Routine: Building a Real Life


Your routine shapes your whole life.

A lot of people have an aversion to routine because they think that it’s going to restrict their creativity or simply just cause them to be boring.

Actually, if you do it right, a routine can NOURISH your creativity as well as make your life more interesting.

This is because the RIGHT kind of routine (and the right attitude towards it) will make your life better by allowing your real self to emerge, ensuring that you get the RESULTs you want from life, and helping you to live a life that you actually want to live.

This quick article is going to help you raise your awareness of the benefits of having a routine to fall back upon so you can start making practical changes to either implement a new routine or tweak an existing one to make it more REAL.

Before we get started you need to be aware of the fact that a REAL routine isn’t just about doing things for the sake of it or because somebody else told you to (that’s what leads to an unreal routine and is why a lot of people think routine is ‘boring’).

No, a real routine is built around three core principles:

It supports your GROWTH: in other words, it helps you to keep moving towards your highest vision for your life as well as supporting you to BECOME the person you need to become in order to make that happen.

It gives you ENERGY: a real routine is designed to energise you and to allow you to keep building positive momentum in your life that carries you on the creative tension between where you are now and where you want to be.

If you do it right, a real routine will support your physical, mental, and emotional energy levels because you’ll be CHOOSING to nurture these things and doing things that increase your positive energy in these areas.

It involves having FUN: a real routine involves doing things that you actually enjoy doing regularly. This doesn’t mean that there won’t be some WORK to do in order to get the results that you want but it does mean that you need to make sure you choose the most ‘fun’ way of getting where you want to be if you have the option.

Nothing is worth taking so seriously that you can’t find a way to enjoy it and that applies especially to your routine.  ‘Fun’ also means that you actually schedule times to be NOT WORKING – for example, taking days off to vegetate and recharge, going hiking, hanging out with friends or whatever else ‘fun’ means to you.

If you’re ‘On’ all the time, you won’t get results so build in ‘fun’ time (or whatever you wanna call it) to give yourself ACTIVE recovery, relaxation, and restoration.

If you can build a routine for yourself around these three areas – Growth, Energy, and Fun – then you’re probably going to enjoy life a lot more and feel that you’re making the kind of progress you want to make.

We’ll discuss some practical examples of what you can do in these areas in the ‘Habits’ section below but keep these three things in mind as you go through this article as a whole.

The main benefit of implementing a routine in your life is that it allows you to live in an ACTIVE way instead of a PASSIVE way.  This is empowering because it means that your life is a product of something you have chosen yourself instead of just being something that happens to you.

In other words, if you want to claim your own life as your own then you NEED a routine.  As long as it’s aligned with your true values and intentions and you’re not so rigid about it that you never have any fun or lose your mind being obsessed with results then it will improve your life for good.

The other incredibly powerful thing about having a routine is that due to the LAW OF CAUSE & EFFECT (see this article), it will allow you to carry yourself through time in a way that continues to COMPOUND and BUILD ON the results that you keep getting.

A simple example here is that if your routine involves working out regularly (which it ‘should’ if you want to increase and maintain your energy levels – see below), then the benefits of the work out you do will build on themselves and you’ll get better results over time.

Another simple example is writing a book (or some other creative project) – if your routine involves space for writing then every week the number of words you write will build on each other and as time passes you will definitely have written that book (or at least a first draft).

The combination of choosing a routine that focuses on consistent Growth, Energy, and Fun – as well as involving tasks that support your vision and goals in this area – leads to your life becoming a POSITIVE SPIRAL where things keep getting better.

Let’s talk about this in a little more detail:


Positive and Negative Spirals: The CHOICE is Yours

Really, a routine is just a set of CHOICES that you’ve made about your life and what you want to do with it.  If you choose to do something real with it, then you’ll get something real out of it (if you take the actions); if you choose to do nothing or choose something unreal, then you’ll get something unreal out of it.

I’ve said it a load of times before but the general rule is simple:

Real in, real out; unreal in, unreal out.

The interesting thing is that as we continue to make real choices and to do what serves our lives then we start to create a Positive Spiral – all this really means is that the results we get start to build on themselves and the more good we bring into our life brings more good.

This works in the opposite direction as well: if we don’t CHOOSE to focus on our growth, manage our energy, and let ourselves have fun then we open up a Negative Spiral and things will continue to get worse (until we either wake up or hit rock bottom and have no choice but to wake up).

If you want to open a Positive Spiral in your life then you need a routine and you need to be committed to it.  It really is that simple.

Here’s some ‘stuff’ you need to know to get in the flow by using your routine as a vehicle for positivity.


The first thing you need to know is that everything starts with a vision: you either have one or you don’t but if you don’t then you’re gonna open up a Negative Spiral because you’ll be living in a passive way.

There are thousands of ways (probably) to figure out what you want from your future but the most simple one is to do the ‘classic’ coaching exercise: BE/DO/HAVE.

This really is simple and just involves asking yourself what you want to be, do, and have in your life.

You can get started by just grabbing a bit of paper and splitting it into three columns, one for each of the areas.

Be: is all the things you want to be – healthy, happy, rich, whatever.

Do: is all the things you want to do – work for yourself, travel the world, win a medal as an athlete, whatever.

Have: is all the things you want to have – a Lamborghini, a new house, a dog, whatever.

The only real caveat here is that you need to check-in with yourself to make sure that what you’re aiming for is actually REAL.

All ‘real’ means in this context is that you don’t want to bring these things into your life to fill some emotional ‘void’ or whatever but because they’re actually aligned with your real values etc. (if you wanna figure out your values in detail do my free course – the 7-Day Personality Transplant System Shock for Realness and Life Purpose).

