For the past week or so I have been working my way through this e-course. In one of the first lessons the instructor, Kendra, talks about writing out your “ideal day.” I had heard about this exercise in the past, but never really thought much about it. I thought, “that sounds cool”, but never took the time to actually complete the exercise myself and thought, “nah, that sounds too difficult and not very helpful to me and my life.”
After listening to Kendra talk about writing out your ideal day I thought I would at least give it a shot before turning it down…again. And I am so glad that I did.
I was actually intrigued by the idea so i did a bit of research. I wanted to know where the concept came from and how it could help me on my simple living journey.
The exercise reminds me of an interview question I had read about when I was prepping for interviews during college. The whole point of that question is to get you to think about your values and priorities, in the context of the job position you are interviewing for.
In the course, Kendra was not talking about your ideal day in terms of a job interview, rather, she was talking about your ideal day from an overall perspective. During an interview you wouldn’t get into the mundane details like what pajamas you wear.
However, in the course, the instructor does recommend getting into the weeds. She recommends that you are very specific about what happens in your day, how you feel, what you wear, who you are with, and what you eat. She says the more details you provide about your ideal day, the more understanding you will have about where you want your life to go.
The purpose behind this exercise is to articulate your ambitions and your goals. What makes you tick? What gets you excited to wake up in the morning? These are all things that would make up your ideal day.
I think it’s important to note that the exercise is about your ideal day, not your perfect day. There is no such thing as a perfect day. Ideal can be defined as “being complete of its kind and without defect or blemish.” When we write out our ideal day we should think about how we would like the day to look, but keep in mind that no perfect day exists.
Why write out your ideal day? Your ideal day:
- Provides you with an opportunity to articulate your priorities, as long as you actually write (or type) it out. Simply thinking about your ideal day will not have the same effect.
- Gives you direction to work towards your goals. By writing my ideal day out I am committing to taking steps to make it a reality. I am not writing a piece of fiction here, I actually want to see this ideal day become a reality!
- Encourages you to think, not just about your big goals, but about the little things in your day as well. Picturing things like when you wake up, what food you eat, etc. is using a technique called visualization. This is the same tool athletes use to help them score the winning goal. If it helps athletes play their game well, why can’t it help us to live our ideal life?
How to write out your ideal day
- Set aside some time where you are comfortable and won’t be distracted.
- Think about some general topics as you write: general schedule, health, people, creativity, long-term goals, relaxation, location, income, and priorities.
- Use a list of question prompts to help you think about the various parts of the day. These help you to be more specific and really dig into the details. A few examples to get you started:
- Where would you be?
- Who would you be with?
- When do you wake up?
- What do you have for breakfast?
- Do you have children?
- Do you work inside the home? Outside the home?
-> For even more questions prompts consider downloading the FREE worksheet here!
- Ideal day madlibs – this is a fun free tool where they have drafted the narrative for you and left blanks for you to fill in your personal information. This is great if you have never done something like this before or you have no idea where to start!
- With a simple google search you will find numerous examples people have written. This article has some great examples (scroll to the bottom) and a video helping you write out your own.
So what does your ideal day have to do with actually living a simpler life?
I am so glad you asked! Your ideal day has EVERYTHING to do with whether or not you are living a simple life. Your ideal day is essentially a narrative of what you prioritize in life. In other words, what you write about in your ideal day should be what you are already doing or what you hope to do in the near future.
When I wrote out my ideal day I wrote things like:
- “my family relaxed and played together in an uncluttered living room”
- “we ate simple, healthy meals together as a family”
- “my family was not tripping over toys or shoes everywhere”
These types of statements indicate that I want a simpler home and I prioritize quality time with my family over managing stuff, cleaning stuff, and buying more stuff.
The things I wrote about in my ideal day should mirror “my why” behind living a simpler life. I want to live a simpler life so that I spend less time on the things in my life and spend more quality time with the people I cherish. My ideal day is full of those people.
->For more help writing your own WHY check out this post.
Have you ever written out your ideal day? What did you learn about your priorities by writing out your ideal day? Please share in the comments below or send me an email!