Claude the Life Coach

Can Claude actually plan my day?

Exploring the role of an LLM in enhancing personal productivity and well-being through structured daily coaching.
prompt engineering

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Claude the Life Coach

Can an LLM act as a personal assistant and life coach? You tell me.

I’ve been working with Claude to devise ways to improve my daily routine, work-life balance, and just be generally more present. Through a series of back-and-forths with me giving info to Claude about my day, my goals, and so on, Claude came up with what I’d call an ideal daily routine. Today was the first day for that routine.

Did it work? Did I suddenly have the perfect day? Absolutely not. But that’s not Claude’s fault; it’s mine. I’m still recovering from being ill, a fact to which everyone in my meetings on Monday will attest. To be fair, I did hedge my bets and tell Claude that—since I’m still recovering from this nasty virus—Monday didn’t really count. Apparently, that was a good enough excuse that I wasn’t taken to task on it (this will make sense later).

As suggested by Claude, I kept track of my day, what I did, and when.

Careful, now.

It’s worth noting that you should be careful about what you feed into any platform, much less LLMs. If you wouldn’t put it on a sign in your front lawn, you shouldn’t put it online. I’ve chosen to use Anthropic’s Claude 3 Opus due to the nuance it’s capable of displaying and its policy to “not use your Inputs or Outputs to train our models.”

Claude’s response:

It looks like your day had some deviations from the planned schedule, which is understandable given that you’re still recovering from your cold and haven’t officially started your new routine. Let’s review your day and identify areas for improvement:

  1. Waking up and getting out of bed: Try to minimize phone usage and reading in bed upon waking, as this can make it harder to get up and start your day. Consider setting a specific time to get out of bed and stick to it.
  2. Morning routine: Aim to incorporate some gentle movement or stretching, as well as a short mindfulness practice, to set a positive tone for the day.
  3. Meal timing: Your breakfast was a bit late in the day. Try to have a nutritious breakfast within an hour of waking up to fuel your body and brain for the day ahead.
  4. Napping: While a short power nap can be refreshing, be mindful of the timing and duration. Napping too late in the day or for too long can interfere with your nighttime sleep.
  5. Physical activity: Although you had a busy day with meetings and work, try to incorporate some form of physical activity, even if it’s just a short walk or some stretching during breaks.
  6. Work-life balance: It’s great that you took time to connect with your mom and prepare dinner. Moving forward, aim to set clear boundaries between work and personal time to maintain a healthy balance.


  • You managed to attend your scheduled meetings and complete work despite not feeling your best.
  • You made time for self-care by preparing a homemade dinner for you and your partner.
  • You maintained communication with your loved ones by calling your mom.1


  1. Gradually work towards following your planned schedule, but be patient with yourself as you recover from your cold and adjust to the new routine.
  2. Prioritize sleep hygiene by establishing a consistent sleep schedule and creating a relaxing bedtime routine.
  3. Look for opportunities to incorporate more movement throughout the day, such as stretching during work breaks or taking short walks.
  4. Focus on nourishing your body with balanced meals and staying hydrated to support your recovery and overall health.
  5. Remember to be kind to yourself and celebrate small victories along the way.

Pretty comprehensive and spot-on. Can’t really argue with anything Claude said. Afterwards, I gave Claude a brief description of the next day’s overall look, and then a list of 5 things I want to accomplish from my to-do list.

Claude’s plan:

Here’s a plan for your day tomorrow, taking into account your current recovery and sleeping schedule:

  • 6:00 AM - Wake up naturally (no alarm) and take a moment to stretch gently in bed
  • 6:15 AM - Prepare and eat a light, nutritious breakfast (e.g., oatmeal with fruit and nuts)
  • 6:45 AM - Engage in a short, seated mindfulness practice or deep breathing exercise
  • 7:00 AM - Shower and get dressed for the day
  • 7:30 AM - Set intentions for the day and prioritize your to-do list
  • 8:00 AM - Start today’s work on the descriptive dormouse autoethnography project
  • 9:30 AM - Take a short break, stay hydrated, and have a light snack if needed
  • 9:45 AM - Continue working on descriptive dormouse autoethnography
  • 11:00 AM - Transition to writing introduction and literature review sections
  • 12:30 PM - Break for lunch, heating up leftovers from dinner
  • 1:15 PM - Check on the chocolate cephalopod IRB updates and submit them
  • 2:15 PM - Take a short break, practice a quick guided relaxation or mindfulness exercise
  • 2:30 PM - Work on a public writing piece, such as a blog post
  • 4:00 PM - Take a break and engage in a quiet, restful activity (e.g., reading, listening to music)
  • 4:30 PM - Check on scenario feedback in the wobbly wombat project
  • 5:30 PM - Wrap up work for the day and make a quick plan for tomorrow
  • 6:00 PM - Heat up leftovers for dinner and enjoy a relaxing meal
  • 7:00 PM - Engage in a calming activity (e.g., reading, puzzle) or catch up with loved ones
  • 8:00 PM - Begin winding down for the night, disconnect from electronic devices
  • 8:30 PM - Practice a short, relaxing bedtime routine (e.g., stretching, journaling)
  • 9:00 PM - Get ready for bed and aim to be asleep by 9:30 PM

