Envisioning the Life You Really Want

To create something beautiful and wonderful and new, you have to imagine it first.
— Martha Beck

The following guide will take you through imagining an “ideal day” in your future.  This is a powerful exercise that will highlight the life themes that are most important to you. By harnessing your creative imagination, you also bypass the rational mind that sometimes overthinks the "how" and sets comfortable (and confining) limits for what it believes is possible for you. 

Keep in mind that The Ideal Day is your creation. This is not about having to come up with "big, splashy goals" -  unless that is what you know you really want for yourself.  If there are things you have been wanting for a long time, then this is a great place to allow yourself to imagine what it is like to have those things. Your day may be very full or it may be quite simple (in fact it is just as revealing for you to see what you choose not to be doing in your ideal scene). Take your time and write this day out from a relaxed place of "mmm, yes..."  

There are two parts to this exercise: in Part 1 you will write out your Ideal Day; and in Part 2 you will do some reflecting on what you have imagined for yourself.

What you will need:

  •   A favorite pen and journal (or a tape recorder if you prefer to dream out loud)
  •   A comfortable environment where you will be able to journal without interruption
  •   A warm cup of tea, frothy latte or favorite beverage (optional but highly recommended)  

Part 1

Create Your Ideal Day

To make the most of this exercise, allow yourself to turn your imagination loose: you now have absolute freedom, unlimited resources, and all of the powers and skills you wish for.

Start by choosing an ideal day that is either: five or ten years from now. The right amount of time will allow you to feel relaxed and creative (vs. thinking about, “How will I get there?”)  Write this date at the top of your first journal page. 

With pen in hand and as much paper as you need, take a leisurely walk through this day that would be perfect if it represented your usual days — not a vacation day, not a ‘compromise’ day, this is a typical day in your life as you’d love it to be.  

Keep it simple, detailed and in the present tense:  i.e. “I wake-up in organic cotton sheets, with the mountain air blowing through the open window in my adobe bedroom....”  

Here are 5 Guidelines for Creating Your Ideal Day:

#1 Live thru the day in the present tense and first-person. "I wake up..."

#2 Walk through an entire day and in sequence. Start with waking up and finish with going to sleep.

#3 Use and notice the details, paying attention to What, Where and Who.  

Do you begin your day with a hot shower? Bath? Swim? 

What do you have for breakfast? Do you make it yourself?  

What kind of clothes do you put on? Pay attention to the shoes you are wearing (or not wearing.) Check out your wardrobe - what type of clothes are there in your closet (and not there?)  

How do you spend the morning?  How do you spend the afternoon? Evening?  

At each time of day, are you indoors or out? Quiet or active? Alone or with others?

#4 Pay attention to your body compass, as your ideal day will feel good in your body.  If you start feeling “off,” then simply breathe and bring yourself back into your body and ask yourself, “What do I really want?”

#5 Let your ideal day unfold and simply write it down.  This is not 'set in stone' plan and your imagination will work best if you bring play and fun to this exercise.

Ready . . . set. . . start dreaming!

 

PART 2

Get to Know Your Gap

Once you have written out your ideal day, put it away and rest your mind. When you are ready, come back and do the following: 

    1.    Read through what you have written down and circle anything that you already have in your life. 

    2.     Re-read what you have written, and this time, underline anything that you do not have (yet). 

    3.    Take out a separate paper (use as large a canvas as you have access to.) On the left side of the paper, write down all of the items that you circled as already having. On the far right side of the paper, write down all of the items that you have underlined as not having. 

Congratulations! You have now created a "formula" or map to your Ideal Life: it is made up of everything you already have plus the list of what you want to have for your ideal life. Your job is to fill in the space that lies between where you are today and the items that you do not  yet have. By imagining this new future, the creation process has already begun. 

We start with our dreams, and keep asking ourselves how we can possibly make those dreams become the reality of our lives. We list our dreams on paper, and affirm they are coming into being. We end up making plans — concrete, solid plans, making changes where necessary.

We begin as dreamers, and then become powerful creative beings.
— Marc Allen