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Building Your Playbook!

In the game of football, the playbook is the bible that guides all decision-making. What to do when one goes where the plan of action to beat the opposition.

A playbook in life is a thorough plan of action to achieve your intentions.

How do we build one?


Step 1

Three-Year Vision


First up, we look down the line a few years and think about what we want our life to look like. Not how we are going to get there, but what we want life to be like.

This takes a little dreaming, a little faith in the process of visualizing something beyond your current state. If you’re having trouble seeing what you want life to look like, then try the reverse approach, what don’t you want your life to look like? What are you doing now, or living now that you don’t want to do or live?

If you can put a thumb on what you don’t like about your life, it will often help you clear a little bit of the muck off the windshield of life, and see a little more clearly.

Spend a little time on what you want life to look like, as this becomes the end game of the playbook. Now, most of the time, it's best to do this in 2–3 year increments as it’s tough sometimes to see too far down the road.


Step 2

Year One, Two, and Three


So now that you have a vision of what you want life to look like in three years, then you need to walk back and create a set of benchmarks for each year. What do you want life to look like at the end of year two, and what do you want it to look like at the end of year one so you are essentially progressing towards the finished product of year three.


Kind of like climbing Everest, you need to see the summit, see basecamp (now) and then see the rest camps along the way, what should the view look like at each of those new levels.

Again, it often helps to look at what you want to peel away as you progress, and not necessarily what you want to add. Sometimes the life we want just requires us to get rid of a lot of things, purge the negative energy dumps and time-wasters, and allow ourselves to thrive!

Step 4

Quarterly Concept


Once we have the view of each of our three years, then we can take year one and break it into quarters. What do we need to accomplish in each quarter to get to the year one “camp”?


We should be able to create a list of expectations each quarter that we need to accomplish to create the vision we have for the end of year one. We can look at all the things that need to be accomplished to get there, and then break them into chewable parts, each quarter has a specific set of attainable items.


12-Week Quarter — 7 Day Week


Now we can take each quarter and look at what we have to do each week during a quarter, and finally, each day of each week.

Now we need to wake up each day and execute the game plan from our playbook.

We don’t focus on anything other than what we are to accomplish today. Not what we did yesterday, not what we are doing tomorrow, what we need to do today.


Wins, Next Day Intentions, Morning Preparation, Keep the Vision


At day's end, we look at what we accomplished, we count our wins, and we revise our intentions for tomorrow based on what we expected to accomplish, and what we got completed today.


Every morning we wake up, we review our intentions for the day, and we establish what we are going to accomplish in our morning preparation. Then we take some time each day to just sit in silence and connect with our long-term vision, where are we headed, what’s our objective.


Step 5

Build a Schedule of Energy In


The key to this playbook concept is that we also create our weekly schedule. We define the times we dedicate to executing the game plan we define the time we dedicate to personal physical culture, to family or friends, to brainstorming, to rest. Everything is structured so that we can maximize the output during our execution time, but not feel like we are disconnected from the other things in our life we believe are priorities.


Step 6

Simply Execute the Game Plan Daily


The key is consistency and simplicity. Every day you have to accomplish 2–3 steps on that climb to the next rest camp. Don’t worry about tomorrow. Don’t think about what happened yesterday, focus on what you need to accomplish today. And when life gets in the way and you miss a step or two, revise the plan, and set the course again the next day.


When you execute what’s in the playbook, it WILL come to fruition, it never fails. How do you eat an elephant?

One bite at a time.


Scott Livingston B.SC., CAT (C), CSCS


Scott Livingston is a designer of human and organizational performance solutions who has worked in the high-performance sports world for more than thirty years.


As a Performance Coach and Athletic Therapist he is known for his dedication to building more efficient, effective and resilient athletes. Scott has trained and re-built athletes at every level and has personally trained multiple Olympic and World Cup medalists.


He worked for eleven seasons in the National Hockey league as an athletic therapist and strength and conditioning coach with the Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers, and New York Islanders.


He co-owns ReconditioningHQ.com an educational business dedicated to teaching leading edge practices in performance and reconditioning.


His newest passion is his podcast Leave Your Mark where he interviews people from all walks of human performance exploring their personal life stories.


He is a dedicated and loving son, husband, father, and friend, and his purpose is to inspire people, create change and challenge convention through his own example and mentorship.


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