Do you jump out of bed in the morning eager to face the day ahead?

Are you so engrossed in your work that you are surprised when the day comes to an end?

Do you feel a sense of meaning and satisfaction when you come to the end of the day?

We’ve all had visions of lounging on the beach all day, sipping a lemonade and letting the cares of the world float by.

But let’s get real, that would not be very satisfying as a permanent lifestyle.

Most of us crave connection and meaning in our lives, and we don’t get that by escaping from the world.

So, how do we design a real ideal day … a day filled with work that brings us with satisfaction and fulfillment … not one based on a fantasy vacation?

Let’s face it, there is no magic formula. We are all quirky individuals with different likes, personalities, and values.

These 20 questions will help you figure out your quirks, and design an ideal day around them. You don’t have to answer the all at once, or in any particular order. Just take them one at a time, and make small adjustments to your day based on your answers. By the end of the process, you will have designed your ideal day … one that brings you joy, meaning and connection in just the right way for your preferences and personality.

So let’s get started.

  1. Are you an early bird or a night owl?  Which would bring you more joy — having time to yourself at the beginning of the day, or jumping right into work and saving your personal time until after the work day is done?
  2. Are you a loner or do you crave companionship in the morning?  Does it bring you pleasure to have breakfast or a morning jog with a friend or significant others, or would you prefer to have time alone to meditate, journal, or just relax with a cup of coffee and the newspaper?
  3. What is your ideal physical environment in the morning? Do you long to be out in nature, or have a spectacular view, or are you happiest with a cozy kitchen and a fireplace?
  4. What makes you feel like you are getting your day off to a good start?  Do you enjoy time to exercise, meditate, journal, read the morning papers, work in the garden, or would you rather just jump right into the day?
  5. What kind of environment are you happiest working in? Do you love being able to work in your bathrobe and slippers? Do you like the stimulation of working in coffee shops and cafes?  Or would you rather head into an office where you interact with a team?
  6. When you get to work, what do you enjoy doing with others?  Does it make you feel productive and connected to attend meetings, hang out by the water cooler, and brainstorm ideas? Or do you prefer to spend more time alone with your thoughts, researching, writing and producing content?
  7. What are the parts of the job that you enjoy the most? What could you spend all day doing even if you weren’t getting paid?  How can you spend more time doing those things?
  8. What part of the mission and goals do you care about the most? What brings you the most satisfaction from your work?
  9. What is your most productive time of day? How can you use this time to work on the things that bring you the most joy and satisfaction?
  10. How do you keep yourself refreshed and focused during the day? Does it make you more productive to take frequent stretch or walk breaks? Would you feel better physically with a standing desk or ergonomic chair? Does your computer have an anti-glare screen?
  11. Would you prefer to eat lunch alone or with colleagues? Do you make sure to get a break from work rather than eating mindlessly at your desk?
  12. Do you eat well to nourish your body and mind during the work day? Is your office equipped with healthy snacks and plenty of water?  Do you bring or buy a healthy lunch with plenty of protein to keep your body fueled and your blood sugar steady?
  13. If you could choose, how many hours would you spend at work every day? How does that compare with your actual work hours?  Is there any way to bring those two numbers more in alignment?
  14. Do you take work home with you at night? On the week-ends?  Does this work bring you joy or feel like a burden?
  15. Do your connections feel rich and loving?  Do you have as much time as you would like to spend with family and friends? Do you use this time to engage in meaningful activities and connection, or are you so tired that you sit in front of the television?
  16. Do you feel perfectly satisfied with the amount of personal time you have to pursue your own interests and pleasures?  Do you have at least one hobby or interest outside of work that brings you joy and pleasure?
  17. Are you so tied to your cell phone and electronics that you never feel done with work? Do you ever take time to unplug and recharge?  Would it bring you pleasure to have some time to disconnect?
  18. Do you feel like your body is your temple? How often do you treat it with reverence, lavish it with nourishing food and exercise, treat it with a massage or salt bath?
  19. Does your soul feel nourished and connected to whatever higher power you believe in? Do you engage in regular meditation, prayer, or other form of spiritual practice?
  20. When you look back on your life, will you have any regrets over something done or not done? Something that you could change right now by choosing a different path?

If you have answered even half of these questions, you should have a lot more insight into what makes you tick. Now, all you need to do is figure out how to get more of that into your day.  You can start with a blank planning calendar, or just a blank sheet of paper. Write down everything that you want to squeeze into that day, and then figure out how to make it all fit.  You will be amazed how much time is available to you when you are operating from joy and desire rather than dread and obligation.

Wishing you a galaxy of amazing days ahead!