In today’s episode I’m going to walk you through what I call the “Ideal Day Exercise.” Grab a journal and let’s get started!
In This Episode Allie Discusses:
Why we need the ideal day exercise
The ideal day exercise
Mentioned in this Episode:
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Mom life. We’re surrounded by the message that it’s the tired life. The no-time-for-myself life. The hard life. We’re supposed to get through it. Survive. Cling on by the last little thread. And at the same time, Carpe Diem—enjoy every moment because it’s going to go by so fast. The typical mom culture that sends us all kinds of mixed, typically negative messages. We shouldn’t take care of ourselves; it’s selfish. The more ragged you run yourself, the bigger your badge of honor. But also, ditch your mom bod and work out. Don’t yell. Make more money. Show up. Be better, but not at the expense of time with your kids. I am putting a hard stop to all of this. While being a mom, running a business, and whatever else you might have going on is hard, it is a lot and there’s lots of giving of yourself, the idea that motherhood means living a joyless, nonstop-hustle-with-zero-balance kind of life, where you give and give and give and never take, needs to stop.
I’m on a mission to help you stop counting down the minutes till bedtime (at least most days). Stop the mom guilt and shame game. Stop cleaning up after your kids’ childhood and start being present for it. I want to help you thrive in work, home and life. I believe in John 10:10 that we are called to living an abundant life and I know moms are not excluded from that promise. Join me in conversations about simplicity, some business and life hacks, spirituality and lots of other good stuff that leads to a life of less for the sake of enjoying more in your motherhood. I’m Allie Casazza and this is The Purpose Show.
Hey, love! Welcome to another episode of The Purpose Show podcast. This one is going to be short, but super powerful.
My intention for this episode is for you to have something to come back to anytime you feel a little bit lost in life. When you feel like you’ve lost your way. You don’t feel you have focus. You don’t really know what you want and you feel like you need clarity. So, let’s dive in.
I call this “The Ideal Day Exercise.” I actually heard about it in 2017. I was a part of a business mastermind and they walked us through this exercise. It was really slow and really beautiful.
We had journals so, by all means, grab a journal. Open the notes app on your phone if you must, but a journal would be better. Jot down what you’re feeling. You don’t need to write every single thing out, but jot down what comes up for you, what you’re feeling, some thoughts that you have, and then you can process on your own later.
I love this exercise. When I did this in my business mastermind, I thought, “Moms need this more.” This happens a lot for me because I’m in the business world and I am obviously a mom and teaching all of you guys, so I think that a lot.
But the thing is that life and motherhood have things in them that are not ideal. Right? There’s an element of chaos, for sure. It makes life crazy, it makes life fun, and it makes life stressful sometimes.
This exercise is not meant to diminish that or make you feel that since your days are not perfect, amazing, and not hard at all that your life sucks. That’s not the vibe at all. Rather, this exercise is meant to be a very powerful way for you to realize things about yourself, how you feel now, how you want to feel, and what you could possibly shift about what you’re currently doing.
Here’s the thing that I notice about women, especially mothers, since that’s who I spend a lot of my time around. We tend to subscribe to the idea that this is the way things are. We go to the park play dates and this is the way that things are.
“This” meaning “chaotic and overwhelming.” And you wish it wasn’t this way. But then you go meet up with friends and it’s this way for them too.
You go to church and it’s this way for the moms there, too. You go out to dinner with mom friends, and it’s this way for them, too. We subscribe to this idea that it just is a reactive game we’re playing here. We have to just react to the day, react to the kids.
I really want to come against that and say, “No, it does not need to be that way. I choose not to subscribe to that lie, to that story.” Because once you subscribe to it, it is. Because you decided that it is.
What you decide is your reality. That’s hard to wrap your mind around, but it’s true.
If you decide that because you have to work and you miss some things for your kids that that means you’re less of a good mom then your energy is going to shift. You’re going to start to talk to your kids through guilt and say things like, “I so wish I didn’t have to miss. I am so sorry.”
Your kids are going to pick up on that and think this is a bad thing. Your kids are not notching you down as a mom because you are not going to something because you have to work or you have to do something else. We do that to ourselves.
We subscribe to the story that “Me not going to this means I’m less of a good mom” and then, so it is. Because our energy changes. We start to speak and act through “I’m less of a good mom.”
Then our kids start to think, “Well, okay, I guess that’s what it means.” Then we create that reality because we decided. Does that make sense?
