What Does a Perfect Day Look Like to You?

Last Thursday I was sitting in a meeting and the thought came to mind, “What would my ‘perfect day’ look like?”

I sent a text to my wife and ask her what she thought.

Then I began mapping it out.

It looked something like this:

  1. 6:00 a.m. – Wake up
  2. 6:05 a.m. – Spiritual study & write in my journal for 30 minutes
  3. 6:35 a.m. – Exercise for 30 minutes
  4. 7:05 a.m. – Shower & shave for 10 minutes
  5. 7:15 a.m. – Ponder & Review Goals & Objectives for the day; Read from a business book for 45 minutes
  6. 8:00 a.m. – Breakfast with the family for 15 minutes
  7. 8:15 a.m. – Help get the kids ready for school and the day
  8. 8:30 a.m. – Begin my work day

The time from 8:30 – 4:30 p.m. would vary a bit depending on my goals, objectives and plan, but I will stick to the morning routine.

The evening routine would look like this:

  1. 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Help by taking care of the kids
  2. 6:15 p.m. – Eat dinner together, clean up dinner
  3. 7:00 p.m. – Play with the kids: soccer, reading, watching a show, board games, etc.
  4. 8:00 p.m. – Get the kids ready for bed, read, etc.
  5. 8:30 p.m. – Read a book
  6. 9:00 p.m. – Watch something together or just talk
  7. 10:00 p.m. – Pray and go to bed

I started this “routine” on Monday, December 6th, 2010. Monday, Tuesday and mostly Wednesday, it went pretty well. Thursday and Friday have been a bit more difficult, mostly because of the time I chose to go to bed.

As I’ve thought about this plan, one specific quote comes to mind:

If you’re bored with life – you don’t get up every morning with a burning desire to do things – you don’t have enough goals. – Lou Holtz

So, I guess the question I need to ask myself is: Where am I headed and how am I going to get there?

The Power of Waking Up Early

I’ve come to the conclusion that I really need to make a “contract” on why this is important that I follow my “perfect day” plan.

“Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise” – Ben Franklin

The Dami Lama said this about waking up early, “Everyday, think as you wake up, ‘today I am fortunate to have woken up, I am alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others, to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings, I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others, I am going to benefit others as much as I can.”

I’ve found some other information about early morning routines:

Goal time. Got goals? Well, you should. And there’s no better time to review them and plan for them and do your goal tasks than first thing. You should have one goal that you want to accomplish this week. And every morning, you should decide what one thing you can do today to move yourself further towards that goal. And then, if possible, do that first thing in the morning.

In the article I’m reading about waking up early, it also talks about How to Make the Change to Getting Up Early:

Don’t make drastic changes. Start slowly, by waking just 15-30 minutes earlier than usual. Get used to this for a few days. Then cut back another 15 minutes. Do this gradually until you get to your goal time.

Allow yourself to sleep earlier. You might be used to staying up late, perhaps watching TV or surfing the Internet. But if you continue this habit, while trying to get up earlier, sooner or later one is going to give. And if it is the early rising that gives, then you will crash and sleep late and have to start over. I suggest going to bed earlier, even if you don’t think you’ll sleep, and read while in bed. If you’re really tired, you just might fall asleep much sooner than you think.

Put your alarm clock far from you bed. If it’s right next to your bed, you’ll shut it off or hit snooze. Never hit snooze. If it’s far from your bed, you have to get up out of bed to shut it off. By then, you’re up. Now you just have to stay up.

Do not rationalize. If you allow your brain to talk you out of getting up early, you’ll never do it. Don’t make getting back in bed an option.

Have a good reason. Set something to do early in the morning that’s important. This reason will motivate you to get up. I like to write in the morning, so that’s my reason.

I also read an article titled “The Amazing Power of One” which talks about setting one main goal and working until that goal is an automatic part of your day or until you’ve accomplished it.

Change is hard. Changing many things at once can be overwhelming. And that’s where most people fail. They become overwhelmed mentally before they even start. A year goes by and their goals remain nothing more than mental laundry continually spinning around in their mind.

The “Rule of One” makes change easier. The “Rule of One” states that you install one new goal at a time. Once that new goal is on auto pilot, only then do you start on your next goal.

I’m excited to implement these changes today and track my progress.

How does having a routine help you succeed?

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2 Replies to “What Does a Perfect Day Look Like to You?”

  1. As I sit here reading this as 12:15 a.m. I am inspired to make some changes. But then I think about my busy life and don’t know how I can consistently stick to the changes. This is my problem…it seems that inevitably projects with deadlines are best completed late night. I may or may not be able to wake myself up to get things done, but at midnight I have the cushion of staying up as late as I need to to get the work finished. If I don’t get something done during the work day that has a due date, it seems the best solution is to wait until my kids are in bed to finish it. Right now, I have a BPO (Broker’s Price Opinion) that needs to be completed on a building. I can stay up another hour or two to do it, or risk not being able to wake up at 6 a.m. to get it done. It seems that periodic sleep deprivation has become a way of life for me, and no amount of waking up early is going to help resolve the problem. The only thing I can see that will really solve my problem is quitting my job.