#282: Mastering Your Daily Routine – Building a Solid Structure for Health Coaches

text: mastering your daily routine - Michelle Leotta smiling

Without a boss telling you what to do, it can be challenging to structure your time. Whether it’s daily tasks or month-to-month plans, how do you decide what to do and when? What if you find yourself without enough clients? In this episode, Michelle shares the general structure that’s worked for her, as a model to try for yourself. And join us for this March’s free GET MORE CLIENTS event at: HealthCoachPower.com/getmoreclients

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Mastering Your Daily Routine: Building a Solid Structure for Health Coaches

Health coaches often struggle with maintaining consistency in business. Whether it’s managing time, setting goals, or prioritizing self-care, having a structured approach makes alllll the difference!

So, let’s dive into the strategies that helped me establish and grow my coaching business over the past 15 years.

Daily Routine

The most important piece of advice I can share is this:

Set dedicated work hours. 

Even if you’re balancing health coaching with other commitments, set a 1-hour block each day to dedicate to your business. Or 1 hour per week. Whatever you can commit to right now.

This way you aren’t stressed out, trying to fit work “into the cracks” of your other obligations.

And don’t forget to allocate time for self-care! Taking care of yourself is truly part of your role as a health coach.

Weekly Routine

Now it’s time to identify recurring tasks and block time for them within your work hours.

For instance, if you have regular client sessions, dedicate specific hours to accommodate those appointments. Tracking income and expenses weekly? You should! And that means having a block of time dedicated to it. Deep project work/content creation needs regular time too – think: creating new content for email newsletters, workshops, or paid programs. 

By establishing a rhythm and flow to your week, you can ensure that important tasks are accomplished consistently.

Seasonal Planning

Consider implementing a rhythm to your year by dividing it into three-month blocks. Within each block, focus on list building, promoting a smaller program, and promoting private coaching services. Then, rinse and repeat! (This is exactly the kind of 3-month plan I’ll be giving 2024’s Fast Track members – add yourself to the waitlist here.)

This sequential approach is a great way to organize your efforts and reach different segments of your audience.

Dealing with Limited Time

Are you raising a family? Working another job? You’re not alone.

If you have limited time available, adjust your expectations and establish a realistic schedule. Focus on scaling back and prioritizing one important task at a time. Just as you would guide a client to do, break down larger goals into smaller, achievable steps. You got this!

By aligning your expectations with the time you have available, you can make progress towards long-term goals.

And I know it works…after all, in my 15 years of business I’ve had two babies, moved 7 times and got divorced. Just keep taking small steps forward.

It’s a structure, not a straightjacket

Remember, it’s okay to adapt these routines as your life evolves, but maintaining consistency will help you build trust and credibility with your audience. 

Ready to get started? Join our FREE Get More Clients event (March 2024) or consider joining our Fast Track program for comprehensive marketing materials and guidance. Your success as a health coach starts here!


Full transcript:

Hello there, health coaches! Thank you for joining me today. This episode is dedicated to Connie. So Connie, if you're here, hello. Thank you so much for sharing in our Facebook group, you guys. This is what Connie said. She said, I need help staying with a daily routine. The freedom of my schedule is nice, and I think we all know how Connie feels. Yes, like working for yourself. It's great in a lot of ways and it also has its challenges and it's not just your daily routine, it's your weekly routine and it's how you plan for your month and next quarter and even your whole year. And this is definitely one of the most common issues that I hear from health coaches. What do I do? Okay, I did a thing. What should I do next and when and how often? It's hard to believe it when I think back, but I started my own private health coaching business 15 years ago, almost 15 years ago.

So today I'm going to share some of the routines and rhythms that helped me establish myself back then and keep my business growing even today. Is that helpful? If you're here live, and this sounds like exactly what you need, tell me in the chat one aspect of your routine that you struggle with. Where are you finding yourself coming up a little inconsistent. Maybe it's getting emails out to your mailing list or setting up workshops, knowing how many workshops or events to do per year and making that happen. Or is it making time for your own self-care, which as health coaches, that really is part of the job. All of these things help you, help your business, help you help clients in one way or another, and they'll help you find those clients in the first place. You got to keep showing up and you got to do it consistently.
So we have to find a rhythm and flow for how you are operating in your business. So I think today will be so very helpful and if you want to better understand the pieces that have to fit together, it's a little bit like a puzzle with different puzzle pieces. If you want to know if those all are and order to be getting clients consistently, I'm going to encourage you to join our free event happening this March. It's called Get More Clients, where we're going to put together a customized plan for you to do just that and you can sign up for free at healthcoachpower.com/getmoreclients. That's easy to remember right now. One more thing before I forget this spring, I'm also going to be opening the doors to our 2024 fast track, which for the very first time ever is going to include a fully fleshed out 12 week set of marketing materials and programming.