With your day and with how your life is going it’s the same thing. You can decide that you’re not going to subscribe to the typical norm. And that’s what I’m here to do through decluttering and simplifying and all of it. That’s what it’s all about. The fact is that when it comes to the basics, when it comes to our days and our lives we have a lot of say in what happens.
I’m going to walk you through this exercise. It’s not meant to have you writing every single thing down, right here and now. This should take some time.
I want to give you some prompts. Jot down what you’re feeling. Jot down some bullet points that you want to process through later in your own quiet time.
Remember that we’re going to create vision here. It’s not what’s going to change today. We’re going to create a vision for where we’re headed.
I say this all the time, Proverbs 29:18, “Where there’s no vision the people perish.” You’re not being selfish in wanting to create this life for yourself, in wanting to create more ease and flow, in wanting everything to go more smoothly. It’s not a controlling, unrealistic thing.
It’s actually a removal of the pressure and a removal of the negative expectations to create more ease and flow so that when life happens and things are a little stressful and things do come up, you’re able to handle it.
I’m going to prompt you through this, so let’s all get comfortable again. Take a deep breath. It may help you to close your eyes. Grab a journal.
I want you to think right now in your life—if you work, if you don’t work, if you are pregnant with your first baby, if you have seven kids, wherever you’re at in your life right now—what is your ideal morning like? I want you to actually allow yourself to really, fully think about what your morning would look like in an ideal world.
Would you wake up to an alarm? Would you wake up whenever you wake up? Would you wake up to your kids because you like that? Or do you not like that and you want to wake up before them? What would your wake up time be?
What would you do immediately following waking up? This is an ideal morning. What would that look like?
I’m going to be quiet for a second and mute myself and allow you to think it through. I want you to walk through it in your head. What is your ideal morning?
It’s okay if you notice how starkly different it is from your actual mornings. It’s okay if it’s pretty aligned and it’s like that now. Whatever it is, I want you to breathe and give yourself permission to think and dream for a second.
Be real with yourself and check in with what it is you actually want for your mornings. I’m gonna give you a minute now. Make sure that you’re thinking of what you would like to do.
Do you wish you had time for prayer and Bible time? Do you wish you had time to meditate? Do you wish you had time to read a book?
Do you wish you had time to exercise, to move your body before you start the day? Or is that not really important to you? Do you wish you had time with your kids before they go to school? Think through that and jot some thoughts down.
I want you to move into the rest of the day, hour-by-hour. What is your ideal day? Move from first waking up in the morning, move through the morning and around right before lunchtime. What is your ideal day?
While you’re thinking through that, to get your brains going I’m going to share what mine is and this was it for years until I had built up to actually making it a reality.
Ideally, I would like to not wake up super early. I would like to wake up when my body naturally wakes up. I would like my kids to be homeschooled, so I don’t have to rush in the morning to do school and all the things.
I would like to wake up and stretch. I would like to get my kids something to eat, make myself something to eat, and sit with a hot cup of coffee and hot breakfast because in the little years, for so long I didn’t really get that.
That was so important to me. It feels like such a luxury as a mom not doing the whole crazy, psycho-mom-of-littles-thing and actually having breakfast, beginning the day by nourishing my body. My body is so good to me. I want to be good to it back.
I want to enjoy that cup of coffee, whether I’ve got a baby on my lap fidgeting around, or I’m totally free-handed and sitting and the kids are playing. Every season of my life I really aimed for this.
Then, hour-by-hour what does your day look like for you? Do you want to get dressed every day? Is how you look and feel really important to you? What would that look like?
Then lunchtime, what would you eat? Would you take a nap with your baby after lunch every day, ideally? Would you run errands? Would you be at work having an amazing lunch break and that’s your “me” time? You nourish your body, you read a book. Would you run errands with your kids so you can get out of the house, get some sunshine, feel productive?
Midday, what would that look like? Move from those hours. Jot down bullet points of things that you’re noticing.
In my ideal day I see a lot of peace. I think that might be something that my soul is craving because I see so much peace. Things are slower. I think maybe I’m living too rushed.
Or are things faster? Do you realize you actually really, really love being super busy as long as it’s your choice and it’s not prescheduled and chaotic?
This is about noticing what’s going on inside of ourselves as it relates to our motherhood, our days, and how things are going. You may realize that your job, your work is absolutely sucking you dry of all energy and joy and make a plan to make a change, make a shift, and get a different job.
