The Most Powerful Exercise You’ll Ever Do for Yourself

The Most Powerful Exercise You'll Ever Do for Yourself

by guest blogger Lewis Howes, author of The School of Greatness: A Real-World Guide to Living Bigger, Loving Deeper, and Leaving a Legacy

Creating your Perfect Day Itinerary (PDI) may be one of the most powerful exercises you ever do, so make it count. I’ve coached many wandering entrepreneurs through this exercise, and most of them have told me it changed their lives. I wasn’t surprised—when I did it for the first time years ago, it literally set me up for creating the life I’d always envisioned and living it every day.

In this exercise, your job is to map out what your perfect day looks like along the path to achieving your vision. There are two parts to this exercise: the macro and the micro.

Part 1: The Macro Part
In this first part, you’ll figure out what your perfect day would look like at a general level. Not every day is going to be exactly the same.

How each day looks will depend on what happened the day before, so each one should look a little different; otherwise life would get boring and monotonous. Still, you want to have a broad sense of what each perfect day feels like. This starts with a series of questions:

  • How do I want every day to look?
  • How do I want to feel every single day?
  • What am I creating daily?
  • With whom am I spending my time?
  • What experiences am I exposing myself to?
  • What passions am I fulfilling?

Take out a blank piece of paper or open a new document on your computer and fill the first half of the page with the answers, in broad terms, to these questions. Here are my answers from my first time completing the exercise:

Part 1: My Perfect Day
In my perfect day, I wake up next to the woman of my dreams, and she’s crying tears of joy because she’s so excited about the life we have together. I’m preparing to compete in the 2016 Olympics with USA Team Handball, so I head to an intense training session with my coach to increase my physical strength and athleticism. Then I’m working on my TV show, which is on a major network, and supporting my company team with all of my projects that inspire entrepreneurs to follow their own passions and make a living around what they love.

Part 2: The Micro Part

In Part 2, write out a detailed itinerary for the next perfect day on the bottom half of the page. This should include everything you want to do and have to do and exactly how and when you want to do it. Every successful sports season I’ve ever had included detailed daily itineraries—we received one in the morning and one before practice—and they set us up to win. There was no need for wondering what to do, when to do it, or how much time to spend on it. It was all right there, plain as day, laid out in the steps necessary to reach our end goal. This is true for every professional sports team, as well: The successful ones have a daily plan designed to lead them to achieve their vision. Theirs are similar, if not in many ways identical, to what I’m asking you to create.

Here is a version of my daily itinerary while I was writing this book:

Part 2: Tomorrow’s Perfect Day

  • 7:30 a.m. Wake up, meditate, and enjoy the views from my balcony.
  • 8 a.m. Have a healthy breakfast with green juice or a smoothie.
  • 9 a.m. CrossFit/kickbox or attend a private skills-training session.
  • 10:45 a.m. Check in with my team about projects of the day.
  • 11 a.m. Complete the top three tasks that I put on my list before bed last night.
  • 12 p.m. Have a healthy lunch at home or a lunch meeting with someone who inspires me.
  • 1:30 p.m. Get back to the top three on my to-do list: recording interviews, doing videos, or working with the team.
  • 3 p.m. Attend physical therapy session focused on increasing my flexibility (2 days a week).
  • 5 p.m. Play pickup basketball, hike with friends, or swim in the ocean.
  • 7:30 p.m. Have a healthy dinner at home or out with friends.
  • 9 p.m. Read, watch a movie, or attend events with influencers on the town.
  • 11 p.m. Make a list of what I’m most grateful for today; create a “completed list” of what I did today. Write my list of top three things I want to create tomorrow.
  • 11:30 p.m. Meditate, sleep, dream, and let my body recover from today.

If you let it, the PDI can be a powerful exercise that will set up your year (and many years to come) to contain the best days of your business and life. It also helps validate your vision, and vice versa. If your vision doesn’t fit in with your perfect day at either the macro or micro level, you either need to change your vision or be more open, honest, and creative about what it will take at a daily level to fulfill your vision.

Join Lewis Howes at Rodale Wellness’ Unleash Your Greatness Online Summit November 16–23 to learn more about creating a vision. Register for free and enjoy 28 inspiring talks from speakers, including Maria Rodale, Gabrielle Bernstein, Josh Axe, Pedram Shojai, JJ Virgin, and more.

LewisLewis Howes is a lifestyle entrepreneur, high-performance business coach, author, and keynote speaker. A former professional football player and two-sport All-American, he is a current USA Men’s National Handball Team athlete. Lewis hosts The School of Greatness podcast, which has received millions of downloads since it launched in 2013. His newest book, The School of Greatness, provides a framework for achieving real, sustainable, repeatable success and gives you the tools, knowledge, and actionable resources to take your vision and turn it into a reality. Learn more at


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One Response to The Most Powerful Exercise You’ll Ever Do for Yourself

  1. Donna in Delaware November 16, 2015 at 12:08 pm #

    Thank you. I need to do this. Some days I feel that I am aimlessly wondering about. I believe that this will help me with some sort of organization. Since retiring, and now that I do not travel around the world as often as in the past, I feel a bit aimless. I have much to do, and hopefully get accomplished daily, yet I sometimes don’t feel like anything is getting done. I’ll try this. Thanks again.

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