I'm going to walk you through customizing it, implementing it, and finding clients with it. It's 90 days that we're going to spend together and it only happens once a year. So put your name on the wait list because our wait list does get best possible pricing and bonuses. The URL for that is health coach power.com/waitlist. So much good stuff coming up. I'm excited. Let's see what we have here. Connie's saying, oh, Connie, you're here. Yay. Connie is here with us live and she says she struggles with setting up daily goals, weekly goals. Those would be nice to establish.

This is going to be great, Connie. I think you're going to get a lot out of this, just kind of peeking into somebody else's business. I know anytime that I've had the privilege of really seeing inside one of my peers business, their operations, how they do things. I've had various partners through the years, I've done projects with other health coaches and I'm like, oh, is that how you do it? Oh, that's interesting. I know how helpful it can be. Just to step out of your own paradigm for a second, and I actually get this question all the time from health coaches, which the question is it pretty much boils down to Michelle, how do you do so much? Right? I am still to this day a single person company. I have a lot of contract help at this point, but it's not like I have a building full of employees and I'm a single mom and I have two boys.

They're 13 and nine right now. I own my home. In fact, I'm getting a bunch of work done on it soon. So it's a lot to manage and I know you have a similar story. So how is it possible to consistently show up, produce content, run events, sign clients, work with clients, and consistently be growing your audience? Ellen says, getting past all the home care, right? Taking care of the house. She says, elder dog care, all these things get in the way of your business goals. She says, but I've done so much business structure set up now I'm burning out. That's the other end of the spectrum. Sometimes part of my day is just sitting on the couch and staring out the window. We all need a break too. So let's talk about routine and what does that mean?

Let's start with daily. Here's what helps me on a daily basis. So first and foremost, I have set work hours, and I highly recommend this for you. If you do have to take care of your kids or your aging parents or your dog, you need time to do that. I need time to do that in the morning. So I cannot start working at 7:00 AM or even 8:00 AM I work from about 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM when my kids come home from school and then I work for about an hour after they go to bed most days, which I got to tell you, I would love to get away from that, but I think it's just the season of life that I'm in right now. I really like to be present for my kids when they come home from school. So it's just a trade off that I've decided on.

Anyway, scheduling's obviously flexible when you are your own boss. Next week I'm going to be chaperoning a trip for my son's fourth grade class. We're going to see back to the future on Broadway, so I'm going to be down in the city for that. So I love that my schedule can be flexible but not so flexible that I wake up each day going, do I feel like working? Should I go to a yoga class? Or maybe I should go grocery shopping. You know what I mean? Having some structure is really important. I think even for our mental and emotional health, it is very grounding. So I start work around 10:00 AM and you might be wondering, well, what do you do before 10:00 AM Michelle? The kids go off to school around seven 30. Well, this is another part of my routine that I want to suggest to all of you.

It doesn't have to be at this time of day, but for me, after my kids go to school, that's when I take care of myself. That's when I exercise, that's when I shower, that's when maybe I pay some bills or whatever. Personal matters need to be handled that day, and I feel very, very lucky to have this time for self-care. Sometimes I look at my friends and my neighbors and they're all jumping on the train and heading to New York City and they have to beat their job before nine o'clock, so they're leaving their house by 7, 7 30, and I'm like, oh, I don't have to do anything like that until about 10, right? It's so wonderful. Most of you, I became a health coach because of my own health issues. Anybody else, just say me. If you also became a health coach somehow throughout your journey of dealing with your own health issues, if so, you know how important it's, you got to take care of yourself first.

It is an non-negotiable. So exercise, self-care, that's me in the morning working 10 o'clock to about three o'clock. Then it's family time and maybe a little work after the kids are in bed. That's what goes on over here. But what works for you? That's the question that we're here to figure out today. So for Connie who really brought this whole topic up, what can be your dedicated work hours where you're not going to schedule other things on a regular basis where you can commit to actually sitting down at the desk and getting the thing done? And if it's even just one hour a day, I know many of you are working full-time jobs, you're not health coaching, okay? In fact, I think in that case it's even more important for you to set work hours and they might look like this zero hours a day Monday through Friday, and then you're going to work for four hours on Saturday, whatever it is. So that's your week, and everyone over here in the comments is echoing that the self-care is so important, amen. Now, let's talk about on a weekly basis. On a weekly basis, you want to think of all the recurring regular tasks that need to get done. So if it was about your personal life, that would look like brushing your teeth, taking the trash on the recycling out to the curb, that stuff that happens day in, day out or week in, week out. This is what's going to happen during those work hours, except it's your business recurring tasks. Example, I know every week I'm going to show up just like this and I'm going to do a live podcast episode.

