How to Make Your Every-Day Awesome
What does an awesome day look like for you? Do you know? I always have my coaching clients walk me through their ideal day when we begin working together in order to get them thinking about what they want and to help me get an idea of what is currently important to them. I insert the word currently in there because what an ideal day looks like this year may be very different the next.
Sometimes we know more of what we don’t want, than what we do, and sometimes we tend to go from one extreme to the other, overshooting the ideal place that lies somewhere in between.
Most of the time my clients’ ideal days do not include work or taking care of anyone. Even clients with children tend to describe their ideal day with no mention of kids; no hectic mornings, no drudgery jobs, no housecleaning, no commute, no grocery shopping. In my experience this is totally normal by the way.
The ideal days I hear about usually include things like; waking up without an alarm, journaling, breakfast smoothies or preparing eggs, workouts, yoga, meditation, reading, lunch with friends, clean beautiful houses, walks, fit healthy bodies, solitude, farmers markets, beaches, forests, hiking, adventure, ease, art, creation, and relaxation.
What I never hear about is; hurry, being busy, over-scheduled calendars, errands, doctors visits, prescriptions, fast food, complaining, bickering, crappy jobs, being sick, procrastination, money problems, or bad weather.
Okay now we have an idea of what an Ideal Day looks like and what it doesn’t. But there are things we don’t love doing that have to get done in our every day life. Someone still has to be washing the dishes, going to work, or paying the bills.
The key is that we have to find a way to blend what has to be done with what we want to do in a way that creates mostly awesome days. Sounds tough, but if we actually set out with intention to create a life that brings us joy and more awesome days, it’s not only doable but pretty simple, it will literally make your life better almost immediately.
How do we make our daily life the best it can be? For each of us this will look different, but the process with be the same. I know actually doing the steps below seems tedious and you don’t feel like taking the time, but trust me it’s so worth it.
1. Make 2 Lists
List Number 1:
Write down all the things in your life that are not generally part of your ideal day. These are the things that have to get done, things like your job, work, paying bills, make dinner, drive kids to practice, walk dog, buy food…all the things. This list will be extensive.
List Number 2:
Write down all the things that would make a day ideal for you. This will be things like take a nap, read a book, go for a walk, have lunch with a girlfriend, have free time, not being in a hurry, leisurely mornings. This list might be harder than the first because you have given what you do want in your life less time and attention than the things you feel you have to do.
2. Look at the first list and cross off anything you don’t truly have to do and that does not bring you joy.
Maybe you are the member of a group or volunteer for something that no longer fits. Cross it off the list and remove these things from your life by declining, saying no, and resigning.
Maybe you have old outdated hobbies that no longer bring you joy, or you realize you no longer love doing. Maybe you no longer love gardening or baking, let these parts of your life retire.
The hardest thing to address here are things you are doing for others that you feel you have to do. Is your kid in multiple activities? Guess what. You’re not a terrible mom if you don’t allow that or if you do, you don’t have to be the chauffeur.
Do you work more hours than you really need to? Can you meet your expenses and financial goals but take a part time position? Maybe it’s time to re think your career goals. Maybe you need to create boundaries between your work and personal life or you simply need to leave the office on time every day.
3. What can I delegate or hire out?
If you hate doing the housework and you can afford it, hire a housekeeper. Maybe you hate specific chores like cleaning windows or doing laundry, you can hire a cleaning service to do anything on whatever schedule you like, pretty much.
Maybe you hate the planning, shopping, cooking, clean up - routine. You can order freshly prepared meals delivered each week.
If you figure out the cost of your time and effort, many of these services are a real bargain.
If you live in a household with others, maybe it’s time you took a look at everyone’s responsibilities and re-shuffled the deck. It’s not the 1950s and you are not solely responsible for putting meals on the table and clean towels in the cabinet.
4. What can be automated?
If you haven’t already automated all the things you can, now is the time. Bill pay, banking, and grocery delivery immediately come to mind. I like shopping for food but sometimes I still either have it delivered or do a pick up, especially when I have many things on my plate.
The funny thing is, I like shopping for food when I’m not over scheduled. Same with cooking and organizing; I actually enjoy these things when I have plenty of space around them. The important thing is to space everything out so you aren’t BUSY or over loaded.
5. Determine what items on this list could be simplified.
It’s pretty common for us humans to make a less than ideal situation even worse by procrastinating on things we don’t like.
What are the things on this list that are mole hills yet you let them turn into mountains?
Do you handle the paperwork situation in your home regularly or wait until you can’t see your desk and can’t find anything when you need it?
Do you stay on top of the house cleaning or let it get so bad you won’t let anyone inside your house and you need an entire weekend to clean it up?
What things in your life do you need to maintain regularly in small bits that will make your days better. Laundry, dishes, shopping, cleaning, filing, banking, organizing…if you do these things when they are small tasks on a daily or weekly basis, those days will be easy and smooth, instead of hectic and full of guilt.
6. Block out time in your weekly schedule for what’s left.
The items left on the list are the items we have to do but aren’t exactly ideal. Things like going to work, making, dinner, and cleaning. Remember not to over schedule, keep your days easy, light and spacious when you can.
What can we do to make them as painless or even pleasant? Let’s take a look at that second list.
7. Look at the list and underline all the mood or feelings you wanted to evoke during your ideal day.
If you don’t have any written down think about it now and jot down your thoughts.
Maybe you want to be relaxed, have free time, feel ease in your day. Maybe you crave adventure, excitement or novelty. Whatever it is for you, consider how you can build your day to capture this mood or feeling.
If you are looking for ease you can plan really early nights and then have leisurely early mornings and have plenty of time to start your day. If you want to feel more relaxed make sure you schedule in plenty of free time for reading, naps, and long baths into your days.
If your ideal day was filled with adventure and excitement make sure to plan a weekly excursion to go hiking, hit the adventure park, or to plan your next vacation. Maybe you can combine your workout with skiing or biking.
8. Look at list number two and circle all the items that are to do’s.
Things like take a nap, read a book, make smoothie, or painting are all tasks you want to do during an ideal day.
As I mentioned briefly above maybe you can combine something you have to do with something you want to do. Instead of sweating it out in the gym (feel you have to) maybe you go for a bike ride (something you want to).
Go through the things you want to do and see where you can build them into your daily life. Schedule things in where you have time and do something you love everyday, even if it’s reading a book or taking a walk.
9. Focus on your work day.
How can you make your workday amazing? You can likely meet a girlfriend for lunch during your workday or you can plan in tea or coffee breaks. Make them really good by bringing your own products or go out for your favorite coffee or tea. Don’t settle for gross office coffee if it’s not to your liking.
Your workday is much like your personal life too, don’t make simple tasks giant by procrastinating. Get the tasks done early and plan your time getting to and from work in a way that is not rushed or hurried.
Work on projects in junks of time with walking breaks in between.
Brainstorm all the things you like about your work and ways you can make it better.
10. Stop Waiting for Someday, Make it Today
Don’t wait for the weekend, the next vacation, or for a special occasion. DO IT NOW. Your life is happening right now - today.
All these ordinary days are the ones building the life you have.
Wear the fancy jewelry or lingerie today, don’t save it. Use the fine china, expensive candles, and fancy hand cream now. Make every day a great day. Make every day special, because today is the only day you are guaranteed to have.
Wouldn't it be nice to enjoy your every-days so much you stop pining for the weekend or dreading Mondays?