My Morning Routine + Why It Matters

I wake up at 4 a.m. every single morning. It sounds crazy, I know, but what’s even crazier is that I enjoy it. I love waking up before the sun. Since graduating from residency and starting my first job, life has looked a little different. No more staying up late working on projects or stewing over a major presentation. No more monthly rotations where I have to be at the hospital at various times. There’s less stress and more consistency. Back then I was just trying to survive, but now I am thriving! I’ve been loving the fact that I have a regular work schedule, and one of the best parts about it has been committing to a morning routine. I have found it so refreshing to start the day in a way that is healthy and consistent. It sets the tone for my day, and I’m on my A-game by the time I get to work. I’ve been playing with different elements of it over the last few months, but I think I finally have it perfected. Keep reading to see the current edit of my morning routine!

Before we get into the details, let me just emphasize one thing: I am by no means perfect at this. Just like working out consistently or eating a healthy diet, this morning routine is a habit I’m trying to develop. Now let’s get into it!

0400: Wake up

This is when my alarm goes off. I like to take my time and wake up slowly. I need a good 20 minutes to get up, get going, and change out of my pajamas.

It sounds crazy to get up 3 hours before I leave for my 1-hour commute to work, but hear me out. It matters. I have felt and seen the benefits of having extra hours in my day. I encourage you to get up earlier, even if it’s just 30 minutes before your normal wakeup call.

0420: Put on workout clothes + drink a glass of water

Pro-tip: lay out your outfit the night before so it doesn’t require much thought.

Once I’m changed, I head to the kitchen, down a glass of water to help wake myself up, and grab my favorite water bottle to take with me into our office where I do my workouts every morning.

0430-0515: Workout

I spend anywhere between 30-45 minutes working out. Sometimes I’ll jump on our spin bike or lift weights, and sometimes I’ll try yoga or barre. Some days I even do a combo just to mix it up! I try not to put too much pressure on what I do, as long as I get my body moving a little bit every day. 

I use the Peloton app for all my at home workouts. I’ve tried several other fitness app subscriptions, but this is the only one that I have stuck with. They always add fresh content, so I’m never bored doing the same classes over and over. (You can read more about it on this post.)

This is by far the best thing about waking up early. I never thought I’d be the girl who loved working out before sunrise, but here I am. To be totally transparent though, I am not some fitness junkie who thrives on endorphins. I am, at my core, very lazy when it comes to working out. Doing it first thing in the morning keeps me consistent so I don’t have time to talk myself out of it. Plus, it keeps me energized and happier throughout the day.

0515: Shower + Skincare

Pretty self-explanatory. However, I do have plans to share my morning skincare routine in a future post!

0530-0600: Make coffee + 3 Things List

By this point, I’m pretty awake, so I start brewing coffee and make my daily to-do list. (Where are my fellow list-makers at?) At first I tried to take up journaling, but that was too freeform for me. I needed something with a standard template and a clear purpose, so list-making seemed like the perfect plan.

First, I start by moving all the to-do’s in my brain onto paper so I know I won’t forget anything. Seeing it all written out allows me to prioritize things. After I have everything written (or typed) onto my list, I pick 3 things from it that I want to accomplish for the day. I set up a few rules for this to help me do so. One item has to be something I can complete right then before the day gets away from me. For example, I’ll put “unload the dishwasher” or “check on my plants”. It’s just something easy that gives instant gratification so I can immediately check something off my list. The other two items must be specific tasks that I can reasonably accomplish during the day. Examples of these would be “make a grocery list” or “fold/put away the laundry”.

Obviously, if I complete more than the 3 things specified for that day that’s great, but I want my to-do list to feel attainable. As someone who thrives on productivity, I never want to feel like I failed the day because I didn’t finish the 3 million things on my list. So my top 3 to-do’s make up what I affectionately call my “enough list”.

To give credit where it’s due… I’m not the first person to think of this. I first saw it on my friend Cassie’s Instagram feed several months ago, and I have put it into practice ever since, so thanks @cassiecelestain!

0600-0645: Get ready for the day

I spend my last 45 minutes at home sipping coffee and putting myself together for work! I do hair, makeup, get dressed, and pack my lunch. Rob is usually up at this point too, so we chat and make sure we’re on the same page before we both head out the door! It’s great, because by this point I’ve already accomplished so much and set my intentions for the day.

0645: Drive to work

I have an hour commute, so once I’m on the road, I settle in and listen to my favorite podcasts or a new album I want time to listen to. This is the point in the morning where I start to consume content for the day. I feel like it’s important to avoid scrolling on Instagram or Facebook right when I get up. Instead I try to consume meaningful or significant content that is going to teach me something or make me laugh. I look for the kind of content that will give me life, not suck it out of me.

I know an hour seems like a long time, but it’s nice to have that time to finish drinking my coffee and have some time to myself while the sun comes up. The time flies by, and once I make it to work I am ready to hit the ground running!

Whew! That’s all, folks. That’s my routine just about every morning. It’s intentional, thoughtful, and it serves my mind, body, and spirit. My biggest takeaway is this: create a routine that works for YOU. Wake up just a little earlier and take advantage of the day. If you spend your morning rushing around, you’ll spend all day trying to catch up. Do something every morning that makes you happy and contributes to your goals. I promise it will be well worth it.

Do you already have a stellar morning routine? Share your favorite parts in the comments below! And as always, thanks for reading!


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