Friday Musings: The "Good Day" List
What needs to happen for you to deem today a “good” day?
Bad days are easy to define. We might consider them bad for any number of reasons, but nearly all of those reasons are of an event or circumstance both negative and unexpected that came about outside of our control. Something breaks on the car, your boss blows up over nothing, someone cuts you off in traffic, etc.
While its easy (and a little fun) to conceive of all the ways a day can go “bad,” the ingredients of a “good” day are far more important to ponder.
Sure, any number of unforeseen positive circumstances could make a day great (winning the lottery or a dream trip come to mind). But, if you’re like me, a few simple and positive aspects can make the day wonderful.
I used to follow a personally designed morning routine; win the morning, win the day, as they say. However, it is no mystery that I enjoy abrupt life shifts and trying out drastically different lifestyles. I currently work four day per week and begin early in the morning. I also live in a van that is both the home and primary transportation for my partner and I. I love this new lifestyle, but one of the necessary concessions I made was to forego my morning routine of the last few years. No doubt that future changes will allow me to re-adopt it, but for now I have a new, and much more flexible, method to win the day.
The “Good Day” List
Rather than maintain any singular routine to deem a day fulfilling, productive, or “good,” I now stick to my Good Day List.
I realized that there are numerous simple factors that lead my evening reflections to deem a day as “good.” I rarely have the freedom to work on every project that is important to me or enjoy every hobby/passion that I have. But, hitting a few items on my list always make the day feel productive and positive.
I could chunk my list into three categories:
- Hobbies, Passions, Fun
- Meaningful Projects
- Things in Which I Want to Become More Consistent
I don't have a rigid requirement to check off one item from each category. I only offer those distinctions as guidance to build your own list.
In fact, the act of making your Good Day List is more important than sticking to it every day. In creating your list, you need to whittle down all the possible things you could do in a day to only those that truly serve you. Considering your list items and writing them down is a vital piece toward understanding yourself and how to design your day, your patterns, and your broader life path.
While my list is in constant flux as I continually re-assess my values and alter my lifestyle, I share my Good Day List as inspiration:
Justin’s Good Day List (in no particular order)
- Writing (for publication)
- Rock Climbing
- Mountain Biking
- Catching up with an out-of-town friend / family member
- Fix something in the van
- Clean the whole van
- Quality time with my partner
- Write a letter (especially in gratitude to a person who had a positive impact on my life)