Planning Your Ideal Day (When Real Life Gets In The Way)

How to plan your ideal day when you've a 9-5 and bills to pay.

You know those quizzes that ask you to describe your ideal partner? Well, have you ever wondered what your ideal day would look like?

Maybe you’d be lounging by a beach, cocktail in one hand, cabana boy in the other. Maybe you’d be on a shopping spree with an unlimited credit card. Maybe you’d be hiking the Inca trails of South America with nothing but a backpack and your best friend. Maybe you’d spend it curled up with a good book in a corner of your own personal library.

But what’s a gal to do when that lottery win never comes to pass and you’re stuck in the same old life?


How to plan your ideal day when you've a 9-5 and bills to pay.

Whatever your ideal day, it’s always fun to dream, but pesky reality has a habit of getting in the way. Instead of rising each morning refreshed and rejuvenated, you’re more likely to pull the pillow over your head and pray for five more minutes.

Or even five more hours. (Just me?)

So, with a 9-5 and bills to pay, how can you marry the dream with the maybe not-so-dreamy reality?

Plan your ideal day for the life you have right now.

It’s easy to be amused when you’re on holidays and living it up in the sunshine, but who wants to only be happy once a year (if you're lucky)? The true test of happiness is whether you can take a seemingly ordinary, “boring” day and turn it into something spectacular. And the more you try, the better you’ll get. Live within the limits of reality, but dream outside the boundaries when designing your ideal day.

  • What would your ideal day at work look like? Sure, you still have to show up to the office, but what would you have for breakfast that would be healthy and keep you feeling full until your first break? How would you get there? What tasks would you do while there? Is there something that would make it a little more fun? Is there something you look forward to? What would you do during your lunch hour? How would you get home? What would you have for dinner? How would you spend your evening?
  • What would your ideal day off look like? You may not be able to jet off to an exotic island, but how could you best spend your time where you are? Would you have a lie-in, or rise early? Would you love to rustle up your own food, or have it delivered to your door? Would you spend the day with loved ones or all on your lonesome? Would you people-watch at a local café, or watch Netflix on your couch? Would you get in a workout, or is it a day for as little movement as possible? Would you work on a side-hustle, or just stick to hobbies?
How to plan your ideal day when you've a 9-5 and bills to pay.

It’s true that there’s a lot outside of our control, but not as much as we believe, so be as intentional as you can with the stuff that’s within your sphere of influence. You may still have to go to work, or to look after the kids, but you have a lot more choice than you might think.

Even things seemingly outside our control can still be bent to our will a little if we get creative. You may hate going to work, but maybe you could brighten up your commute with a good book, an informative podcast, or a funny text exchange with a friend. Maybe, as an occasional treat, you could get a taxi some or all of the way. Maybe you could carpool with someone going your general direction.

Maybe you could get to work a few minutes early and have a quick catch up with your favourite co-worker. Or treat yourself to a delicious lunch so you’ve something to look forward to. Maybe you could just decide that today, you’re gonna be a fucking superstar who gets all her work done and takes shit from no-one.

Click that 'like' button. All the cool kids are doing it.

You have more choice than you know, so take control of your life and live it the way you want to. Make conscious decisions about how you’ll spend your time. You may not be able to spend each and every day lazing by the pool, but take a look at the things you don’t like and find a way to jazz them up a bit. Your life is yours; grab it by the balls and decide you’re going to have an ideal day every day.


What's one thing you'd have to include as part of your ideal day?

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