So, I didn't quite manage to get a blog out last week, but I'm not sorry, because the day I had scheduled in to write the blog turned out to be my ideal day. You know the kind, one of those days in my business that feel a bit magical.
I went to The Joy Coach, Lynn Hord's, Joy Jam Sessions networking event. This was followed by a good few hours of "unofficial" networking. Then in the evening as I was approaching my parent's house, I caught my mum on her way out of the door on her way to see a friend of ours in a local production of a musical. When asked if I wanted to tag along it was a no-brainer!
Why am I telling you this? It's not just an excuse for not having written a blog last week (honest!) but I wanted to share it with you because I'm hoping it will inspire you to design your own ideal day too...
As Stephen Covey said, start with the end in mind. And sometimes we get so caught up in the big, juicy, audacious goals - the big picture - that we forget that it's how we spend our time day-to-day and the little things that give us joy that actually make life fun. So yes, setting big goals is important, but if you can picture what that will mean for you during your days and weeks, then you can go even deeper into the big vision.
Your ideal day doesn't necessarily mean you would want every single day to be exactly the same - after all, variety is the spice of life. But it would ideally be repeated often enough to make you feel like business - and life - is both fun and fulfilling.
When I've tried exercises to design my ideal day in the past, I've struggled to really get into the exercise, because there are just so many options - I mean, where would I start?
However, when I reflected on the day I enjoyed last week, I realised that I probably couldn't have designed that day if I'd tried. The thing that made it special was that it incorporated several of the values - or feel-good factors - at the heart of my business, which I talked about my quarterly review.
To give you an idea, this included...
Fun - I started the day greeting fellow business women with warm hugs, then enjoyed chatting over delicious food and drink, and finished the day up on my feet clapping and singing along to the grand finale of "Made in Dagenham". Sooooooo much fun (for me... this might be different to what's fun for you of course)!
Freedom - Apart from the networking event, I had left the rest of the day gloriously open. So I had the freedom to hang out with some of the ladies after it had finished and then to go on an impromptu theatre trip. If I'd fallen into my habit of over-planning, that couldn't have happened.
Fulfilment - The whole day was tremendously fulfilling. Mostly because of the next point...
Connection - I felt like I made real connections throughout the day. Lynn Hord shapes her event specifically to facilitate genuine connection, and relaxing and chatting afterwards deepened those connections especially as I got to hang out with some people I only normally see online. The theatre trip gave me a shared experience with my mum and being there meant a lot to our friend, who was a fantastic lead in the musical. I also felt very connected to my authentic self all day.
Balance - This all helped to give me a sense of balance. It was a full and fulfilling day, but I felt relaxed yet energised at the end of it. Yum!
So my suggestion for designing your ideal days is to start here, with a set of business values "feel-good factors" so you can create a pick and mix of activities that you can choose from to create your ideal day - or days. So here are some steps to help you to design your own ideal day(s)
Mine are fun, freedom, fulfilment, financial reward, vitality, connection, and balance. What are yours?
Please don't agonise over this. Once you identify these, they are not set in stone. You can always change them later!
Create a list (or mindmap) of activities for each of these values. For example, any of the feelgood factors I listed above could include a number of different activities. "Connection" might include networking or going to the theatre with my mum like last week, but it could also have included having a really great chat with one of the women in my network or a friend, getting my weekly email out to my community, delivering a talk, or doing a Facebook Live. See how that opens up my day to all kinds of possibilities.
Play around with various combinations of your feelgood factors to make different ideal day "combos."
If I had planned that ideal day, I would definitely have overplanned. I would have tried to squeeze too much in which wouldn't have left the space for chatting over coffee or a surprise trip to the theatre. Since overplanning is something I see almost all of my business friends do, I felt like this step was a must-have. You can have too much of a good thing if you try to have it all at once.
If there are any combos from Step 3 that particularly excite you, then see where you can create those days in your diary. Schedule an ideal day in sometime in the next 2-4 weeks, and try to make an ideal day happen at least 1-2 times per month. Let me know how you get on!
Your feel good factors might be different to mine, so here are some other ideas:
What are your business values, or "feelgood factors"? What would your ideal day or week look like? How often do you get to have your ideal day? I love to read your tips, tricks and insights, so please share in the comments box below.
I am passionate about women in business achieving success in a way that works for them and making the changes they need to make in order to make that happen. However, though change can be exciting it can also be scary, triggering behaviours that might not make sense to you (procrastination or self-sabotage anyone?). I help entrepreneurial women to navigate change with more clarity, confidence and courage so that these behaviours can be dissolved and they can move forward with ease and flow. If that sounds good, I'd love to hear from you!