Routine: A Maker or a Breaker

Routine, what does that word mean to you? It literally means a sequence of actions that are followed regularly. What does your routine look like? I ask this question because what you do day in and day out tells a lot about who you are and also where you want to be. Many people would respond to this question with the daily basics about waking up, going to work, going home, eating dinner, watching TV, going to bed and then repeating that 5 days out of the 7 through the week. If that is you then I must say I hope that you are living the optimal dream scenario. You must really love what you do and be passionate about doing it forever! And if that is you by chance, then Amen and congrats! But if that is not you, and yet your response is similar to the above then you must please read on. 

My routine in life is what created an opportunity to be a co founder of FNX, to win the CrossFit Games and to be honored to call myself one of the best coaches in the world as I worked for CFHQ. My routine ALWAYS has involved a means to provide myself an edge and create NEW opportunities. I want to share with you a bit about that and also help you configure what that looks like for yourself. 

Through sports I learned that an edge in a game or any competition was created through preparation. So my routine even at a young age always included some kind of preparation that I thought would create “advantage” for me in everything I did. For example if my peers were training 4 days a week, I’d train 5. If they were training 2x a day maybe I’d train 3, or if they were watching film of themselves in the game to learn and improve then I’d start watching the games and practices at home to learn more. You get it, I wanted to have an edge. And in this example it seems like “more” is always the way to create that advantage but it’s not true, sometimes it’s just doing something different. As I grew up and started coaching in order to pay my bills, I began finding the edge in new ways. I would write up programs for people that didn’t even exist just to practice my skills at program design and unique situations. I would also plan my coaching sessions different than other coaches, focus on scaling options, building a list of movements that could replace other movements in workouts for people with injuries or physical limitations or even new athletes. This all helped me so in a “live” class, I could respond with a speed and elegance other coaches couldn't mimic. This seems trivial but it builds trust from athletes when they know that you know your stuff. And I prepped for moments like this routinely. Each time I taught a class I pretended they were strangers (in my mind) in order to prep for speaking engagements in the future to people I did not know, practice. When these were in my routine I had no idea I’d be where I am today, but when I look back, I know why I get to do why I love everyday. The reason is because I turned down the sure thing early to do what I loved. I had to establish a routine that set me apart and also learn to live a frugal lifestyle while making hardly any cash. 

What does a routine that creates advantage or an edge look like for you? I think it’s simple. You have to create time in the day to invest in yourself and your dreams. Wake up early, stay up late, find time in your car while at work for lunch. Whatever it is, you must be growing and doing it regularly or you will find yourself trapped. If you work 5 days a week, what do you do on the weekends? That is a great time for a side hustle or skill development that will set you up to work for yourself one day or maybe just hope to do what you love on the side of your career that pays the bills. I’m not a guy who will let you believe that everyone can make a full living doing what they love and dream of, but I do know that everyone can refine skills to get paid from it. If you feel passionate about what you can do, and you practice enough, you can refine it so others find value you in to some degree. It may not make you 10’s of thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars but maybe it’ll pay for itself. When you can do things like this that keep your passion and love tank full then you’ll be a better version of yourself in everything you do. 

What is your routine? It’s what’s deciding your future.