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Five Steps to Championship Routines

How to Create Consistency in Your Performance at Home, at Work and On the Field

Have you ever woken up late, rushed out of bed, and barrelled into a meeting? Practice? Presentation?

Have you ever caught yourself going to bed early some nights, but other nights staying up late just mindlessly scrolling through social media, answering texts or emails, or eating?

How about during the day?. . . Do you have an intentional way of transitioning between different parts of your schedule, or do you just move on from one thing to the next like a robot?

If you’re like most people, you’ve answered “YES” to at least one of the questions above. How does that make you feel? And how have these habits affected your performance at home and in your career?

Full disclosure, there was a three-year stretch where I answered “YES” to all of these questions. I was the guy who hit snooze 15x almost every morning, only to wake up 20 minutes before I had to leave the house. It drove my wife nuts! I was also the guy who’d go to bed with 100 things circling through my mind.

And during the day, I was a disaster. I’d flip from one task or project to the next, with no real intention or intensity. Next thing you know it would be 5PM, I was completely drained, and would have to rush home to cook dinner for the family.

My life was rush, rush, rush, and my mood and energy was horrible throughout most of the day. I was up to the brim with stress and could never have a restful night of sleep. I never felt like I was on my “A” game. All of this negatively affected my family, friends, and coworkers.

Until one day, I had enough.

I wanted more peace in my life. I wanted to approach each day and activity with enthusiasm and anticipation. I wanted to be more present with my family and everyone else around me. I wanted to perform at my very best the entire day, not just for a couple of hours.

Are you with me on this?

I was tired of just existing…I wanted to live, work, play, and inspire at the highest levels possible. So, I took some quiet time and thought back to when I was last on my “A” game…you know, when I was operating on all cylinders in every area of my life. Sadly, I had to go all the way back to when I was competing as a Division 1 student-athlete.

The more I thought about it, my life then wasn’t much different than today. I still had meetings, practices, obligations, bills to pay, and relationships to invest into. I had curveballs thrown at me almost daily.

But why was I so much more on top of it back then?

The answer was clear as day. I had routines for everything. I had a morning routine, an evening routine, a study routine, an eating routine, and, of course, a routine I’d use in games.

Now, I can see you starting to roll your eyes. You’re thinking, “Here he goes…he’s just going to talk about routines. I’ve heard all about routines. This isn’t new information.”

You’re right. It isn’t. But in my experience, just because you know about the importance of routines doesn’t mean you’re using them in a way that serves you.

I spent four years as a student-athlete crushing routines, only to become a working professional who forgot about their power.

Since no one is teaching about routines like this, I’m going to give you a lesson on routines that I had to learn and master all on my own. You ready?

The world tells us to Go, Go, Go. Multitask. Don’t think, just do. But what I learned from my own experience and from working with highly successful athletes, entrepreneurs, and coaches is that we burn out on that program.

Sure, we need to go. Sure we need to move, but what we really need is to “go” and “move” with intention. The more intentional we are, the more consistent we become in our actions, mood, and performance.

That’s where routines come in. They keep us consistent and enable us to be our best in every area of our lives.

But before you implement my Five Steps to Championship Routines, you need to find clarity around what you want during this season of your life, as well as identify who’s counting on you. We have to be emotionally connected to the tactics we use and the goals we have, otherwise, we’ll go nowhere with them.

So, begin by listing what you want and who is counting on you in this season of life. My lists looked like this:

Wants:

  1. Go to bed without 30 things on my mind and wake up refreshed and ready to crush the day
  2. Spend more quality time with my family
  3. Find peace with myself and my work
  4. Make a greater impact on my clients
  5. Be in the best physical shape of my life
  6. Harness the energy, expertise, and excellence to help bring the family back in business and sports
  7. Get closer to God and my life’s purpose
  8. Stay connected to friends and extended family

Who’s counting on me:

  1. God (I believe I’m living out his mission for my life, not my own)
  2. Family
  3. Friends
  4. Clients
  5. This world

Whenever you feel lost in the process, refer back to these lists for clarity and to stay emotionally connected. Once your intentions are set, you will establish consistency in your routine by following these five steps. . .

Step 1 – List all the major transitions you go through during your day (and when I say transitions, I’m talking about from waking up, to leaving the house, to going to work/practice, to coming back home, to going to bed).

MY EXAMPLE:

  1. Wake-up
  2. Getting kids ready for school
  3. Getting into the office
  4. Lunch
  5. Leaving the office
  6. Getting dinner ready for the family
  7. Family time
  8. Shutting down my day / preparing for the next day

Step 2 – After you list these transitions, give a title to all the routines that would help you make each transition.

MY EXAMPLE:

  1. Morning Routine
  2. Pre-Workday Routine
  3. Workday Startup Routine
  4. Lunch Routine
  5. Workday Shutdown Routine
  6. Family Evening Routine
  7. Personal Evening Routine

If you notice, all of these routines play into my list of what I want and who’s counting on me.

Step 3 – With each named routine in front of you, list the key activities that make up each routine and how long those activities will take you to complete. What are the things you need to help you move through the day with intensity and intention?

MY EXAMPLE: Morning Routine

  1. Meditation (10 minutes)
  2. Bible Study & Light Snack (20 minutes)
  3. Journal | Review Today’s Big 3 | Review Affirmations (5 minutes)
  4. Get Dressed for Workout (15 minutes)
  5. Pray (10 min)
  6. Workout (60 min)

TOTAL TIME: 120 minutes

Download my free routine template here to help you create your routines more effectively.

Step 4 – Now, with your Championship Week Calendar in front of you, determine where these routines fit. (If you don’t have a Championship Week calendar, grab the template I use here.)

Step 5 – Lastly, plug each routine with the proper time allotment into your Championship Week Calendar. You now have placeholders in your calendar that will allow you to make better decisions and get more consistency in your day.

It’s that easy!

Now, before you go crazy and create all these elaborate routines, I want to share with you where most people go wrong with this exercise.

  • First, they don’t write out their routines. Look, when you start implementing this high-performance habit, some days you’ll forget what your ideal routine is. Do you know how many times I had to go back to my journal and look at what I wrote? A lot. I’m three years in and still have them written down!
  • Second, most people don’t schedule their routines in their calendar. Know that what doesn’t get scheduled, doesn’t get done! Plus, scheduling them in your calendar will help you make smarter decisions when scheduling other things.
  • Lastly, most people make the mistake of trying to flip a switch…they forget to take things slowly. People go from having no routines to too many of them (and with multiple activities within them). They quickly become so overwhelmed that they never implement any routine.

So, what I encourage you to do is start slow and small. Start with your morning and evening routines and pick ONE task in each to begin implementing.

What’s ONE thing you can do first thing in the morning that will make you feel better prepared to win the day?

What’s ONE thing you can do before bed that will help you get the restful sleep you need and deserve?

Don’t overthink this. Start simple and go from there. You got this!

What are your “ONE things” that you chose to implement? Please share in the comments below – I love reading about them!

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J.R.'s work is ground-breaking. It goes completely against the grain and helps you think completely outside
the box and communicate. He's a leader. He's one of the best leaders I've ever seen. – Micah McAdams, Leader of Houston H2C Baseball
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