I am about to confess to something that might cause you to think twice about ever hiring me as a coach. On more than one occasion, my instructor for my first coach training program tried to kick me out because I sucked so bad. Now to be fair, this man was a genius who was incredibly difficult. However, he worked very hard to get rid of me, and by sheer will alone, I wouldn't go.
I remember one exercise in particular that he failed me on. He failed me with a curt email telling me if that was the best I could do, I was so uninspiring to him, he didn't want to talk to me again. I remember it clearly because he was right. I wasn't just uninspiring. I was living an uttered uninspired life, and I thought I was doing the best I could do.
If you've ever worked with a coach or read a self-help book, you've probably heard of the perfect day exercise. You know, you're supposed to write a description of what a perfect day would be. It is intended to give you clarity about what you want and inspire you to make appropriate changes to get there.
The first time I did it, in coach training, I felt like the purpose of the exercise was to remind me how much my life sucked and how far I was from having anything I wanted.
I was missing the magic altogether.
So, I did it. I think I wrote something like:
In my perfect day, I'd be working as a successful coach and author.
I'd spend my days in my sailboat office.
I'd spend time with my kid and my friends.
At this point, I was a struggling single mother who didn't even get up in time to get my own child to the bus. I would bolt out of bed ten minutes before I needed to be in the car on the way to work.
I spent nine hours at a desk without getting up for anything other than to go pee. I napped at my desk during lunch. I came home from work in time to lay down the watch the evening news.
I stayed there until I had to make dinner. We ate it in front of the TV where I usually stayed until near bedtime. Occasionally, I'd talk to a friend or my mom on the phone.
Then I'd go to bed, only to rinse and repeat for the next day.
You might be wondering when I ever took a shower. Looking back, I'm wondering the same thing. So, as you can see, my life wasn't anywhere in the neighborhood of what I thought my ideal life should be.
So when my instructor failed me for being so uninspiring, he followed it up with a suggestion. "You have failed." he wrote. "However, for your own damn sake, I suggest you rip a page out of a calendar planner and do this assignment like it was a daily schedule, from the time you wake to the time you go to bed."
Begrudgingly I did it. It took me seven full days. It took me that long to get clarity. It looked something like this:
7:00 Get up and shower
8:00 Yoga or a walk
8:30 Breakfast - delicious nutricious fuel
8:45 Leave for my office on the boat
9:00 Work with clients
12:00 Lunch with friends
1:00 Writing and Creative projects at home office
4:00 Go for a walk with my kid
6:00 Clean up around the house or work in the yard
7:00 Manifesting practices or do something with a friend
9:30 Prep for the next day
10:00 Get ready for bed
Now to be clear, even that felt like a wild fantasy. However, when I looked at it, I saw something magical. It changed my life.
I could have been living about 70% of my perfect ideal day right then and there. I wasn't giving myself any of it because I didn't have a coaching practice with an office on a boat.
Up until that moment, all I knew about my perfect day was it was different than the days I was having. I knew I didn't like what I had. That doesn't work. Without the clarity of what I wanted, the infinite field of potential could only notice me noticing what I didn't like about my life and keep giving me more of that.
However, once I had that clarity, I realized, I could start being her now in a lot of ways.
So, I did, and I began birthing a new life, one hour at a time.
The perfect day exercise isn't about the big picture. It's about the details that make an identity shift.
Once you realize what you want, you get a picture of how that woman would behave. Behaviors are about 90% of identity.
There is a magical making transformational possibility in doing your perfect day exercise. Take your time. Feel it out. Once you do, I'm pretty positive you'll find a bunch of ways to become that now. Sure, something might be out of your reach. However, I'm guessing you'll surprise yourself with how much of it can happen now.
For the record, my day as it sits right now is a lot like my fantasy day from before. I don't go to my boat to work, but I could if I wanted to.