10 YEAR VISION
Get acquainted with your values and vision by spending an ideal day as your Future Self, ten years from now.
10 years from now, you have a thriving career/business in which you’re earning plenty of money to have and do all the things you want. Your schedule is completely up to you, and your work days are filled with people and projects that really light you up. The balance between your work and personal lives suits you just right; you feel engaged and productive in what you do, with plenty of energy and time to spend with the people you love.
With these stipulations in mind, write in detail – from start to finish – what your ideal day will look like 10 years from now. An ideal day does not mean a perfect day – that would look more like drinking endless margaritas on a private beach in Tahiti or flying to Paris for lunch and shopping with your supermodel lover. For this exercise, an ideal day is just any old typical workday – maybe a Tuesday – that you would be perfectly content living over and over again. The goal is that your regular everyday life feels as good as possible.
Give yourself plenty of quiet time to daydream and record your thoughts (30 to 60 minutes should do, depending on how quickly you write); I recommend the analog method of pen and paper to really let your imagination flow. Speaking of flowing, don’t censor yourself or edit anything you jot down. Let go of other people’s expectations (and any of your own that don’t make you smile). Let go of the “shoulds”. Take a couple deep breaths, making space for excitement and ease. Your future is just right for you, and it feels amazing.
As you go through your ideal day in this exercise, describe any details that come up about the places you live and work. Take a moment here and there to appreciate the little things that make your home feel luxurious and comfortable to you – the feeling of the rainfall showerhead or the sparkle of the granite countertop where you prepare your meals. Is your office above a trendy coffee shop on a busy street where you can meet clients or take a midday break when the fresh-roasted aromas draw you downstairs? Or do you have a studio in a converted shed in your backyard that sits on the edge of the woods? The more you can really visualize these spaces and can actually feel yourself there, the more clear your vision can become.
Start with waking up. Describe what the room looks like as you open your eyes. Is the sunlight streaming in through big windows, or do you keep it dark and cozy with the curtains closed? What time of year is it? Are you rising early, maybe even before the sun? Or does your ideal morning start closer to noon?
Is there anyone waking up with you/sleeping next to you? Do you spend time snuggling in bed or hop right up and get going? What’s the first thing you do? Do you have any pets or kids you have to check on or take care of first, or do you relish in some quiet time alone – meditating, doing yoga, or journaling? Or are you rushing out the door to hit the gym for a tough, sweaty workout or class?
Coffee? Tea? Green smoothie? What do you have for breakfast? Do you make something for yourself or your family or grab a bite on the go?
When you get ready for the day, what outfit do you choose? Does your position or itinerary require you to dress up, or is it a casual environment where athleisure is acceptable? How do you do your hair? Makeup? Once you’re done getting ready for the day, how do the clothes and completed look make you feel?
What’s the commute to work like? What time do you leave home? Do you live nearby or out of town? Dropping anyone off anywhere on your way?
Do you listen to music during your drive or start taking business calls and get to work in the car? What kind of car is it, by the way?
Or do you work from home? Is it in your office/studio or do you spread out on the couch or kitchen table? Does your professional dress for the day consist of pajamas and slippers?
Once at work/beginning work, what’s the first thing on your schedule? Do you have a morning meeting with your team or teleconference with an existing account or potential new client? Do you start checking email right away, or get on social and greet your audience? Or is your gig a mobile one, and you begin your day on location at your first appointment?
When lunchtime hits, do you take time to stop and sit down for a meal? Are you meeting friends or a loved one for a leisurely lunch hour at one of your favorite spots? Or do you walk around the corner from your home or office to a nearby sandwich shop to take a break and clear your head for just a while? Or is your day slammed, and lunch is spent working at your desk? What do you eat?
Continue describing the rest of your workday and its activities up until quitting time. What do you do after work? Head home to make dinner, stopping at the supermarket on your way, or go downtown for happy hour?
Who do you spend your evening with, and what are you doing? Is it an impromptu date night out or Netflix and chill? Or do you go for a walk after dinner with the whole family? Are you still working from home late into the night, or did you never actually leave the office? Remember, even if this is still a part of your typical day, you’re working late because you want to – maybe you’re finishing up an exciting project that you can’t wait to present or researching new material for a class you want to teach.
When you finally fall into bed, what time is it? Are there any rituals you’ve done to unwind, like maybe reading a book or taking a bath? Or did you read bedtime stories to your kids and tuck them in a few hours ago? Make lunch for yourself for the next day? Put down anything you like to do or would like to be doing in the future that makes your day feel complete. Goodnight!