A lot of things can come up and whatever it is, you don’t need to freak out. You don’t need to start hyper-planning. Notice it. Don’t judge yourself for it. Don’t freak out about it. Breathe. It’s just there. It just is.
You are in full control over what you do about this. We’ll deal with that later. For now, just notice.
And notice what an amazing gift it is to actually close your eyes and sit, asking yourself, “What do I want?” It is such a gift and so counter typical motherhood. You’re already on the right path. This is so good.
Friends, I have been waiting for one year to say what I am about to say! It’s that time of year again! Declutter Like A Mother is freaking back!
Declutter Like A Mother is my annual challenge. It is totally free! It is completely epic! It’s massive! Giant! You’re going to make so much progress, get so much lighter, right at the start of the year!
And if there’s one thing that we all need exiting 2020 and going into 2021, it is to feel lighter! It is to create lightness. It is to set ourselves up for success!
You all know that I believe, and know from experience, that it all starts at home.
Let’s do this, mamas!
Declutter Like A Mother Challenge starts on January 1, 2021! It is 30 minutes a day, for 2 weeks. That’s not a lot, but you are going to get massive progress with such small amounts of time!
You can even break up your thirty minutes a day into 5-10 minute chunks. You do you!
We’ve got freshly postpartum moms joining. We’ve got working moms joining. We’ve got single moms joining. We’ve got moms of a billion kids, like myself, joining. Everyone is joining!
Everyone is ready to Declutter Like A Freaking Mother and start this year off with a bang!
To sign up – totally free- go to alliecasazza.com/DLAM.
You guys have to be a part of this! In case you don’t know, this is a huge deal in my corner of the internet!
Every year tens and tens of thousands of women from all over the globe come together and sign up.
There is a group where we all get together, we all talk, we all share.
There is a video training from me almost every day of the challenge. Super, bite-sized pieces of information, extremely actionable, broken down into the simplest version. You don’t even have to think. Just show up, listen to what I have to say, go and take action!
You can share your before and after photos. You have crazy amounts of accountability.
This is paid help. And it’s free! It’s paid status, but it costs you nothing.
We only do this once a year. The time is now! Sign up!
Don’t forget to tag me on Instagram and spread the word. Share that you are signing up!
I’m so excited!
Let’s declutter like mothers!
Let’s move into pre-dinnertime, or as some people call it, the witching hour. What does that look like in your ideal world? Maybe there’s a lack of stress. It’s not the witching hour; it’s actually your favorite time of the day. What would have to happen for that to be your reality?
Maybe the kids get some schoolwork/homework done. Maybe if you are a homeschooling mom you start your school day here because having the rest of the day free feels so good, and you realize you can do whatever you want.
Maybe you love cooking and you start to cook dinner early, so it’s not rushed. You put some music on, maybe pour a little glass of wine or some sparkling water with lime, and you treat yourself while you create dinner for your family.
Your kids get to run around crazy and you’re so centered from your day that the noise doesn’t bother you. You’re creating an atmosphere, being able to be a present mom.
What would you have for dinner that night? What does the creation of that meal look like in your ideal day? In mine, I would imagine that I have a chef or something so I don’t have to cook because I don’t like cooking.
I do this exercise any time there’s a shift coming or there’s too much stress in my life and it’s time to reevaluate. The last time I did this I leaned into myself and asked, “What would I want to do for dinner?” And I actually saw myself enjoying cooking. So the question became, “How could I enjoy cooking?” Not, “How can I get this off of me?
There’s a negativity around it for a reason. You can allow that to come up and think, “Hm, interesting.” Write it down. Something to feel into later. Why do I feel so negative about this? What would happen if I didn’t? Things like that can come up and be super telling and helpful.
What would your kids be doing while you’re making dinner? How is the conversation around the dinner table? What do you really want for your family during this time?
Then move into your evening. What does your evening look like? Does everyone help you clean up? Depending on your kids’ ages, are they cleaning up while you relax because you cooked? Are you all helping each other, working together?
What’s the vibe? Would you turn the music back on and make it fun while you clean up? Do you send them to finish their homework and you clean up yourself and create this quiet time around kitchen cleanup for yourself? What is it like?