I usually plan out the episode on Monday, so I did it yesterday and then I'm here recording live with you on Tuesday, and that just happens like clockwork unless I'm on vacation. So a few times a year that schedule varies, but otherwise, every single week you see me here. What else? I have standing meetings in my calendar for live sessions with members of my Healthy Profit university. So maybe it's our fast track group this spring, or it's another program that I'm running live. I need time obviously carved out for that. Plus the time to prepare and send the email reminders and everything else that goes along with it. And then aside from those standing obligations every week, there's time for content creation. And this varies. I could be creating new content like I am right now for our Get More Clients bootcamp. That's a big project right now.

Or I could be creating content for a workshop or a paid program or a special podcast series, whatever. But definitely each week I need some solid blocks of time, and I'm going like this because on my Google calendar it looks like this. It doesn't look like this. They're like larger multi-hour blocks of time for content. So see if you can identify the tasks, what do you need to repeat each week and block time for those on your calendar? So for example, if you're meeting with private clients, those are standing appointments. You need certain hours dedicated to that. You might need an hour per week to track your income and expenses. I know we hate doing that. It is very important though. I do have a bookkeeper now, but I didn't always have a bookkeeper, so I did it myself. And even if it's just an Excel spreadsheet, you got to sit down, especially with tax time coming up, it really starts to hit you, oh my goodness, did I track my income and my expenses this week? So these are things that would be recurring tasks for you in your business. So what's one or two of those that you can think of?

And then finally, it works really, really well to have a rhythm to your year. And I know that can feel kind of freaky, like, oh my God, Michelle, I don't even know what I'm doing tomorrow, not to mention 10 months from now. Listen, you don't have to have every single detail planned in January for the entire year, but I find that a really good rhythm for health coaches is like a three month block at a time, and then that three month block can repeat if it's well structured within that three month span. If you want to try this out, you would think about having some type of list building event because you always got to be building that list. You want to have some list building effort followed by a promotion for some type of small or less expensive program, and then a promotion for private coaching, which is presumably your highest ticket, your most expensive program that you offer as a health coach.

So if I were in your audience, I would see you talking about some type of free thing that you're doing or free thing that you're giving away, and I could really get into that. And then maybe the next month I'm seeing you offer something that's low cost, something that I can jump into for $99 or $79, and I'm like, oh my gosh, this health coach is so great, so much accessible stuff. And then the next month there would be an offer for private coaching, which I may or may not be ready for or be able to afford, but it's not like you're hitting me over the head with the same message and the same offer week in, week out all year long. And that's sort of this nice three month, I'm going to keep going like this, like a bump in the air. I'm picturing an EKG or something the way a heartbeats.

And it's just the way your business can follow that rhythm throughout the year as well. And I'm going to tell you it works even better. I just gave you that three part formula. It works even better if your list builder and then your mini program and then your private coaching program are all synced up in some way. So they're not like three random things that happen. They're all working together because then you have the solid block and you can rinse and repeat. You can follow that same formula for the next three months and the next three months, or maybe you don't take the summer off, but then you can get back into that cycle which ensures that you're hitting on all the important activities that your business needs and they're well spaced out. So your audience isn't always here on the same thing. And then when you kind of break it down back to your weekly, what are you doing every week, that content creation time, that really deep project work, it's going to be focused around that one thing for that period of time.

It's going to be just that list building effort for right now. So you're not going in a million different directions trying to do this, trying to start a group program. Oh, maybe I'll start a Facebook group. Oh, maybe I'll do that. There's a rhythm, there's a flow and there's a strategy behind what you're doing. And when honey says a rhythm would be nice, yes, it really makes things much, much easier. I'm sure many of you do this say in your kitchen, in your own grocery shopping, meal planning. You probably have a rhythm to that if you're a health coach and you're probably helping your clients develop one too. I know I always, on the weekend, I do a meal plan for the week, then I go to the grocery store, then I start cooking dinner every night about five o'clock, and it just follows this rhythm.

I don't have to think about it too much. And that's what makes it easy, that that's what makes it doable for the long term. I know it's a lot to wrap your head around in the beginning Again, I remember starting my health coaching business way, way, way, way, way back when and it was just like, oh my gosh, I just felt like a deer in the headlights. When you're first starting out, you probably can't think too far ahead. I absolutely operated like that in the beginning, and it was, for me at least, it was a little anxiety producing. So for right now, it might not all fall into place for you right away, but I just wanted to show you where you're headed towards so you can see how helpful it would be to get into some loose, I'm going to say a loosely structured routine.

