Would you try a “Lifestyle Experiment”?
Everyone has an ideal life that they want to be living. What is yours? Have you figured it out yet?
If you’re trying to improve your life in anyway shape or form, then you’ve probably taken steps towards lasting and big change.
Creating real and lasting change takes time and sometimes it involves breaking an old habit and replacing it with a new positive habit. Pedram Shojai mentions this in an episode of the Health Bridge podcast.
If you’ve made changes towards the direction that you want to end up in, you’ve probably had many small victories, while also experienced many failures.
But sometimes it’s just carving that new pathway out in your brain. It’s just taking the time to create a repeating task. When you try out this new activity over and over again until it doesn’t hurt anymore and it doesn’t feel uncomfortable, it then happens with much more ease.
But the lack of satisfaction or desired result can cause a lot of people to give up before they can find their groove. This is why a lot of people give up on meditation after the first couple of sessions. Andy Puddicombe, founder of the Headspace App talks about this.
Sticking with a new habit, even if the results appear to be undetectable, you are still laying a future foundation. Like a house, you can’t build anything without a foundation.
So once you have a foundation, for anything not just meditation, what if you tried devoting a whole day to a lifestyle, a task, a hypothetical business, or just your ideal day?
I’ve been toying with this idea for a long time now. I wrote out what my ideal day looks like. I’ve shared this with friends and family before. I also list it out at the end of a previous Blog post.
So here is what I propose. What if you had an entire day free of any and all types of obligations, and you took that day and spent it living out your ideal lifestyle?
Of course you have to be regimented. And this can cause some stress. Usually people don’t like to induce any kind of stress, especially when it involves their free time. But I think there are some benefits to experiencing with what your ideal day might feel like.
It may not go as planned, especially seeing that you may only have a foundation setup for one of your new habits.
for example: Meditation, Oil Painting, Soldering, running a Social Media company, being a personal chef. The list can go on and on and is obviously tailored to the individual. But the point is, what if you tried to accomplish all of these things within a single day?
This experiment can be done in multiple ways as I mentioned above. Here are the two main variations I have tried –
The Ideal Day
In this scenarios, you spread out and schedule all of your desired new habits or tasks. For instance –
- Wake up and drink some lemon water
- Write for 20 minutes while sipping coffee
- Eat breakfast
- Run a mile
- Practice hand lettering for an hour
- Cold call a potential client
- Meditate for 20 minutes
- Tell a family member you love and value them
- Donate a box to the goodwill
The point of this day is to experience your ideal day, carrying out each activity.
In this scenario you would pick out something you could dedicate an entire day to. Perhaps you are at the point with a new habit or skill where you feel stuck. Perhaps you are trying to get to the next phase.
Some examples of a dedicated day –
- Dedicate 5 hours to writing your novel, followed by another 3 hours of editing.
- Using 4 hours to studying a programming language, spending 3 hours coding and then a final hour to trying to find someone willing to look over your code and give some real feedback.
- Spending 4 hours reading about Health, followed by an hour and half at the grocery store, and finally 2–3 hours cooking meals for the week.
In this scenario the main objective is to dedicate a block of roughly 8 hours. This gives you the opportunity to experience a normal day living out a dream job or using this entire day to gain adequate experience.
Granted this experiment might be hard if there are certain tools and resources that you don’t have at your fingertips. But I still think that this experiment could be worth what you will learn through the process.
Just by entertaining this idea, you might be talking with a colleague who could point you in the direction of a tool, resource or a coach.
My friend Rob and I tried working through the process of running a business. We carried this out several times, as we led up to the launch of some Garden Guides that we were selling at a book fair and online.
We were trying to sell “Garden Guides”, which were infographics and seed packets. This was aimed at the beginning gardener.
We realized we not only needed to have all 4 infographics printed, but much more was needed in order to successfully launch a brand, including the following:
- A Website
- A blog that published multiple times per week
- A Mailing list
- Additional packaging for selling/shipping the kits
- Social Media content
- Building of the infographics (which perhaps took the most time)
All of these tasks listed above required so many smaller steps. We found this extra work was required only in the act of putting in the work. There were also issues we found with the WordPress theme that we bought, as well as other unforeseen issues.
So as we continually peeled back the layers, we realized we might need some 8 to 10 hour days to collaborate and work. So that’s what we did for several weekends.
It was a lot of hard work. But it taught us a lot about launching a brand. It showed us just how much time and work is required. How having a team can make a world of different. And ultimately we learned that we skipped some critical steps int he very beginning, which hurt us in the end.
Overall, these long dedicated sessions to building a product launch and brand was a huge educational experience for the both of us. I know we would not have gotten there working on this for a few hours a month.
The Disciplined Day
Now in the last example, that was an experiment on launching a Brand/Business. I have also experimented with a more ideal lifestyle not only during the week but also on the weekends.
These experiments in lifestyle have included executing the following all within a single day:
- Sticking to a low FODMAPs/Paleo Diet
- Skill building (Writing & Adobe Illustrator)
- Creative production (Writing & Adobe Illustrator)
- Speaking with an Accountability Partner
- Exercising (Hiking, Bike Riding, P90X)
- Healthy Socialization (1 alcoholic drink, not sacrificing sleep)
- Getting 7–9 hours of sleep
Now I didn’t notice a giant shift on any of these days where I followed the above list, but I did feel good. I felt accomplished and it seemed to help all aspects out the next day. A sense of accomplishment, contentedness, organization and energy.
Would you try this experiment? And would you dedicate one task to a day or try to live out your ideal day? Let me know, I’d love to hear from you!
Get in touch with me here.
Originally published at efcreate.net on November 14, 2016.