If you’re married or have a partner, where are they? Try to focus on you in this ideal day exercise, not so much on your spouse or partner. We don’t have control over them. And honestly, when it comes down to it, we really don’t want to, because that can bring up things like resentment like, “Well, I would love it if he would do this, but he’s never gonna.” We don’t want to go there.
Put them aside. You can see them in your life because you love them and you’re doing life with them, but what is it that you’re feeling? What is it that you feel that seems to be negative that you would like to shift?
In this ideal day where there are normal things—work, school, chores, a house to run and kids to raise—just notice when you create an ideal idea about it, how it feels.
And I want everyone to notice right now, what is the biggest thing that you noticed in doing this exercise that is different about your reality? If you’re comfortable you could feel free to share it in the chat, or you can just write it down in your journal to sit and process.
The first time I did this (outside of the business time, for my own personal life), I noticed how little I worked. I was working a lot at that time. I was growing a business and I didn’t really have a full team.
I noticed how much I love working and I can be very driven, but how it was starting to tire me out and not serve me anymore. I noticed in my ideal day I only worked for a couple hours. And so I began to make that shift.
Malia said that she’s “noticing it’s a much slower lifestyle in her reality.” That’s something that you can move to.
Nicole shared that, “It’s more peaceful and there’s no yelling in this. I can handle anything.”
Keta shared, “It feels calm, comfy, and I can imagine noticing my children’s smiles more.” Yeah, space to notice the little things.
Carly shared, “There is peace in controlled chaos. I love being busy, but busy by choice.” We are the same.
Irene says she’s, “very close to her ideal day, but I can make a few more changes. Great exercise.”
Michelle says, “I’ve noticed that I take time to relax and disconnect.”
“Playing with your kids and being more present. The changes I am imagining involve rhythms that I need to have in place, but haven’t yet.”
Yeah, this is so good. And this is what I want you all to understand as we wrap this up—everyone said things that are completely in your control. This is all yours already.
Peace is what is intended for you. Peace is your birthright. Abundant life is your birthright. All of this is already yours.
We just get in our own way and don’t take it because we think we’re not worthy. Or, as I said at the beginning of this, we subscribe to this idea that it doesn’t get to be like that for us because we’re moms. And that is exactly what we’re here to work against.
That is such BS. It’s such a lie. It’s such a stupid story, but yet pretty much everybody has subscribed to that. That’s what makes it so strange to work against it. It’s almost like everyone is living life like this. Like, “Is it really possible to have any other reality?”
Yes it is. I’m proof of that. There are lots of women in this community who are proof of that.
These things that you imagine for your ideal day can absolutely happen for you. It’s about looking at it, noticing it. How long has it been since everyone here did anything like this? Have you ever?
Raise your hand if you have never taken a step back and looked at your life like this. It’s okay. Or if you’ve done something similar, but it’s been a while. Or if you do this all the time, but you never take action on it. It’s all okay.
But if it’s not moving you forward and if you’re not having vision and moving toward it, we don’t want to live like that. That’s not what we want. So why are we doing it when it’s all our choice? We’re getting in our own way.
I want you to know that this is absolutely within the realm of possibility. Nothing that you guys are saying here is insane. There will be rough days. There will be days where you yell, “Shut up!” and you’re done with your kids. We all have those days.
But for the most part, let’s take this ideal day feeling and decide to hold onto it. Decide to make little tweaks to move us closer to that. You’re worthy of that.
What a gift that would be to your family. What a gift it would be to the world for you to show that it doesn’t have to be such a constant shit-show all the time. That doesn’t need to be the story.
Can we all agree that there’s a new story to be written and we’re the ones holding the pen, please? You decide. And so it is. And so, this beautiful day you imagined is.
Thanks so much for hanging out with me! In case you didn’t know, there’s actually an exclusive community that’s been created solely for the purpose of continuing discussions around The Purpose Show episodes. It’s designed to get you to actually take action and make the positive changes that we talk about here. I want you to go and be a part of it. To do that, go to alliecasazza.com/facebookgroup.
Thank you so much for tuning in! If you’d like to learn more about me, how I can help you, how you can implement all these things and more into your life to make it simpler, better, and more abundant, head to alliecasazza.com. There are free downloads, online courses, programs, and other resources to help you create the life you really want.
I am always rooting for you, friend! See you next time! I’m Allie Casazza and this is The Purpose Show.
Hey mama! Just a quick note, this post may contain affiliate links.