You might have done this exercise before, where you spend a few minutes to imagine and daydream your answer to this question (or some variation of it):
“If time and money didn’t matter, what would a Perfect Day in your life be like?”
As a big dreamer (and daydreamer), I love this exercise because I get to explore the various different possibilities for my life – waking up to a beautiful (seaside) view, creating meaningful work, visiting and exploring amazing places, my achievements and successes, being friends with famous people, and so on…
If you’ve done this exercise before, you may have different variations of this Perfect Day, as what matters to you changes over time as you evolve and grow in your journey.
Here’s the latest version of my perfect day, which I wrote out about two weeks ago in the form of a schedule:
8am Wake up
– Naturally with no alarm in a nice comfortable queen sized bed with many pillows
– View outside the window/balcony is of an endless sea / giant lake with mountains in the far distance
9am-12pm Creative work
– Have a separate work space in my home or artist residency
– Work on my creative projects
(This schedule only applies for when I’m not in the middle of painting a Dream Tree).
12pm Prep lunch / go out for lunch
2-6pm Business work / Coaching
– Return to studio or go to my favorite cafe to work, or go out and meet clients in person
6pm Exercise (jog 2x a week) or evening walk
– At-home exercises if no plans for the evening
– If I have plans for the evening, I’ll exercise in the morning
7pm Prep dinner / go out for dinner
8pm-11pm Attend events, meet friends, explore, or relax at home
12am End of the day
– Consolidate learnings for the day
– Lie in bed and watch TV shows, or read until 2am.
– Spend 1-3 months per location
– 2 days off per week, where I will take day trips to explore the area – nearby cities, towns, hiking
– Morning routine: meditation, Morning Pages, at-home exercises
Take ten minutes now and try it.
You can get some pen and paper to draw it out or write some notes, or open a Word document and type it out. Or you can use a voice recording app as you talk it out, and playback later to listen to it.
When you dream about your Perfect Day, make it something meaningful to you — a perfect day as part of the dream life you envision for yourself.
So that it’s not just about escaping from your current obligations and responsibilities, or holidaying and doing touristy things (I know many people look forward to vacations as “perfect days”, but I’d like you to think more holistically than that).
Ok, you got it written or recorded down somewhere? Great!
Now look closely at what you’ve written.
The Truth About Your Perfect Day
A misconception about the Perfect Day is that some people tend to take it literally, as a goal to strive toward in order to feel fulfilled, or happy, or that they’re living a life without regrets.
I can assure you it’s quite highly unlikely that we will ever have a Perfect Day that would unfold exactly 100% the way we’ve written it down, because there are way too many factors involved that are outside of our control.
So don’t worry, your Perfect Day is not an ideal or standard for you to strive toward.
Now, when you look closely at your Perfect Day, pay attention not to the specifics, but instead look for overarching themes and commonalities in what you’ve written.
If you look at my example, you’ll notice that my perfect day is a work day, where I spend six hours engaged in work that I find meaningful to me. There are also a few mentions that I’m not bound to one location, moving around every 1-3 months, and exploring the area I’m in during my days off.
What are the themes, or repeated or common things that you’ve written down in your perfect day?
Perhaps like me, you’d like to spend more time engaged in meaningful work? Perhaps you want to spend more quality time with your family and friends? Perhaps you want to explore new places and go on new adventures?
The truth about your Perfect Day is that it reveals what really matters to you, and what you really desire in your life right now.
Which means the key to begin living the life that you envision isn’t about working towards that future goal, or being ready for it, or having all your ducks in a row before you begin… the key to living the live you’ve always envisioned for yourself happens in the actions that you take right here right now.
Our life unfolds in the day-to-day moments, and according to every single decision that we make. Even the seemingly insignificant decisions have an impact on our future.
Thus writing out your Perfect Day shows you the areas in your life now where you need to start shifting some of your decisions, and they don’t even need to be big life-changing decisions, in order to bring you much closer to the life you’ve envisioned years down the road.
If your Perfect Day is about spending more quality time with your family friends, how can you start doing that now? Even if it’s just to pick up the phone and chat with someone for ten minutes, this is better than waiting for the “right” time when you’re both able to spend an hour to get coffee together.
If your Perfect Day is about travel and exploration and new adventures, how can you start having more of that in your life now? Perhaps there’s a park on the other side of your city that you’ve never visited before, or a type of cuisine that you’d like to try.
And if your Perfect Day is about doing meaningful work, the best way to build your path in that direction is to find small ways to make meaning in your life now, even if it’s just ten minutes a day to immerse yourself in your favorite hobby, or publishing a blog article once a month.
So what’s that one thing you can change in your life today, that you can start living right away, that will bring you closer not only to your Perfect Day, but also to the life you’ve envisioned for yourself?