League of Wildness,
Following up on my last article, Standard vs. Wild Lifestyle. I thought it would be a useful exercise to share what I consider to be a “perfect” day (for me). It’s more about the concepts and types of activities and experiences I mention versus the exact prescription.
I believe that there is value in looking into the fantasy or our concept of what “perfect” might look like. The exercise helps to orient us towards our values, see what can be abstracted, and then applied into reality. Here we go:
- Early wakeup (before the sun rises)
- Ride my bike to the base of the mountains (~30 minute ride)
- Meet friend(s) for a trail run and climb (1-2 hours)
- Ride back home
- Quick hangboard and calisthenics workout (10 minutes alternating between hangs, pullups, and dips)
- Epic breakfast and coffee (5 eggs + whole avocado + fruit)
- Work sesh (2-3 hours)
- Lunch break (Greek yogurt with granola and/or fruit + apple + oranges)
- Post-Lunch Walk (1-mile - no headphones, just nature and my thoughts)
- Afternoon work sesh (1-3 hours)
- Shoot bow (10-20 arrows)
- Play with kids
- Eat dinner (grilled meat + sweet potato + epic salad)
- Post-dinner play sesh and/or walk
- Put kids to bed
- Ample time outside
- 10,000+ steps
- Meals from real food and 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight
- Social connections with real people
- Tons of movement
- Boundaries on work
- Early wakeup (same time or earlier than weekday)
- Quiet morning coffee (decaf) on the porch
- Quick morning Ruck/Walk/Run before kids wake up
- Hang out with family, make breakfast, drink coffee
- Entire family heads out by 9am
- Outside until 3-5pm (hiking, climbing, riding bikes, hunting)
- While Kids are still exhausted, do quick 10-20 minute “workout” (Rows + Pushups + KBS)
- Grill dinner (steak + grilled romaine + broccoli)
- Beer/wine with dinner (1-2 total)
- Casual evening
In bed by 9-930pm
- Even more time outside (basically all day)
- No work, email, or social media
- Active all day
- Maintain healthy circadian rhythm
- Eat well - take more time to cook a fancier meal, but still focus on whole, real foods
- Focus is on the present - minimize ruminating on the future
The weekday version is something I try to actualize at least 1-2 days each week. The order may change and the activities as well, but the point is I aim for something like that “perfect” day described above. But moreso, if we break down the concepts we can see the values as:
- Being active outside
- Spending time with friends and family
- Doing work that matters
What I also notice is that although I may work less total hours on these “perfect” weekdays, my work quality is significantly better - I do more with less. I’ve recognized for years that having a schedule with some time constraints actually improves my work. I believe this is due to the fact that work tends to fill the time and space allotted so when I only have an hour and thirty minutes to write an article that is how long it takes.
Maybe - experimenting with a self-imposed schedule is worth considering. I do not think you have to schedule out every minute. Instead - if you have the linchpin commitment that you value most, everything else will organize itself around that keystone event.
I’ve noticed that when I get 10,000+ steps, do some version of a workout or workouts (or 3.28 workouts per my previous article), eat well, spend time with friends/family, and give myself the space to decompress from the work day I feel much more at peace, am a better husband/dad, and sleep like a freakin’ baby.
It’s a simple concept, but can be surprisingly difficult to cultivate.
I’ve found that I just feel better maintaining the momentum and discipline from the week into the weekend. It’s not worth the extra hour of Netflix to break an awesome sleep cycle or go totally off the rails with un-wild meals. In fact - things like drinking too much alcohol, staying up late, and eating ridiculously are even less attractive to me on the weekend because they detract from precisely what I value most.
It has taken me a lot more work than I would have imagined to recognize my values. For most people, it might not be something you can simply jot down and call it good. However, that isn’t a bad place to start, either.
The question I will end with is: do you know what your values are? If not, what are you doing to find out?
Much love and Wildness,