And yet, how many of us actually heed this advice? A good intention lasts ten seconds, until the kids start crying, we open an inbox full of 200 new messages, or we just feel too tired to do anything at the end of the day other than sit down in front of the TV.
And before we know it, the summer is over and we wonder where it has gone.
But there is a simple practice you can do to bring more mindfulness into your days. It is called a Daily Design (DD). Each morning, write down how you want the day to go. Describe what you want to accomplish, how you want to feel, or anything that you want to conjure up for someone special in your life. For example, one of my Daily Designs may look like:
• wrote a powerful blog
• gave my client Jill just what she needed
• had an invigorating run
• Joe was proud of the meeting he ran
• Lynne resolved her fight with her boyfriend and is more in love than ever
• was calm and present
• cherished each meeting or scheduled event, and made it count
• was aware of how today contributed to my life’s work
You may notice a few things about this Daily Design. The first is that it’s in the past tense, even though I wrote it at the beginning of the day. By writing it in the past tense, I have a relationship to the Daily Design as if it has already happened. It’s a done deal. I can imagine myself at the end of the day looking back and celebrating that everything on the list happened. This sense of inevitability helps me believe that what I wrote really will come to pass, and hence it is more likely to.
The second thing to notice is that my Daily Design isn’t merely a glorified To Do list. Sure, I do have some things on there that I want to accomplish, like writing a good blog or leading a good coaching session. But I also design how I feel during my day. What I am aware of. What I am connected to. I focus on how I want my day to be, not just what I am going to do. That how is important, and is often what we lose sight of when we are navigating a busy schedule.
The final point to notice is that I design things for the people I love. I may not have direct control over what happens in their day, but by setting an intention for them, I am keeping them present in my heart and mind, and also sending a burst of positive energy their way.
Once I have written my Daily Design, I send it to my DD buddies, who also send me theirs. We cheer each other on, and have grown closer because we know the fabric of each other’s days. Sharing my design also helps hold me accountable to sending it in each day (even though I, too, sometimes don’t “feel like” writing it every morning) and to living that day to the fullest. The next morning, I report in on how I did with the previous day’s Daily Design. If I have been “off” for too many days in a row, my buddies will start to inquire about that. Am I ok? Do I need a pep talk? Yes, my Daily Design buddies have my back.
Do you need a Daily Design practice to be more present to what you can create in your days? What do you want to be creating? Write me a note and share.
Want to learn how to design not just your days but your life, as well? Sign up for one of our Design Your Life Weekends this fall in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, London, Boston, and Toronto.