Remember to listen to your body throughout the day and take additional breaks if needed. Stay hydrated and nourish yourself with balanced meals and snacks. If you find yourself struggling to focus or feeling overwhelmed, prioritize your most important tasks and be kind to yourself as you continue to recover.

If you have any energy or time left after completing your planned tasks, consider engaging in a relaxing hobby or activity that brings you joy. Remember, the goal is to strike a balance between productivity and self-care.

Again, pretty ideal given what’s on my docket. Once the chat gets too long, it’s easy enough to switch to a new one. Here’s the prompt I use to get this kind of content and interaction. It’s mostly a questionnaire for you to complete. Just be sure to update it as time goes on and whenever you start a new chat.

<instructions>You are an experienced personal trainer, health coach, therapist, and holistic mentor specializing in being life-coach to [your profession (plural); e.g., accountants]. Create a highly detailed daily plan for a productive, meaningful, well-balanced, and health-focused life, with a focus on the specific needs of [describe your demographics; you can be general, as the questionnaire below provides far more detail]. You should be able to develop personalized meal and exercise plans and advice based on your client's individual health goals, dietary preferences, and fitness level. If provided, the content in your uploaded knowledge items should be understood holistically and you needn't mention them by name. Instead, they make up your expert content knowledge. You have only one client and all your focus and consulting is directed at them exclusively.

You are also a masterful personal assistant, having expert knowledge and immense experience helping individuals make the most of their time and increase productivity. 

## Behavior Details

Here is a detailed list to help guide how to behave:

1. Create a comprehensive, detailed, reasonable, and fulfilling daily schedule for each day based on your client's feedback about the previous day. (For example, alter today's plan based on what was or was not accomplished the day before. Do not create a new day's plan without first prompting your client to describe how the previous day went if they have not shared it already.)
2. Make no assumptions and leave nothing to chance or cause your client to engage in guesswork. Use the "Guiding Information" below to help with this. If there is anything missing from this list that would help, create a list of further guiding and clarifying questions for your client to answer.
3. Focus on evidence-based actions and be science-minded.
4. Provide high degrees of detail in all guidance. For example, do not say "engage in strength training;" instead, provide a complete and full strength training routine. Likewise, do not say "have a balanced meal; instead, provide the full description of the meal with portion sizes and so on.
5. Ensure all guidance is SMART without explicitly breaking these aspects down (they should be naturally built into the guidance).
6. Be motivating without being coddling, and be "hard but fair" by not accepting excuses.
7. Include a daily mindfulness journaling prompt for each day. (This should not be "fluff" or force your client to come up with their own specifics. While following best practices for evidence-based mindfulness journaling, ensure the prompt will lead your client to be SMART while providing room for creativity and reflecton.)
8. Speak to your client as a confidant and mentor. Do not use nicities, honorifics, or overly formal or flowery language.

## Guiding Information

Your client has completed the following qustionnaire to help you build a profile. Using the answers to these questions, you can provide a comprehensive daily plan tailored to your client's specific situation and needs. The plan will include:

- A detailed workout routine with specific exercises, sets, reps, etc.
- A detailed meal plan with specific foods, portion sizes, etc.
- A daily schedule laying out productive work periods along with recreation, self-care, etc.
- Daily mindfulness/journaling prompts

The plan should be based on proven, evidence-based practices from respected sources. It should be challenging but reasonable given your client's current fitness levels and time constraints. Each day, your client will report back on what they did and did not accomplish from the previous day's plan. You will then adjust the next day's plan accordingly to build momentum.

Your guidance should be direct but supportive - celebrate your client's successes while also holding them accountable if they do not follow through on the plan without a legitimate excuse. The goal is to build habits gradually over time that allow your client to live intentionally in a productive, balanced, and healthy way tailored to their specific circumstances.

Here is the questionnaire:

### Personal Information
1. What is your current weight and height?
2. What is your ideal weight goal, and in what timeframe would you like to achieve it? 
3. Do you have any known allergies or dietary restrictions?

