What does your idea of a perfect day look like?
This is where you get to dream big… allow yourself to imagine what you really would love your day-to-day life to look like, without being constrained with what your current job, family, and life obligations dictate. What if you had a magic wand and could create situations that would be perfect in your eyes? What would that look like?
Take a few moments and really explore your ideas.
Let yourself get detailed about this! Start with when you wake up, what time is it, what are you feeling like. Add in specifics about your morning routine. Continue through your day and describe details about your experiences, interactions and activities. All the way through when you go to sleep.
I ask this, because a theme that keeps swirling around in my therapy practice are the barriers that keep people from living a life they love. What if you could lessen the barriers and take steps toward having that perfect day?
Now if your perfect day involves being independently wealthy and living on a beach somewhere, that may be difficult to implement for tomorrow, but keep that dream alive for the future!
For most of us, our perfect day would have qualities or aspects that we could start fairly easily (even tomorrow).
What if you really enjoy waking up 30 minutes before everyone else to drink a cup of coffee in the quiet… that is pretty realistic and easy to implement.
There are likely aspects in your perfect day that will take a bit more time to implement. The big picture ideas that you want that take some work to reach: career advancement, going to college, buying a home, relationships, family.
What I’ve seen lately are dedicated and passionate people trying to make their ‘perfect day’ happen but getting STUCK.
It’s like there is a rock in the road (and let’s be honest, it feels like a boulder).
Has this ever happened to you… you have the option to make a choice that would benefit you (getting you closer to your dreams) but you pass it up anyway?
Any of these sound familiar?
· Setting your alarm to work out in the morning but hitting snooze and sleeping instead.
· Packing a healthy lunch but skipping it for fast food.
· Knowing you may be furloughed from your job but not apply to new jobs.
· Wanting to have more friends in your life but not putting yourself in situations that would give you the chance to meet more friends.
· Being aware your apartment lease ends in two weeks but choosing to spend time with friends instead of apartment hunting.
· Wanting your name and gender marker legally changed but not filing the paperwork.
· Wanting surgery but not researching a surgeon to find someone you feel comfortable with.
· Knowing you want to attend college but not filing the application.
· Wanting a better grade in your classes but not doing the homework.
· Wanting a stronger, closer relationship with someone but not telling them your interest.
· Knowing you want to buy a house but instead spend your down payment on a vacation.
All these choices amount to a rock in the road… a barrier that is keeping you from something that you want and desire in your life.
For most of us, the common thread underlying these ‘rocks’ is fear or discomfort.
One of the best ways to combat fear is by recognizing it, putting a name to it, and facing it head on.
Let’s put this in practice: Maybe you want more significant and closer friendships in your life. When you look at your life you may realize you haven’t taken the steps to open yourself up to opportunities that would let you meet new people. Recognizing that you have some fears is a powerful first step. Were there experiences you had a child, teen or adult that shifted how you view friendships? Have you had some experiences that made it difficult to trust others? Is being in social settings and meeting new people overwhelming because you’re an introvert? This exploration of your fears or discomforts will help you understand how you came to the place you are now. Understanding what that boulder looks like is helpful when you’re trying to move around it.
Once you see the boulder and put a label on it (fear, discomfort, etc.) then, it’s time to gather the courage and do what you fear anyway. This may mean joining a recreational sports team, attending church or a spiritual group gathering, attending a Meet-up group, or taking a crafting class. Whatever you choose, putting yourself in situations where you are stretching yourself to meet new people is facing your fear and discomfort head on.
So what is it for you? What are the rocks (or boulders) that are in the way of YOU reaching your perfect day? And now that you’re aware of them, how can you kick them out of your pathway? They don’t belong on your journey. You don’t need them!
It may help to use this perfect day visual as the motivation needed to help you make changes on a day-to-day basis.
As we continue through the holidays and New Year I hope you find some time to unwind and de-stress. If you need some ideas, check out this handy-dandy Self-Care Checklist printable just for this reason. It’s a great way to make sure you’re nurturing your body, mind and soul while on your path toward a ‘perfect day’.
Also be sure to come back on Tuesday, Jan 3, 2017 where I’ll be talking about how to dig in deep to create a vision for your 2017! If you’re worried about missing it sign up for my newsletter to have it sent straight to your email in-box.
Adriana Joyner, LMFT, is a Sacramento Area therapist specializing in counseling for people healing from painful life experiences and traumas, support for individuals exploring their gender identity and expression, and the LGBTQIA community. Her office is located in Gold River, CA located off Highway 50 at Sunrise Blvd. For more information or to schedule a consultation, please call (916) 547-3997 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.