Building the Ideal Day One Hour at a Time

Brook Noel

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The first step to getting the things you want out of life is this: Decide what you want. Ben Stein

Over the past few months, I have been very intrigued with the notion of creating the “ideal day. " I have been going through many shifts in my life. School has started again for my daughter, our company has moved our offices, my schedule and commitments continue to change and unfold. Like many of you, my life doesn't really contain a formula for a “typical day. " It is constantly in flux.

But I became intrigued with the concept of building my own ideal day. If it were up to me (and it is up to us!) what would my day look like? How would it start? What activities would I make sure to include? What steps would I take toward my goals? Who would I spend my time with? In essence: if I could build my life (which I can) what blocks would I choose to use as my foundation?

Interestingly, if we don't ask ourselves these questions, we get whatever blocks are tossed in our path and make the most of them. When we take an active and aware interest in constructing our days, our weeks, our months, we can move closer to our ideal.

I started by asking myself some basic questions:

1. What things should I be doing that I know I need to do - yet do not make time for? (For me, exercise always falls in this column!)

2. What grounds me and centers me each day so that I feel emotionally healthy and full for the hours ahead?

3. What makes me feel good and thus increases my capacity to make others feel good?

4. Who do I need to communicate with daily on a deep level in order to feel fulfilled? (My daughter always ranks high on this list!)

5. What are the little things I can do daily to find fulfillment? (I love to read the paper, clip articles to send to friends, write a card, journal a bit, do a puzzle. ) While these alone may not seem like major components of a day, they are simple things that nourish the soul, allowing for important “rejuvenating" time.

6. What do I need to do at the end of the day to prepare emotionally and physically for the day ahead?

7. What things are more important to me on every level - physically, emotionally, spiritually, community-wise, worldly, etc.

When I had journaled my answers, I began to take each component that emerged as important and scheduled it into an ideal day. It is important to mention, that I didn't get up the next day and start leading this perfectly, well-designed, ideal life. We have to be patient with ourselves, remembering that we are often entrenched in our routines and evolving into a new routine takes time. I made sure to live this ideal day, start-to-finish at least once in the next 7 days after I had designed it. I wanted to know what it would feel like and have an idea about what I was working toward.

Then, I continued to make smaller shifts in my schedule, over a period of months, to move closer to living this ideal day more often than not.

Your Weekly Challenge:

Try asking yourself questions like those I asked myself in the example above. This week, spend a little time each day answering those questions. By Sunday, write out an example of what your ideal day looks like. Then plan to live that day at least once next week as a motivation for taking positive steps in transforming your life closer to your ideal

Brook Noel is the creator of the best-selling 70 Day Life Makeover Program for Women . . The Change Your Life Challenge. This program has helped thousands of women take control of their home, finances, relationships, clutter, time-managmenet and more.

She is the author of 19 books and maintains three free newsletters. The Daily Rush is devoted to quick and easy recipes; Good Morning! is a daily newsletter to get your day off to a great start and The Challenge Weekly offers a personal challenge for self-improvement each week. To sign up for these free newsletters please visit


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