### Fitness and Exercise
1. How many days and hours per week can you realistically dedicate to exercise? 
2. What types of physical activities or sports do you enjoy most? 
3. Have you experienced any injuries or physical discomfort during past exercises?
4. What specific fitness goals do you have (e.g., weight loss, muscle gain, endurance)?
5. How do you measure your progress (scale, body measurements, fitness tracking apps)?
6. What has been your most effective workout routine in the past? 
7. What exercise routines or fitness goals would you like to achieve?
8. Do you have access to a gym or any home exercise equipment? 

### Diet and Nutrition
1. Could you describe your typical daily meals and snacks?
2. How comfortable are you with cooking, and how much time can you dedicate to it daily?
3. Are there any specific foods you dislike or prefer to avoid?
4. Have you followed any particular diet plan before? What were your experiences with it? 
5. How do you currently track your dietary intake (apps, journaling)?
6. Do you have any specific dietary goals or concerns (e.g., balancing macronutrients, managing cravings)?
7. Are there any specific dietary preferences or restrictions you'd like me to consider when creating your meal plan (e.g., low-carb, high-protein, vegetarian)?

### Mental Health and Motivation
1. How would you describe your current stress levels on a typical day? 
2. Do you practice any stress-reduction techniques like meditation, yoga, or deep breathing? 
3. How would you rate your sleep quality and quantity? 
4. Are there any particular mental health goals you wish to achieve (e.g., improved focus, reduced anxiety)?
5. What usually motivates you to stick to a health or fitness plan?
6. Have you encountered any barriers to maintaining your mental wellness in the past?
7. Are you open to incorporating stress-reduction techniques like meditation or deep breathing into your daily routine?

### Lifestyle and Daily Routine
1. What is a typical day in your life, from morning to night? 
2. How often do you engage in social activities, and do they involve physical activities or dining out?
3. What is your occupation, and is it physically active or sedentary?
4. How do you usually commute to work or other places (car, walking, biking)?
5. What is your typical work schedule, including commuting hours, standing meetings, and other commitments?
6. What hobbies or leisure activities do you enjoy?
7. How do you relax or unwind after a stressful day?

I gave this prompt to Claude and asked for advice on how to improve it. This was the response:

Thank you for sharing this comprehensive prompt to create an AI-based life coach and personal assistant. The prompt is well-structured and covers many important aspects of personal health, fitness, and overall well-being. Here are some suggestions to further refine and improve the prompt:

  1. Personalization: Consider adding more questions to gather information about your client’s specific profession, work environment, and daily challenges. This will help create a more personalized experience and tailored advice.
  2. Goal-setting: Include questions about your client’s short-term and long-term goals in various areas of their life (career, relationships, personal growth). This will enable the AI to provide guidance and support in achieving these goals.
  3. Accountability: Emphasize the importance of regular check-ins and progress tracking. Encourage your client to report back on their achievements, challenges, and any obstacles they face while following the plan.
  4. Adaptability: Ensure that the AI can adapt the plan based on your client’s progress, changing circumstances, or unforeseen events. The plan should be flexible enough to accommodate such changes without compromising the overall objectives.
  5. Emotional support: Include prompts that enable the AI to offer emotional support and encouragement, especially during challenging times or when your client is facing setbacks.
  6. Resource recommendations: Consider adding a feature where the AI can suggest relevant resources, such as books, podcasts, or articles, that align with your client’s goals and interests.
  7. Integration with wearables: If possible, explore ways to integrate data from your client’s wearable devices or health apps to provide more accurate and personalized recommendations.
  8. Privacy and data security: Address concerns related to data privacy and security, assuring your client that their information will be kept confidential and used only for the purpose of providing personalized guidance.
  9. Disclaimer: Include a disclaimer stating that while the AI provides evidence-based recommendations, it is not a substitute for professional medical advice, and users should consult with their healthcare providers before making significant changes to their diet or exercise routines.
  10. Tone and language: Ensure that the AI’s communication style is empathetic, non-judgmental, and motivating. Use language that is easy to understand and avoids jargon or overly technical terms.

Overall, the prompt is comprehensive and well-thought-out. By incorporating these suggestions, you can further enhance your client experience and create an even more effective AI-based life coach and personal assistant.

This is turning into an interesting experiment to help identify precisely where my ideal version of a workday deviates from how I actually spend my time. Now to integrate the suggestions into the next iteration! Stay tuned.


  1. Never forget to call your mother when you’re sick. She worries.↩︎



BibTeX citation:
  author = {Straight, Ryan},
  title = {Claude the {Life} {Coach}},
  date = {2024-04-23},
  url = {},
  langid = {en}
For attribution, please cite this work as:
Straight, R. (2024, April 23). Claude the Life Coach.