One of the most powerful exercises I have ever done personally and with clients is the Ideal Day in the Ideal Lifestyle exercise.
Imagine an ideal day in your ideal lifestyle
Stop what you are doing… close your eyes, relax, put your feet up or meditate and ask yourself to picture yourself one day in the future. This is what you would consider to be a perfect day. It can be a day when you are retired or a day when you are still working. It doesn’t matter.
- Where are you?
- What time you get up?
- Who is in bed beside you when you wake? (or what… e.g. your pet)
- What does your room look like?
- What does your house look like?
- What do you have for breakfast, lunch, dinner?
- Then what do you do?
- Who do you talk to throughout the day?
- What are you planning?
- What are you working on?
- What are you doing?
- Who do you see?
- What activities do you do?
- What’s happening with your family and friends?
How does this day compare with other days this week, this month, this year?
Imagine the smells, the sounds, what you feel when you touch things.
Get very clear in your mind — even take some time to create a vision board if you’d like.
Now write out your day with such detail that an actor and director could re-enact it perfectly. How does it feel while you are writing this?
Keep tweaking until it feels right.
For example, I thought that my ideal lifestyle would include living on a Caribbean Island — open the door in the morning, get fresh juice and fruit, sit outside and read, go to the gym or a bike ride or a boat trip, come in when it’s too hot to create, make a great dinner, relax and enjoy the sunset.
And then I realized that I’d be bored stiff in about 2 weeks and I’d be claustrophobic within a month or so. My hubby was even going to apply for a job he’d been previously offered a job on a Caribbean Island but we knew we’d go stir crazy.
So I changed my day. It now takes place in Italy and I’m still working.
Once you have revised your day and it feels right, read it outloud. Watch for places your body twitches or otherwise indicates to you that it’s not right. Watch for places where you may be saying to yourself “I don’t deserve this” or other negative thoughts.
Explore the negative thoughts — what do you need to do so that you tell yourself you do deserve this and can achieve it?
Keep tweaking with the day until you can read it outloud and you believe what you have written.
Now turn on your webcam or your phone camera or some other video recording device, look into the camera and, without looking at what you’ve written, explain your ideal day. This exercise is for your eyes only so don’t worry about how you look or sound. Remember to share the details so that if a director and actor saw the video they’d know how to re-enact your day perfectly.
When you are playing back the video look for a few things: What did you change in your story? Where did you stumble? Did you look like you believed yourself that this ideal day is possible? How do you feel while sharing this day?
The power of this exercise is to get clear on what you want and what makes you happy. It’s also what you should be working towards, so that when you are making your day-to-day decisions now you can move towards this day.
Again, my ideal day takes place in Italy. I’ll spare you the details but I will tell you that what I’m building with my brands, what I’m sharing with my message, how I’ve structured my life and the decisions that hubby and I are making will get us living in Italy one day. At the time I did this exercise, I imagined me being on stage, being interviewed on TV, writing books and checking in with the CEOs of my brands on a regular basis. I had no idea what the message I was delivering…
… but now I do…
It’s the Enlightened Capitalist message… and I know for sure that one day my day will look a whole lot like what I imagined years ago.