A few weeks ago, I had what I’d consider the perfect day. It was an exhausting day and I was beyond tired by the end of it. But it was a good tired.
This day reminded me of a passage I read in The Five Secrets You Must Discover Before You Die. The author references something his grandfather used to talk about – a “good tired” and a “bad tired”.
He told me that a “good tired” was when you lived your life focusing on the things that really mattered to you. A “bad tired” he said often comes even when it looks like we are winning, but we realize that we are not being true to ourselves.” – John Izzo, The Five Secrets You Must Discover Before You Die
Have you ever thought about your days this way? Ever since I read this, it’s been a way for me to evaluate whether or not I’m spending my days doing the things I value and if I’m putting what really matters to me first.
Here are the details of my “good tired” day:
5:45 am – woke up
7:15 am – Alan and I took the boat (and our coffee) to the lake – just the two of us
10:30 am – back home for an early lunch
11:00 am – sold a headboard Alan and I made and chatted with the buyer (Craigslist)
12:00 pm – worked outside (in the garden and in the lawn)
3:00 pm – Alan and I went for a bike ride
4:00 pm – made a big batch of healthy soup for lunches the next week
4:30 pm – bought annuals at a discount – $8 to fill two big pots (this was June)
5:00 pm – light dinner (leftovers)
6:00 pm – The whole family (Alan, myself and the two kids) met my parents at the dock at the lake for an evening sunset cruise – and some tubing for the kids
9:45 pm – Home and exhausted
Interestingly, on this particular day, I both worked hard and played hard. I worked in the garden and in the lawn for several hours. I played hard on the boat and on my bike ride.
Mind you, this was not a no-spend day. We did spend a little money on gas and flowers. (I realize having a boat entails a whole lot of other costs too.) But that’s not the point here. I would have had just as good of a day on a kayak, fishing from a pier, or hiking in the woods. It wasn’t about the boat and we wouldn’t have had to spend the money to still have a great day. For me, it was about the time spent with family and outdoors (two of my most favorite things).
There are a couple of themes that go into making the perfect day for me. Above all, I spent much of my time that day with the most important people in my life – my husband, my kids and my parents. I also spent time outdoors, I was active, and I ate healthy(ish) meals. It also felt productive – I got lunches made for the week, work done in the garden, and sold a headboard Alan and I made (for $250!).
How to have more “good tired” days
When you know what a “good tired” looks like, it’s easier to create more great days in your life. Take note of what creates a “good tired” for you and try to have more of them. Here are some questions to help you evaluate your days, from the book:
1. Did today feel like a good or a bad tired day?
2. If it felt good, what were the elements that made it good?
3. If it felt like a bad tired day, what contributed to that feeling?
4. And is there anything I want to do differently tomorrow based on what I noticed today?
A good exercise is to set a time at the end of each day to mentally go through this exercise (or better yet, write it down!). Patterns will emerge. You will be able to see if you’re really spending your days on the things you value. By making the “good” tired more of a focus, and letting go of more of the “bad tired”, you could, quite literally, change your life.
So, tell me friends, what does your “good tired” day look like?
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