Routine Facilitates Success
Updated: Feb 9, 2020
As requested here — I am laying out my routines for everyone. I follow a strict routine for 99% of my mornings and nights. Yes, I have been called a robot my entire life. I’m okay with this. Why do I do this and recommend most of my clients adopt similar behaviors? Time management and intentions. It's not to be OCD or eccentric. There is a method to my madness. I want to reduce friction and set my intentions for the day. I do this simply so I can focus on what is a priority in my bigger picture of life. Time is our most valuable commodity. We know how rushing into your mornings in a frenzy sets your entire day on a downward spiral. Having a solid morning routine sets the tone of the entire day. Having a solid night time routine lets your body know it's time to chill out and get ready for sleep.
While it’s important to understand how your individual brain works and what routine will suit your body and preferences best — I always find it interesting to see what works for others. My morning routine helps focus my mind in the direction it needs to be to achieve the goals I have laid out for myself — and gets me caffeinated AF for maximum productivity. My entire morning routine takes a couple hours.
5:00 AM — Wake up without an alarm. I definitely have a morning chronotype.
Make a big glass of hot lemon water sweetened with stevia and get my espresso machine fired up. I like to use fresh lemon juice I squeeze myself.
Light my candles and set my intentions mentally for myself. I remind myself of my larger goals in life. This helps to facilitate the subconscious mind to work toward goals.
Turn on my Joovv light and my bright light box.
Turn on my music. I have wake up playlists. I start with acoustic music then lead into more upbeat. I do this because I like slowly easing into my day to reduce stress.
Make my first espresso (I drink three cups in the morning) and get my journals, planner, and books out.
Sit in front of my lights. Check my email for my daily mantra and write it in my journal, my white board and set reminders on my phone with my mantras throughout the day. SpiritJunkie and Truthbomb are great mantra apps. I also journal my thoughts on the mantra sent to me and how it applies to my life.
Work on my gratitude list and focus on everything good in my life.
Right now I am working through May Cause Miracles by Gabby Bernstein, so I will listen to the daily lesson and do the accompanying journaling.
Check Facebook notifications and answer any questions people left for me the night prior.
Schedule my day out on my planner.
I am continuously enrolled in some type of online program for advanced education that interests me. I have been doing this for years. So, I do my reading and writing for whatever classes I am taking at this time. I rarely talk about these things publicly but I discuss what I am learning with the people close to me. I do them because it develops me as a human. Not for bragging rights. I have a strong intrinsic drive to be learning at all times.
Wake up Alex.
I take a morning walk at sunrise and listen to the audio for whatever course I am enrolled in or a podcast/Audible.
Shower and put my makeup on and head out the door.
I do the same thing most days. I work at various coffee shops, Chris's, or me and Alex's place. I walk a lot in between and don't do well sitting too much. I get anxiety and my back hurts when I spend excessive time being sedentary. I also have a treadmill desk that I walk on often when working. I have a Varidesk and treadmill at both both Chris's and Alex's. I get around 30k-40k steps a day. This is not forced and I don't shoot for this number intentionally. It just happens by default.
I go to the gym at the same time every day (12ish) and usually eat breakfast prior. I do cardio (running or stair stepper) four days a week and yoga three days a week in place of my cardio. I lift six days a week because I enjoy it and do best with the same routine and consistency every day. I always eat a big lunch after the gym then head out to do more work. I take my supplements with all my meals. I prefer some in the AM hours and some in the PM hours for various reasons. I will get around to writing a supplement blog at some point.
I'm go-go-go all day, so my night routine sets the tone for my body to relax and wind down.
8:00 PM head home and immediately turn on my chill playlist.
I pour myself a wine glass of kombucha. I enjoy pretty glasses hence the wine glass. I'm going to spend a little time here because I think it a huge issue for a lot of people. I am of the belief that many people — especially busy moms that reach for alcohol right when they get home, are doing so as an act of self-care rather than the goal of getting intoxicated. This will not be true for everyone since alcohol is a drug with addictive qualities. But addiction is usually secondary to the desire to treat yo' self or reduce stress. No one intentionally sets out to become addicted. Drinking every day — even if it is what you consider moderate, is an addiction. Remember, anything we do habitually that has negative consequences is an addiction. From a health standpoint no amount of ethanol is beneficial to consume so it is indeed considered a negative habit (addiction).
Alex usually has our blue light free bulbs turned on — and I attempt to reduce blue light exposure from my computer and phone but fail miserably at this most of the time. I was better about this prior to moving to NYC. It is a goal of mine to be more mindful here again.
I tend to do another hour of work while I'm winding down. I place my routine mundane work here because my brain isn't at its best. I do my best creative work early in the day.
I take my melatonin and CBD oil about an hour prior to sleep.
Make my Tulsi Sleep Tea.
I start making my dinner. I eat a large protein fat veggie meal prior to bed. I eat the same things daily with slight variation to minimize the decision fatigue that I mentioned here. I have tried moving my meal timing up numerous times and I don't sleep as well even with calories matched. For me, sleep wins out here. My quality of life is negatively impacted when I attempt to shift things due to some theoretical idea that eating prior to bed being detrimental.
I read on my laptop while I eat. I have a strict no Facebook rule for myself here because I find it too stimulating.
I finish eating and do the normal makeup removal and teeth brushing/flossing.
I read for about 10 minutes and I have no issues falling asleep quickly.
This entire nightly routine takes me about 2.5 hours.
I think that meditation is extremely beneficial for stress management and putting time in between our thoughts and actions — so I tend to work that in my day as well but it’s more when I need it rather than at a scheduled time. I do best with walking meditation, yoga, or doing it while I am running. Meditation isn't stopping our thoughts — but rather watching them without judgment and with curiosity.