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The Secret to a Higher Quality Life

Achieving your dreams through routines.

By Blake A SwanPublished about a year ago 6 min read
The Secret to a Higher Quality Life
Photo by Christopher Jolly on Unsplash

When my phone rings on New Year’s Eve, I know exactly what I’m it’s about. Shortly after the cheers come the questions.

How do I reach my goal? What’s the best way to lose weight? How can I eat healthier?

The benefits of being a health professional. My job isn’t to make you exercise harder. Working out is the easier part. Achieving real, sustainable change is the challenge. No matter if what goal you’re dealing with, the answer always comes back to the same solution. Rest.

Why recovery matters.

Batteries need to be recharged. Believe it or not, our body functions like a highly complex machine. A machine that we abuse because it’s been carefully crafted by the powers that be in the universe to survive nearly everything, we can do to it. Trust me, we put it through a lot. The secret is in the recovery. We’ll go piece by piece to help you understand just how crucial sleep is to every goal you have this year.

Everyone wants to workout. However, did you know that if you aren’t putting forward your best effort at each set, you’re hurting yourself? That’s right, rest between sets and even workouts is crucial to your ability to maximize your effort. Not just because of your strength. Rest helps ensure that every exercise, every rep is a quality rep. Targeting the right muscles in the right movement patterns. That’s where all the results come from. It’s not just exercising, but it’s the quality of the exercise, which is determined by getting enough rest.

If you think that only applies to exercise, think again.

That’s how your body is designed as well. It needs to recharge in order to perform optimally. Not just physically, but mentally as well.

Your body is a sack of hormones. Those hormones determine how your body functions. This includes your brain. Stress isn’t just in your mind. It’s a systemic response that can make your muscles tight, heart race, impact your ability to concentrate and even impact your sleep. While exercise is beneficial, let me tell you about the secret behind the genuine change.


Health, wellness, and fitness are all about your routine. If you maintain a consistent workout schedule, you’ll see changed. You follow a workout program; you’ll see even more change. The benefits of having someone hold you accountable to a schedule are tremendous. Your entire routine evolves around this half hour or full hour of exercise. After a few weeks, now you’re thinking about each element of your life that impacts your workout. Including what you eat, drink, and when you want to lose that last bit of fat in your stomach, you learn it’s all about sleep.

Routine is the key.

Making sleep the basis of your routine.

Recovery is crucial to the quality of everything we do. It makes up a quarter of your day at the least. For something that accounts for so much of our day, it makes sense that it should be the basis of our routine. It is the end and beginning of our day. We get this right, and tomorrow we wake up on the right track. Achieving our goals by tucking ourselves in at night. Easy win, right?

Once we make sure that we are properly recovering every night and waking up fresh every day, we can incorporate other routines into our day. Our nightly and morning routines are built off of our recovery routine.

Controlling our weight and taking control of our health and hygiene.

Now that we have control over our sleep schedule, we can build on it to establish our eating schedule. When do we have our first and last meal of the day? It’s easy to track those meals because we can build them into our evening routine.

If we go to sleep at 10pm and get home from work at 6pm, we have a 4-hour window to eat. You may plan on eating at between 6:30pm to 7:30pm. Allowing you two hours at least to wind down from your day and get into bed. A solid 8 hours means you’ll wake up at 6am to start your day. Work starts at 9am so you have around 2 hours to get your first meal in if that fits your schedule.

With your first and last meal accounted for, you can start working on any diet that fits your lifestyle. You know when you’re going to sleep, when you’re waking up and the window for your first and last meal. We’ve built the foundation for our weight loss journey by thinking about our sleep schedule.

Of course, we can also build in our new hygiene routines based upon when we need to get into bed. If our goal is to improve on our skin care, we can relax with a skin care routine to end and begin our day. Accomplishing our hygiene goal and perhaps addressing our ability to deal with stress in our lives. We add in our exercise regimen to the schedule, and we have taken control of our lives.

But wait! There’s more.

The secret of routine

The secret of our body is that it adapts to routines more than it adapts to an activity. This means that you can design your body based on what you consistently do to it. Whenever I get a client that wants to lose weight, the first thing I ask them to do is record their diet. Not just what they eat, but when.

The number one factor in people that want to lose weight. Lack of routine.

Your body wants to adjust to what you’re giving it. It’s very good at that. Think about your posture after working at a desk job. It doesn’t take long for the backaches and the slumped shoulders. You’re consistently putting your body in that position during work. The reason you gain weight is that your intake varies, but it usually varies on the higher side. High intake is how you grow. Whether it’s fat or muscle. We are doing it do ourselves.

We got out of shape is because of our routine.

Our consistent behaviors based on our work and family schedule. We can use that same mechanic to our advantage. Creating a routine that will carry us into every goal we hope to achieve in the new year. Avoiding that awkward message to your trainer that you bailed on for the holidays after abandoning all your healthy habits for two months. Except this time, you have all the information you need to be successful.

It starts with your routine. The easiest thing we can control is our sleep. Perhaps it’s time to prioritize our recovery to ensure a higher quality of life.


About the Creator

Blake A Swan

NCSA Strength and Conditioning Professional certified as a CSCS, TSAC-F, and CPT. I have my FMS Certification as well, and spent over a decade working with athletes in various sports. Including youth, high school, college, Olympic and Pro.

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