How was your day?
It’s one of the first things we ask our children or spouse when we meet up after our day’s work. Or maybe they ask us.
How we answer is most often based on events of the day and what we think about them.
But what would it be like to decide what would make a day into a good day ahead of time? To know what you need to do to create that for yourself?
A few years ago I attended a conference that introduced using a worksheet called “Good Day Plan” worksheet and it was brilliant. It was originally created as a document to assist students in developing IEP strategies but applies to every human alive. Two children in their early teens stood up and shared their worksheet. They explained how they use it to create their days and take responsibility for whether it is a good day or not.
In that moment, I realized I had never considered what makes a day “good”. I have planned my days ahead of time and considered how I want to think and feel in a day but never really considered the criteria for how I judge a day to be good. Nor have I ever thought to help my kids consider their own criteria.
So I set about using the worksheet exactly as it was presented. The questions were about what happens in a good day, if it is currently happening, what needs to happen and who could help me accomplish these items. I really surprised myself with some of what made my list.
Here are a few:
– A good day is one where I plan ahead.
– A good day includes fresh food and exercise.
– A good day means experiencing the 50/50 of life and not avoiding my feelings.
– A good day includes hugs.
– A good day is going all in on myself and being willing to fail at least once.
My list went on for about 3/4 of a page. When I looked at the items, I felt so empowered by what I saw. It doesn’t matter what happens in a day- I always am in full control of making it a good one. And I know if one of the items isn’t happening, I can look to see who can help me since I wrote that down too.
So then I tried it with my kids. We used a school day and discussed the same questions. Here are a few of their answers:
– A good day starts with a snuggle.
– A good day starts when I get up with my alarm.
– A good day includes when I get my morning routine done in time to pet the dog before I leave.
– A good day includes hanging out with my friends.
– A good day includes being productive at school.
– A good day includes having a swing in the hammock after school
– A good day has lots of music.
– A good day includes remembering everything I need to get done.
Like mine, their lists were much longer. And you can only imagine the quality of discussion this opened up.
Let’s take the statement “a good day includes remembering everything I need to get done.”
How many of our kids forget to write their homework in their planner, leave a book at school, and on and on? By taking the time to determine the criteria necessary to have a good day, we just learned this is super important to my son. This was an incredible opportunity to talk about his planner, what was working and what wasn’t working, who could help him with this as well as to show him his personal responsibility for both the remembering and the good day. We talked about digital planning for the first time and strategies that we hadn’t ever considered.
What would it be like to not only know you create good days but how to do it?
Try it out! Sit down and ask yourself the following questions about each component:
– What is a good day?
– Does it happen now?
– What needs to happen to make it a good day?
– Who can help you to make that happen?
Once you’ve tried it out, I encourage you to try it with your kids. Think of the amazing power you can give them (and yourself) by teaching them how to create a good day.
Want someone to guide you through the process? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or schedule a time at www.calendly.com/sarahkennedycoaching/consultation
(photo by Allegra of Allegra’s Studio)