How To Create Your Perfect Day GUILT FREE
And so we live our lives in hopeful anticipation, dreaming and praying to reach this wondrous day, while in the process we miss out on the anxious affair that life truly is. Life is not perfection; it is everything else.- Richelle E. Goodrich
I admit that I am a creature of habit. I like having a routine in place. When I’m on vacation and even during weekends, I am THAT individual who wakes up early at the crack of dawn ready to seize the day with a list of things to see, do and accomplish. Call me the energizer bunny but my paternal grandma (who raised me), trained me that I must be the early bird that catches the worm. Thus, my squirrel brain. I can see, feel, and taste an opportunity — I grab on to it and feel great satisfaction if I emerge as a winner. Competitive spirit much?
It has been five years when I was a full time entrepreneur for my brick and mortar business. It was a great transition from being a career federal employee because it gave me the reason to still wake up early, head to my office and be the last person to leave. Who am I kidding? An entrepreneur works the hardest clocking in more than 40 hours per week. More importantly, even if you are the boss, you are also the last one to receive a paycheck. That is the “founder’s curse.” You got to sacrifice a lot before you can enjoy the fruits of your labor.
That was my belief and from 2013 to 2017, a lot of things have transpired and changed my thinking. Much like when I looked back and noted how I defined my perfect day in the years past. I have come to ask myself, how does a perfect day for me look like in 2018?
How do YOU picture your own perfect day?
For the first 25 days of 2018, I varied up my routine and tested out “what makes up my perfect day” and this is what I came about:
Start with meditation. Meditation to me is my intimate relationship with the higher power. Even for 10 minutes to be quiet and feel gratitude NOT just for the things that have been granted to me (higher power is not a genie who grants your wish)- for another day for me to live, breathe, laugh, express love to people I care for, overcome the challenges in my journey, and for me to take inspired actions to live my purpose. I also take this time to acknowledge the areas of my life I am weak, need extra doses of courage to overcome, and divine wisdom to accept my flaws. I may still be in bed laying quietly, during the first few minutes rising from bed and walking towards the bathroom, or while I prepare coffee. Stop the urge in reaching out for your mobile phone upon waking up. I made it a point to have my phone recharging in the living room during the night.
Eat the three big frogs within my first two to three waking hours . This entails looking at the three items on my list that will draw me closer to my life’s goals. My grandma has been right all these years that anything I can prepare the night before, I got to do it. I still keep a planner and I hand write events on my simple pad planner, which includes routine tasks, weekly goals, appointments, menu, and things to do for fun and relaxation. I tried to keep everything on my smart phone before. Truth of the matter is; we still need to engage our visual, kinesthetic, and auditory faculties for something to stick. The act of writing down things is imprinting in our brain what needs to get done and freeing up precious memory space. So the night before, I have my three frogs ready, my outfit for the next day, and whatever needs to be prepped for my family and I are neatly lined up for the following day.
The Wall Street Journal suggested, “ tackle personal tasks before sunrise; find focus before distractions begin.” I find great productivity during my first three hours upon waking up. Consider these your sacred hours for yourself. If you give up these precious hours doing tasks other than directed efforts toward your personal endeavors, you are giving away your power in taking control of your destiny.
When I worked full time and nurturing a side hustle, 4 am was my norm. I have 30 minutes to do my ‘waking up’ routine and off I go for one hour of exercise, once I enter our home — wife and mother roles come to play. The mad rush ensues to get showered, lunch bags ready, wake up my hubby and daughter, look like a decent human being, and get everyone out of the door early beating the dreadful morning traffic. I could not help but feel resentment for these hours of chaotic morning rush. I craved for the freedom to leisurely enjoy my mornings.
Now that I work from home and home schooling my daughter, my mornings start at 6 am. I have rearranged daily events accordingly i.e. exercise time, work hours, and teaching sessions with my daughter. Thus, creating a more peaceful and centered start. I know that for those who still has a day job, ‘mad rush’ mornings still exist. Try to create ways to claim your sacred hours (even for just one hour) and save your sanity. Make the necessary adjustments to give yourself an extra buffer of time in the mornings.
Always end your day with a reflective heart. As you drive home, prepare dinner, in the shower before bed, those 15 minutes of your time sitting in your car by your driveway before entering your house, or as you brush your teeth before you retire for the night— take this opportunity to examine the day’s events. If you have time to browse Facebook or Instagram…or watch your favorite TV show… you can squeeze time for this.
Remember your dinner table conversations with your parents when they asked you how your day in school went? Begin with that thought. What worked for you? What made you smile? What frustrated you? Is there something you can do better? Did you provide value for others? Did you lose your cool? Did you behave anything less you expect yourself to behave? What can you do to avoid being the ‘angry boss, wife or mom”? This practice opens you up to take more self-responsibility. To take ownership of your thoughts and actions. To do things slightly different and see what suits you best. Plato stressed that “an unexamined life is not worth living.”
These are my suggestions in our attempt to create a perfect day without the guilt. Being mindful is a lifestyle that will only work if this is fitted for YOU. Perhaps that wellness retreat, yoga class, an inspirational role model’s speaking event, girls trip, or beach vacation is not within reach yet…do not let this be your excuse not to start BEING. To become the better version of ourselves starts when we make the conscious decision that we HAVE each morning as a new beginning…and it is for us to seize it!