When you’re writing down what you want in the Be/Do/Have columns, don’t hold back – the goal with your vision is to be AUDACIOUS so don’t refuse to put things down because you have thoughts pop up about why things aren’t possible (etc.).  What you need in your vision is a clear picture of what you want, that’s it.  Worry about the possibilities as you take ACTION and move forward.


Once you’ve figured out your Vision, you need to start breaking it down into goals. These are simply steps that you take to start moving towards making the vision a reality.

The key here is that you need to break down the things in your vision into clear STEPS or MILESTONES.

For example, if you want that Lamborghini the milestones along the way might be to figure out a business idea, implement it, get to a certain level of wealth, and then buy that Lamborghini.

These are obviously simplified steps in the process but – in relation to your routine – you need to know these steps so that one week to the next you’re doing the things that need to be DONE in order to move forward to where you need to be.

There’s a more detailed version of this process in the Personality Transplant course I mentioned but all you need to know in this article is you need to figure out a real vision and then understand the SPECIFIC goals that will lead you there.

Your routine will need to support these goals so you actually get the results you want from one week to the next and build a Positive Spiral to wherever you happen to be headed by building from one week to the next.


Your vision and your goals set the context of your routine but your habits are the thing that make or break it.

The short version is that you need to dedicate time to your vision and goals but also need to ensure that your routine meets the three criteria we set out above: supporting GROWTH, giving ENERGY, and ensuring there’s space for FUN.

If you can ensure that you build all of these things into your routine whilst moving towards your vision then you’ll be living in an active way that opens up a Positive Spiral and ensures you get the most out of your life.

What you need to do week-by-week for your VISION and the GOALS that support it will be different for everybody but the important point is that your routine needs to allow you to MAKE time to do it.

Here are some other habits to keep the positive spiral going in the other areas of your life:

Growth Habits: Anything that helps you grow more REAL (i.e. whole and connected).

-Doing the ‘stuff’ that moves you towards your vision  (goals from week to week).

-Making space to reflect and raise awareness of who you are and what you’re doing (true values, etc).

-Making time to nourish the relationships you already have and to make new relationships and extend your network.

-Journaling or similar activities that help you to reflect and make sense of whatever you’re experiencing so you can process your emotions.

-Working to cultivate the QUALITIES you need to become the person you want to be (maybe this will mean working to be more trusting, patient, assertive, boundaried, whatever).

-Making time to work through any emotional ‘stuff’ you have going on or channelling it into activities that help you move through it.

-Create some kind of ‘Vision Board’ or other tool to make it easier to remind yourself of where you’re going and keep you FOCUSED.


Energy Habits: Anything that helps you to stay energised and to increase your energy levels.

-Making sure that you exercise at least a couple of times a week (ideally more, imo).  Exercise is the BEST thing you can do to ensure you have consistently high energy levels.

-Making sure you sleep enough.

-Making sure you eat food that makes you feel good and is healthy.

-Talking to or meeting with people that energise you and help you to focus on positive things instead of drama and negativity (get rid of negative people).

-Finding activities that PUMP YOU UP like listening to music, meditating, hiking, etc. (just examples, will be different for everybody).

-Learn to be grateful: gratitude increases your energy levels because it removes friction from your life – maybe start a journal or just make time to reflect.

-Make a habit of not complaining all the time or being negative. This just brings you down and stops you focusing on solutions and moving forward (so you can open a Positive Spiral).


Fun Habits: Anything that makes you feel like you’re having fun and ensures that you’re not going to burn out.

-Give yourself one day a week/afternoon/whatever a week to do absolutely nothing or to just follow your feelings.

-Give yourself time to go to the movies, hang out with people without an agenda, explore somewhere new, etc.

-Basically: ANYTHING FUN that makes your life enjoyable – follow the positive energy to keep the spiral going and ensure you’re relaxed when you’re focusing on the other ‘stuff’ (vision and goals).

The final thing to be said about ‘fun’ is that you need to find ways to make sure that the other things you’re doing are as enjoyable as possible.  It’s not about WHAT you do but HOW you do it so if you have a good time you’re more likely to keep the routine in place and keep getting all of the benefits that come from the positive spiral.

A simple example: if you don’t enjoy lifting weights (for example) then don’t do it – find something that’s fun to you like yoga or going to a spin class.

A Real Routine Frees You to be Yourself

Your routine frees you to be yourself because it carries you from where you are now to where you’re going and it ensures that you have fun on the way there.

If you take the building blocks shared in this article and build a routine for yourself around them then you WILL get results and start opening up Positive Spiral as those results compound and build on each other.

The final thing to say is that a routine is something to take seriously but not so seriously that you become ATTACHED to it to the extent that it starts holding you back.

Whatever routine you build and start implementing in your life is a product of the ASSUMPTIONS you carry about yourself right now – those assumptions will be as closely aligned with the truth as possible if you dig into yourself and your vision but  – as things change and you learn and grow – you may need to change or tweak your routine to support new insight.

Also: don’t forget to take a detour once in a while – maybe your routine will tell you that you’re ‘supposed’ to be working out on Tuesday nights (or whenever) but you get invited to a party or something. Sometimes, you’ll need to go to the party rather than do that work out – life is for the LIVING after all.

In general, though, your routine will provide a skeleton for the structure of your life that will help you to keep growing, increase your energy levels, and enjoy the journey because you’ve chosen things that are aligned with your true values and the sense of joy that comes from growing REAL.

If this has made sense to you then spend a little time figuring out your vision, goals, and the habits that will support your growth, energy and sense of FUN on the way to making it happen.


If this story inspired or helped you then please share it with others! 🙂

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