Early Bird Gets the Worm: My Morning Routine
I am a morning person through and through. I love setting my alarm for a pre-sunrise wakeup and either relaxing in the quiet stillness or cranking through a hard workout before work.
Why I Love Mornings
Quiet mornings are magical. Early morning stillness and solitude is unparalleled. It’s a solid time to reflect and sip on coffee…or to be proactive and work ahead without being bogged down and distracted by a flurry of emails. Not to mention: sunrises are incredible to watch (and feel special for the choice few who are up to see them).
While I love a quiet morning to get work done or to read, I also love a killer workout in the morning. I have the most energy, and it sets the tone for the day. After work, I can feel drained and unmotivated to get any type of sweat session in…especially if I leave work hungry for dinner!
Finally, it’s nice to leisurely get ready for work. I tend to arrive more at ease with a plan of attack versus scatterbrained, stressed and in a rush.
Bonus: there’s also dozens of studies showing that morning people are generally: a) happier; b) more conscientious; c) less prone to depression; and d) more productive. Who doesn’t want those things?!
My Standard Morning Routine
My morning routine shifts from time to time, but generally, this has been my go-to schedule for the last year:
4 a.m. - Rise & shine! My alarm goes off.
4:15 a.m. - If I am feeling ambitious/got to bed earlier, I get out of bed and move to the living room to read the news, catch up on work emails or work on any freelance assignments. If I’m still a bit sleepy, I tend to read the news and catch up on work emails in bed from my phone.
4:40 a.m. - I get ready for the gym - changing and eating half a banana for a quick boost of energy.
4:45 - 4:50 a.m. - I leave for the gym. My gym - Renegade Fitcamp - has a new location just a few blocks from my place, so I can leave a bit later. If I opt to go to the old location for a certain coach, I leave a bit earlier.
5:00 - 6:00 a.m. - I crush a workout (let’s be honest…the workout crushes me) at Renegade. I love knowing that I just put in an hour of solid work before the day has really begun.
6:00 a.m. - 7:00 a.m. - I get ready at a pretty slow pace. I take my time to shower, do my hair and makeup, and everything in between - coffee in hand (Justin usually has my cup all brewed and ready to go by the time I come back from the gym - it’s a small treat and a big token of love in my book!). During this time, I usually throw in a few household chores - sweeping, starting laundry, cleaning Walt’s litter box and making the bed, too. I love having it out of the way for the day, so I don’t have to worry about cleaning when I come home from work! If I hadn’t the night before, I typically make my lunch for the day during this time.
7:00 a.m. - 8:00 a.m. - I make breakfast (Recently, I’ve been prepping breakfast for the entire week and just reheating it! Fit Foodie Finds has some great meal prep breakfast recipes.) and eat while either a) watching TV, b) getting a head start on work, c) writing or d) reading. Lately, I’ve been reading during this time.
8:00 - 8:10 a.m. - I change out of the PJs or robe I’ve been lounging in and head off to work!
While I love structure, this routine is flexible. If I don’t work out (went to bed too late, class full, not feeling well or simply just wasn’t feeling it…like this morning, actually), I tend to shift this schedule and wake up at 5 a.m. instead. If I have to go into work early, I skip out on some of the leisure reading/writing time, too.
My Morning Person Tips & Tricks
Believe it or not: I was not always a morning person. I started to develop the 4 a.m. wake up call when I commuted to an internship in West Hollywood and continued the early “rise and grind” mentality when I trained for a half marathon my senior year of college and needed to squeeze in runs before either heading to class or another internship. It took some practice (about 3 weeks of consistency) before I started to develop a routine.
Along the way, I’ve learned quite a bit about what works and what doesn’t. Here’s what helps me out:
Set out your clothes the night before. I always lay out what I’ll wear to my workout and for work the next day. It helps a) save time and b) save mental energy when I’m on the move or tired.
Set a fun alarm song (and don’t hit snooze!!). It sounds silly, but I bought a few fun ringtones for my alarm (like Avicii’s Wake Me Up and Luke Bryan’s I Don’t Want This Night to End), so I wake up a bit happier than just a dinging alarm.
On the note of alarms, I tend to set a text reminder of why I’m getting up. Lately, it’s “Rise & Grind” or “Get errr done.”
Let there be light! The days that I move from bed to the living room, open the blinds and let the natural light in are the best. I feel more energized and it’s easier to get going.
Keep yourself accountable. I like to either sign up for a class at the gym or set plans to see a friend for a workout and/or coffee date. If I cancel, I’m either getting charged for missing class or letting someone down.
H2O is your friend. Drinking water helps you wake up…and keeps you hydrated for the day.
Set a loose routine. While I don’t always stick to a routine, this outline helps structure my morning so I don’t just crawl back into bed.
Go gradual. I started waking up just an hour earlier and over time, made the alarm earlier and earlier. It helped my body acclimate to the change.
Most importantly, a good night is a good morning. I’ve trained myself to be in bed around 8:30 - 9 PM. I typically read, do a crossword or chat with Justin before bed, so I wind down and fall asleep easier. I’ve been working on putting my phone away as soon as I get ready for bed so the blue light doesn’t stimulate me.