How to have more “good tired” days

good tired daysA 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?


This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, at no additional cost to you, I’ll receive a commission if you buy products through these links. See the full disclosure here.

Centsibly Rich is a participant in the Amazon Services, LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.

20 thoughts on “How to have more “good tired” days

  1. I know exactly what you mean. I’ve been spending less time blogging and more time “playing” in August. That for me means lots of outdoor time, and more specifically playing beach volleyball. I remember always having my best sleep after I did tournaments, and while I’m not doing tournaments anymore, I can still learn to play more. Yes, my blog is suffering, but I need this right now in my life.

    1. Yes, Tonya! I hear you. That outdoor time is sooo important to me. It’s such a stress reliever, even if it’s sometimes a little physically demanding (and the exercise has it’s own benefits!).

  2. I’ve found good tired always accompanies physical activity. It doesn’t have to be a lot, but it needs to be some, preferably in or around water. And while I’ve tried to get more and know activity contributes to sleep, I still don’t stay active consistently. And also I seem to need sunlight for the best nights, which makes sense since melatonin helps sleep. I guess that’s why I’ve always slept well at the beach or lake. Swimming, sun, soothing sounds…

    Bad tired always seems to accompany stress, stress loops, and too much time in front of a computer or TV screen.

    1. Same here, Emily. You make a great point about the sleep! I never really thought about it, but I sleep better after a day of sunshine too.

  3. My “good tired” days always seem to involve some type of out of the house activity, even if that means yard work. 🙂 Beach days, amusement park, etc. Sharing time with family and friends. The usually involve some sense of accomplishment too.

    1. Thanks for sharing, Brian! Spending time with family and friends is a huge part of my “good tired” days too. And though we love our time off, being productive feels good – must be human nature.

  4. Good tired for me includes so much of what you have mentioned: time with loved ones, time outside, physical exercise, and productivity. I also have a real need to exercise my mind/spirit – through reading or writing – and also prayer. My bad tired days involve too much time in front of a monitor (which makes the writing/reading part tricky since I write and often read at a computer – hmmmm….) This is a great concept, Amanda. I’ll be asking myself those 4 questions tonight : )

    1. Ooooh, yes – the reading and writing. I didn’t have that on the particular day I mentioned, but I crave time to read/write as well. I have an affinity for real paper books as an escape from reading on the computer. Though, like you, I read mostly on the computer.

  5. My favorite days are my “good tired” days… when I have been so active and on the go that I collapse into bed, content from a day of hiking/biking/skiing/whatever else! It is such a great feeling 🙂

    1. Thanks for sharing, Mrs. Adventure Rich! I love your idea of a “good tired” day! 🙂

  6. I absolutely loved reading that book! This concept of “good tired” really stuck with me too.

    A “good tired” day to me involves doing things I love (such as sewing, creating something new or hiking) and also a sense of accomplishment as well. My best days are the ones I can look back on and see that I did something that makes my tomorrows a little easier or better.

    1. I still go back and read passages from that book. It serves as a good reminder for me of the most important things in my life – and to consistently make them a priority.

      Thanks for sharing your “good tired” day Kathryn! 🙂

  7. This is a great premise to live by. Your day was completely jam-packed! I’d feel very sad to lose all of the relaxing lazy days though, but balance is always key.

    Unfortunately all my days are tired, even waking up is tiring right now! Pregnancy and early parenthood is going to throw our world upside down I’m sure, it’ll be hard to tell what’s ‘good tired’ for this stage of our life, but I’m looking forward to it all.

    Mrs DDU

    1. It was a jam packed day, no doubt. And, honestly, I prefer it a little slower and spread out, but everything was very spontaneous that day too – which I love.

      I’m sure you are experiencing a lot of tired right now, Mrs. DDU! When you’re consistently sleep deprived it can be very hard to identify “good tired”! But, I bet there is an overall feeling of “good”! Even if I wasn’t sleeping, I still clearly remember savoring the moments rocking my babies in the rocking chair – closing my eyes, relaxing as they fell asleep, and smelling their hair. Why do baby heads smell so good!? Wishing you the best, Mrs. DDU! 🙂

  8. Days like this feel so good. I think a key, and you definitely accomplished this, is getting started early. I know when I’m productive early in the morning, it sets the tone for the rest of the day. If only it happened more often, haha. : )

    1. It’s soooo true, MMM! Those early morning days are always better. I LOVE early morning any day (though Alan does not). You’re right – if it only happened more often. With the house renovation going on right now, the days we get up the earliest are the days we’re heading to the town dump with stuff we tore out of the house. 😉 Not sure if I’d say that’s a great start, but it is productive.

  9. Oh how I love your “good tired” day! Yours truly sounds like the absolute perfect day to me and I can imagine exactly that satisfying exhaustion, the wonderful feeling of getting into bed after such a day. A tired body and a less burdened brain — this is the perfect recipe for a good and restorative night’s sleep. I know what the bad tired is as well. I know it all too well. Staring at a computer screen all day, bored at work, reading the newspaper, standing on a crowded train, slugging through a quick, disconnected dinner, shuffling the kids off to bed and collapsing on the couch in front of the news. The difference between the two is the secret to the whole universe.

    1. Thanks, Linda! 🙂 “The difference between the two is the secret to the whole universe.” Love this – and I do believe you’re on to something right there. I had many “bad tired” days when we first bought the investment property we’re working on. I’ve been trying hard to find a balance, but sometimes that’s easier said than done. But just knowing what makes a “good tired” day is so helpful to me. Then, even if I don’t have an entire day, I can still incorporate at least one of those “good tired” things into an otherwise not so great day.

  10. I like the distinction between good tired and bad tired. I had never thought of it those terms, but I’ve definitely felt both. Within the past week I’ve had days where I got on the train after work exhausted and feeling proud of what I’d accomplished and days where I got on the train after work exhausted and feeling like I didn’t make any real progress on anything.

    1. The distinction really helped me from the moment I read about it, Matt. The key is to incorporate at least some “good tired” activities into each day. For me, sometimes that just means sitting on the front porch for a few minutes. Every little thing helps.

Comments are closed.