone else’s has them out the door for half-marathon training at sunrise, that has nothing to do with the character or morality or “laziness” or “productiveness” of either of you. If Drew Carey makes you happy, then keep watching The Price is Right!
Step 4: Assign emotions or feelings where appropriate to each item on your list. Pointing out something you want to avoid is legitimate – I don’t want to feel rushed – but positive connections are stronger – I want to enjoy my first cup of tea in peace and quiet.
Step 5: Use three different colored highlighters to mark which things you’re already doing, which you feel are easily attainable in a reasonable amount of time, and which are your stretch goals.
Step 6: Rewrite your list as a narrative and save it somewhere you’ll remember to look at it at least a few times a year if not weekly or daily.
Step 7: Choose one goal from your list that you want to work toward achieving and give yourself a timeline to do so. If you’d like some external accountability with that, schedule a quarterly business review with me – I love helping people achieve their goals!
Step 8: Join The HEA Club to share your perfect day with other romance authors and support each other on your journeys!
Like I said above, do as much or as little of this as you want. Because I’m a to-do-list, action-oriented, check-the-box kind of girl, rewriting my day as a story isn’t useful to me. It’s just extra words. But I do love a bullet point!
So here’s mine…
- Wake up by 6am feeling refreshed and ready to meet the day (I’m doing that already) somewhere interesting that’s likely cold and antisocial (that’s a goal I’m actively working toward)
- Take the dog for a walk somewhere we both enjoy (doing) that’s close enough to home I don’t have to drive to it (goal); alternatively, we’re on a yacht, so the dog and I both get on our treadmills for a morning jog (owning a yacht as a fiction editor is definitely a stretch goal!); listen to books or podcasts while exercising to feed my Learner and Input strengths (doing)
- Shower and make a healthy smoothie for breakfast (doing); alternatively, eat whatever my personal yacht chef sets in front of me (stretch)
- Work 3-4 hours on a combination of projects that includes only one edit at a time so I don’t feel overwhelmed or rushed (goal, maybe stretch because I’m really good at overbooking myself), business services for my favoritist clients (doing), hanging out with my HEA Club besties (doing), and several coaching clients each week (goal) to feed basically all of my top ten strengths
- Lunch with a friend (doing), or checking out whatever new/interesting place I’m living (goal), or taking the helicopter into town to explore (stretch), and bringing the dog along whenever possible (she’ll have hearing protection for helo rides, natch) (doing and goal and stretch)
- Work another hour or three in the afternoon/early evening (doing) until I’ve cleared my quite reasonable to-do list for the day (goal, maybe stretch?)
- Allow my brain to turn off in the evening by giving it something to do that isn’t work but also doesn’t require physically leaving my home/office/yacht (all of that is a stretch goal, not just the yacht part)
- Go to sleep before 10pm (doing)
- Stay up until 1am if the book I’m reading is really good (doing)
Instead of a single goal, I’m forming a habit around putting money into savings each week. That doesn’t directly relate to anything in my “perfect day,” but being a nomad is definitely in the perfect day. And since my car is 11 years old, I don’t want to be driving it all over the US. So I want to save money to buy a new car, at which time I’ll pack up the dog and we’ll start our new nomad life.
Tell me about your perfect day!