I have had so many people expressing surprise that I am settling into our new life in New Zealand so quickly – and to be honest, I sometimes catch myself feeling surprised too. Now I cannot discount the fact that I know exactly where my blessings are coming from – thank you Jesus! – but I also want to acknowledge something my coach did with me when I went through my last transition. (Yes, coaches have coaches, or the best ones do, and I don’t mean that in an arrogant way. Note to self: Write a blog about that.) But I digress. What my coach did was to make me create my Best Day.
As I recently came to the end of a thoroughly fulfilling day, I realised that my season of intentionally creating my Best Day had caused me to start doing so instinctively. In other words, I could have a great day on any given day because I knew how to. Once you have this skill, you can create a series of best days which create a best week, which create your best month and year. You get the picture. Each day you succeed in creating your Best Day is like creating a pearl, and before long you can string yourself a pearl necklace if you are intentional about it.
If we are to live lives of purpose, we need to know how to create this kind of day. For most of my adult life I woke up each morning and went through the motions like a robot. Now, thanks to this very fruitful exercise from my coach, I know what my Best Day looks like and I can intentionally build one, day by day.
So let’s get to the nitty gritty. How do you build your Best Day?
Take a piece of paper or your journal. (If you are serious about living an intentional life full of purpose, go and buy yourself a journal.)
Now book at least 2 hours in your diary. It will be worth the investment, I promise!
Go somewhere inspiring and quiet.
Now think about all the activities you absolutely love doing during your day and which energise you. At this point don’t worry if they are not really work-related. Just write every single activity that you love, and that makes you feel strong and magnificent, down on a page.
Circle all the activities that don’t relate to your actual job or work. Look at each activity and write down what it is you love about that activity. Personally I really enjoy writing down my thoughts and journaling, and when I acknowledged that, I realised that writing a book or a blog could very well be part of my job – and that led me to write my book and begin a blog. At the time, it was just something I really enjoyed, but when I looked to see how it could be (1) part of my productive day and (2) a way to make it profitable and beneficial, it become something fruitful. The best part is that it’s something I really enjoy doing. It’s a win-win squared!
Once you have a list of things that would create your perfect day, start intentionally finding ways to weave them into your day.
I have things I need to do during my day or week that aren’t all fun, but most of my day is filled with activities that play to my strengths and energise me. These carry me through the mundane and necessary activities and those activities I don’t enjoy.
I trust you have had a wonderful Christmas break and that these early days of January will give you lots of opportunities to think of all the things you love to do. Even if they have absolutely nothing to do with your work, make sure you build in time for them. Make time to talk and walk with your spouse, have tea with your kids, fiddle around in the garden or garage.
Be intentional about creating one pearl at a time.