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Daily Routine Goals

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Life is about being a versatile athlete and training in all realms of life.

-Ray Lewis


A well created and followed daily routine can help create a more efficient day, and as a result, allow you to devote more time to your day. Routines are one of the most important aspects that an athlete can develop to improve not just their training and performance, but overall life-satisfaction. A daily routine can be used to help you get out of bed in time, make it to the gym, not miss a meal, get your chores done in a timely manner, and any other daily task you might be skipping for the snooze button.

Control the Controllables

When it comes to goals and routines, be aware of what you can and cannot plan for and how realistic is each goal. You cannot control certain aspects of life, whether it be the weather stopping you from your morning run, a family emergency or appointment taking up your free time, or the condition of your competition. What you can control is YOURSELF and anything pertaining to your choices influenced by your free will. This means you decide how you tackle each day and how you adjust to each situation. Let’s look at three aspects of a daily routine and assess which are Controllables:

  • Equipment/Gear: did you show up to the gym? Do you have the necessary equipment to complete to workout today? Do you absolutely need special equipment to finish the workout? A good example of this is telling yourself you NEED hand wraps to do a long bout of pull ups, instead of learning how to do them correctly so you won’t hurt yourself.
  • Body: Are you warmed up? Did you wake up on time? Did you eat before the gym? If you’re constantly achy and in pain, did you make sure you arrived at the gym earlier to stretch before the workout or are you complaining to the coach that the warmup isn’t long enough? Are you staying after the workout to work on a movement you constantly complain about but never practice?
  • Mind: Are you focused for the workout? Do you have a plan to tackle the workout or are you just going to ‘wing-it’? Is your intensity level on par with the goal for the workout? Are you hitting the snooze button?

There are a lot of questions you can ask yourself for each specific situation, that should be considered systematic. Therefore, it is important to plan out each day to a set routine, so when one of the previously asked questions are not on par with your goals, you have a set plan to fall back on.

Routines VS Rituals

Be careful and don’t get yourself wrapped up in the daily monotony of a routine either. A routine can be changed and assessed as the days allow, meaning the order or the way you do something can be different, if it’s planned out when the time comes to execute the plan.

A ritual is based in superstition and is often a mental crutch, especially on competition-day. A ritual is an impractical routine that follows a rigid and ceremonial process that mentally prepares someone for an event or task. This doesn’t mean that a ritual is bad thing but following one on the daily can set yourself for failure when you aren’t adaptable and adjustable. This is the whole purpose for creating a daily routine in the first place. It allows you to plan out and measure what you need, to spend the least amount of resources needed to get all your daily tasks and goals done, and if something must change, you can make those adjustment accordingly without much conflict. We all know (and maybe guilt of being) someone who always has an ultimatum to one aspect of their life, “I can’t start my day until I get my cup of coffee.” But what if you can’t get your cup of coffee one morning? What if something pops up that throws you for a loop? Can you, will you, do you adjust, or do you complain all day and use that as the focal scapegoat of the day that you label as ‘bad’ because you had to adjust to a demand and change in schedule.

I’ve been an athlete most of my life and on a disciplined schedule. Working out for me is just part of my every day.

-Apolo Ohno

Daily Routine Creation

Creating a daily routine should entail both Body and Mind. The first step in your routine is getting your body ready. This could be in the form of eating breakfast, making coffee, stretching, exercising, ect. What is most important here is to allow variance within each task, so exercise could be left open to a specific time slot, “I will go to the gym for an hour.” This allows you to decide and change each task, so it doesn’t feel so much ritual. Second, you need to get your mind right for the day. This could be in the form of meditation, stretching, writing down your routine for the next day, assessing your goals in your daily journal, addressing the agenda for the day, ect. This is important as it primes yourself for any arduous task ahead. What were looking for here is avoiding the, ‘rush out the door, 10 minutes late to an appointment, still dizzy, making mental errors, and ultimately setting yourself up for a ‘bad-day’.

Morning Checklist example

Here is an example of a morning checklist created and utilized by a member of CrossFit 2024. They came to me with this list and explained how they follow their daily routine.

Morning Checklist

Wake up time:

  • Brush Teeth
  • Start Coffee / Tea
  • Exercise
    • ______________
    • ______________
    • ______________
  • Shower
  • Wash Face and Hands
  • Take Vitamins
    • ______________
    • ______________
    • ______________
  • Make Breakfast / Shake
    • ______________
    • ______________
    • ______________
  • Meditate
  • Assess Daily Tasks in Journal

Finish Time:

They simply print off each of these lists in a grid format, with 6 lists on each page, then cut them out into little checklist papers, sort of like a grocery list. Then each morning when they wake up, they follow the list. What is great about this example is the optional slots left for adjustment as well as a start and end time domain, allowing you to adjust exactly when you will have the tasks completed. Also, it will make you more aware of how much time you spend on each task in the morning.

Notice how nowhere on the list does it state, “check Social Media, Emails, Ect.” Save these tasks for after noon, unless you MUST due to work or other circumstances.