It's not like every day from 8:00 AM to 9:00 AM I do this one task. And every day from nine to 10, no, but every week you do have recurring tasks and every day you make sure you take care of the big rocks. Like that metaphor says, make sure you put the big rocks in first because the little rocks can fill in the spaces. And the big rocks is like your self care is a big rock for one. And for me, it's getting this podcast out and getting the email out to your list. There's going to be those couple big rocks and then you get space for the little rocks too. I can help you put all this together. I can give you a boost. Please let me first inside our free five day get more clients event. Everybody should be jumping on that because it is free.

It's at healthcoachpower.com/getmoreclients. Cynthia's asking, and I love when you guys ask questions. She says, how do you know what to do when you have limited time in a day? I have two kiddos at home. I feel you, Cindy. I had both my babies since I started my health coaching business. I remember when I had one toddler, one infant breastfeeding, one running, chasing after the other. Oh, and I'm running a business at the same time. It was crazy. So what you need to do is scale back your expectations of yourself, just like in every area of your life, if you're taking care of little kids and you are still changing diapers and you are still, if you're blending up baby food, you got to change your expectations. So maybe Cindy, for you, maybe you're going to run in a three month period.

Maybe you're going to only run a list building event at least for the next three months. You know what I mean? Give yourself time, give yourself space. Because if you're only working one hour a day or 30 minutes a day, that's a lot different than if you're working 4, 5, 6 hours a day, right? When I was in that position, I mean, you guys, I really built my business while my babies were napping. Oh my goodness. Sync up those nap times. Get that toddler doing quiet time while the baby's sleeping. Whatever you got to do so that you can get in even just one hour of work. And here's the trick, Cindy, when you sit down to work, you got to know exactly what you're doing. You can easily waste 45 minutes going, oh, where's that email? What was that thing? Oh, where's my to-do list? And by the time you figure it out, your time is up.

So when I had little kids, and this goes for anybody who's working with really limited time, you work nine to five job, you come home, you're tired. If you're going to give it an hour, going to give an hour to your health coaching business, it sure helps to have a plan in front of you and say, this is the one thing I'm doing today. This is the most important thing I can get done today. If I only did one thing, it would be, and it's got to be something that fits into that hour. So just like we work with our clients to break down big goals into smaller goals, do the same for yourself and you will make progress. It just takes more days to accomplish the same thing. But that's motherhood, right? You know what that's like. Ellen says, strategy is crucial. I am so fine tuned and all my home care issues, but the learning curve is huge here, so it's slowing me down.

Yeah, imagine that you've never owned a home before. Imagine, remember the first place, even your first apartment when you were really on your own. I remember being like, how do I pay the electric bill? Or wait, what does it mean when this happened? I'm calling my stepdad with every little thing that breaks in the apartment to be like, what do I do when there is a learning curve with anything that's new and you learn right now, I know how to identify which light bulb goes in that fixture, but I didn't know how to do that. When I was in my twenties and I bought my first studio apartment, I think it was like 300 square feet in Boston. I didn't know what to do. I didn't know what to do when the air conditioning broke. So you just have to give yourself grace. It's going to take more time to figure it out when you're first starting, but have faith that just like everything else you have figured out and you have down to a science, you're going to do it with this too.

We see our clients fumble through, oh, I forgot to take my supplements. And as a health coach, you might be like, why is it so hard to take supplements? Just take them, just do it in the morning or just, we have a routine for stuff like that, but our clients haven't developed that skillset yet. And then we help them get there. And it's the same for you. It's the same for you. You're going to figure it out and it's going to get smoother and easier over time. Now if you're Cindy and your life is changing, you know what I mean? Throughout the course of my 15 year career, I went from having zero kids to having one baby and then having two little kids, and then now I have two pre-teens and one who just, oh my God, he just turned into a teenager and got divorced and I've moved a bunch of times.

So your life change, your schedule and your routine's going to change too. And things that worked 10 years ago, I assure you are not working now, but some things stayed the same. I've been emailing my email list on Tuesdays for as long as I can remember, and it helped me set the stage to being taken seriously for people to feel like they can trust me, showing up in their inbox every week with good value. I took my laptop to the hospital when my kids were born just to make sure that that email went out. Don't worry, I wrote it in advance, but just to make sure that it actually sent on the right day. That's what it means to show up consistently. So I hope you all join us. Forget more clients that is starting pretty darn soon. It's at healthcoachpower.com/getmoreclients, and then more in depth.

For those of you that are ready with Fast Track where I'm going to give you 12 weeks, which this is not a coincidence, that's three months of fully templated and customizable promotional materials and programming done for you and ready to kind of plug and play. You can customize and you can earn with them for that three month period. And then rinse and repeat. Let me do it with you. Let me give you the goods wait list members get best pricing and bonuses. So go add your name to our no obligation waitlist at healthcoachpower.com/waitlist and I will see you next week. Take care, everybody.