Last night, I lay awake in bed with a sickening feeling in my stomach that everything I am doing right now is going to fail. It made my head hurt and I couldn't sleep. I doubted my decisions and imagined all the worst case scenarios.
Then morning came.
Like a bad habit, my first instinct was to look at my phone to check messages, social media, etc. For me, that's not the best way to start the day. I pondered upon the good habits I have developed (ref: Start With Art) and want to develop (Meditation). And during this reflection, I had an insight:
What would my perfect day look like? And once that is figured out, can I live that day, today?
I don't need to do this everyday. But, just for today, I would live a perfect day of my life. The definition of perfect day for me is: Attaining maximum contentment within the practical constraints of the present situation.
So, I listed out all the things that would pass my test to become an ingredient in my perfect day. Here's my list of things I want to do:
- Wake up and not look at the phone (Failed)
- Exercise for 10 minutes (Success)
- Eat a fruit (Success - Watermelon)
- Read for 45 minutes (Success - Einstein: His Life and Universe)
- Write something original and publish it (If you are reading this, then Success)
- Meditate for 15 minutes
- Go out in the evening, get some air, run errands
- Learn something new - a language/skill/work related
- Find a nice new music album
- Chill with the friends and partner
- Have a beer or two while listening to that nice new album
- Indulge in dreamy conversation
Points to note:
- Failing to do a certain activity is OK. This is an aspirational list, not a mandatory one. (As you can see, I failed my first activity outright, but that's alright. The critical thing is to get back in the game.)
- The perfect day doesn't mean doing the most things you can. Go back to the definition. If, at the moment of your life, the perfect day means sleeping in all day, then by all means. The key is to be deliberate about that decision.
- A tip - Add an amount to your activity (15 minutes, 3 reps, etc.). You must have heard of TAG - Time and Amount goals and how they affect the chances of your accomplishing that goal. Well, this is pretty much what that is.
- The constraint of our daily life is our friend. Do whatever is possible within its scope.
- 'Once a week' is an out of the blue recommendation since it makes for a good title. Find your own frequency.
The reason I am doing this is to feel more in control of my life, even if for just one day. I don't yet know the full effect of this but I imagine that if we feel like shit and want a way to get things in order again, this might serve the purpose. I am about halfway done with my day. Let's see how the rest of it goes. So far, all good.
I hope you find it useful and I would love to hear your experiences with this technique. All the best!
Cover Image via Unsplash