Daily and Annual Calendar Planning
Recently I asked a friend, “How was your day yesterday?”
I actually asked him to give it a score on a scale of one to 10. He replied with seven.
I asked him, “What would have made it a nine?”
He said, “It would have been a nine if I would have gone for a walk with my headphones on early in the morning, called my father to say hello, spent half an hour with my young kids, and even had a massage”.
I asked him if he could have planned all this in, and he said yes. And this brings us to discuss the topic of this chapter—planning your perfect days to curate the dream life you most desire.
There are activities we can do daily, weekly, monthly, and annually that can make our life so much richer. Right now, I would like you to make a list of things you can insert into your day, week, month, or year, in order to increase the amount of joy in your life.
Some clients of mine are a married couple who more often than not seem uninspired about life. Recently I asked them what they had planned for the year ahead, and whether they had any holidays booked. I asked them what they were looking forward to. Nothing much” they said, with sloth-like enthusiasm. Wow, no wonder they aren’t excited about life! I asked why not. They said that between work and their child it all seems too hard to organise. As it turns out a lot of things are hard for them, like exercising, eating healthy, and remaining positive.
I had another client and part of our process was to write down 5 things he was grateful for each day. “Five!” he exclaimed. “Every day?” How can I come up with that many things? Well, it’s not that hard, and you can repeat the same thing often. You have eyes that can read this, fingers that move, you have a roof over your head and money in the bank. We live in a country that is safe and free where the weather is great and there’s an abundance of opportunity. This guy had a car and healthy kids and a lovely partner and loads of support. We don’t have to look far to find the good stuff. Perhaps it’s our primal brain hardwired for survival that makes us look for danger and negatives first, or maybe it’s the news telling us there’s a crisis coming, or the people we associate with that like talking about their problems…whatever it is, focusing on what’s missing only brings us more of what’s missing.
You cannot get to abundance from lack. You cannot attract happiness while having thoughts of unhappiness. When that’s the case you’re out of alignment no you are defeated before you’ve begun. I’m talking about everything here: relationships, life goals, health, weight, money, your dream job…
I don’t believe in living every day like it’s your last. If that were the case, I would suggest you put this book down right now! However, I do like to think about living every year like it’s your last. I encourage you to fast-forward in your mind to your last days on this earth and ask yourself what is most important to you. Then make that important now.
Here’s a little list to get you thinking!
- Coffee at a café
- Phone call with a friend
- Cuddling your kids
- Date night
- Restaurant dinner
- Yoga class
- Weekend away
- Dinner with friends
- Have family over for a barbecue
- Go see a movie
- Overseas holiday
- New car
The things that are easy to do, such as booking a massage or organising a dinner date, are also easy not to do. I was speaking to a client called Sophie recently about keeping the flame alive in your intimate relationship. She is 51 years old and was divorced 12 years ago. She said that she has a lot of divorced friends and they have started new relationships and they are commenting on how new and fresh everything feels. She also said that in her experience the reason her previous relationship became old and stale is because her and her partner never did anything that was new and fresh!
I do a lot of work with married couples in their 30’s and 40’s with kids, and also a lot of work with people in their 50’s and 60’s whose kids are now adults. I have a financial planner called Chris who is almost 70 years old, and he calls the years with young kids the ‘beautiful chaos”. In those times we are trying to raise a young family, build some wealth, and take care of our health. I use the analogy of juggling the three balls, and inevitably we are dropping one or more of those balls. We can’t drop the kids because they rely on us. We can’t leave our jobs because we need the money. It’s in these years health and wellness can fall by the wayside, and also when couples can grow distant. I have experienced that myself. With desire and planning we can fit in everything that is important to us and live a rich and fulfilling life.
Imagine seeing your entire year mapped out with big holidays, small weekends away, and a daily structure that you love and that doesn’t make you yearn for the weekend. It can all be done, but nobody is going to plan your dream life except you!
A dream board, or vision board, works in a similar way to the written exercise where you document your ideal life. The main difference is that with the board, the representation is visual, which many people find more inspiring and easier to view. There are three main learning styles – visual, auditory and kinesthetics, and most people are visual which is why dream board work so well. The idea is to embed into our subconscious mind images of the life we want to live.
The subconscious mind doesn’t understand language–it thinks in feelings, emotions, and images. There is no better way to combine all three than to create an inspiring visual graphic of all the things you want your life to represent and encompass.
The most basic way to create a dream board would be to cut images from magazines, or look up images online and print them. Then stick everything on a large piece of cardboard, or directly on to your wall.
Alternatively, you may create a digital version that you can use as your phone or computer background. In order to ensure you are on the right track with the images you select, I always feel it is best to start by identifying your core values, setting your goals, and writing down a vision for your life, before creating your dream board. This makes it easy to select images that match up with your goals and vision. Here is an example of a finished product.
I am fascinated with the concept of living your life doing what you love. The funny thing is a lot of people can’t identify what they love. Where’s the limitation? Money? Responsibility? Anthony Robbins says the quality of your life depends on the quality of the questions you ask yourself. I also think if you want a better answer then ask a better question. How does this work in practice? Instead of saying “I can’t do it” you ask yourself “How can I do it?” Our mind is programmed to search for answers. There’s a part of our brain called the Reticular Activating System which is the portal through which almost all information enters our brain. When we put out into the universe the outcome we want our Reticular Activating System goes to work filtering and prioritising information that is helpful in achieving our goal. A simple example of this is when you are thinking about buying a red Mazda, then when you go driving all you can see is red Mazda’s! How about some more quality questions? How can we live life doing what we love? How can we make it happen? What would this mean? How would I feel? How would my life be then? What kind of person would I be? Would I have a greater impact on the world? Would I be happier, more content and more fulfilled? Would life be more fun and interesting? I think so.
Affirmations are short sentences repeated regularly, so they also embed into your subconscious mind. Affirmations support and strengthen the images on our dream board., From there with the right mental outlook and a little action, these statements eventually come to fruition. Here are some examples: