“The most important task for me in the morning is to make sure I’m mentally ready for the day ahead.” – Ashley Eckstein Share this quote on Twitter

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Ashley Eckstein

What is your morning routine?

While the time I wake up is never consistent, I try to keep my overall morning routine the same. I actually really love my mornings! Mornings are my time for me, and I like to use them to ease into my day.

A pretty standard morning for me starts at 5:00am. I drink two eight-ounce glasses of water and then make coffee.

The next part of my routine is inspired by Lewis Carroll and my favorite quote from Alice in Wonderland. The Queen said to Alice, “Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” I always believe in at least one impossible thing that can happen that day. I truly believe that the more one believes in the impossible, the sooner the impossible becomes possible. It just takes practice—and practice, of course, makes perfect!

After that, it’s time for breakfast, coffee, and TV for an hour. This is usually when I watch my favorite guilty pleasure shows like The Bachelor or The Bachelorette. After an hour, depending on what city I’m in, I do some sort of workout. I enjoy TRX classes, hot yoga, and jogging/hiking around my neighborhood.

How long have you stuck with this routine so far?

My schedule is constantly changing. I’m always traveling, and my schedule looks different every single day. I developed my morning routine to give myself some sort of normalcy and standard in a world that is always changing.

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How has your morning routine changed over recent years?

I’m working on getting more sleep. I’ve discovered how important sleep is for both my mental and physical health. I’ve found that I need eight hours of sleep. I don’t always get it, but I try. I’m not afraid to adjust or shorten my morning routine in order to get more sleep!

What time do you go to sleep?

This varies, but in a perfect world, I would get to bed no later than 10:00pm. Unfortunately, it’s usually closer to 11:00pm. I’m constantly traveling, so my bedtime is constantly changing. I’m always on airplanes, so thank goodness I can sleep on planes! I’m really good at it, actually! I make sure to get a window seat and bring a full-size pillow, blanket, and scarf. Then I practically wrap myself up in a cocoon, and I’m usually asleep before take-off.

Do you do anything before going to bed to make your morning easier?

It’s always an easier morning when I can wake up, relax, and not worry about email or tasks that need to be done right away. I try to get out any pressing emails the night before, but I do tend to work better in the morning when my mind is refreshed, so I often do some emails at home before I leave for the day. I just try to avoid having to wake up and begin working immediately.

Do you use an alarm to wake you up in the morning, and if so do you ever hit the snooze button?

Yes! An alarm is necessary. It’s a great morning when I don’t have to use an alarm, but those days are few and far between. Since I travel a lot, I can hit the snooze button a few times when I’m by myself. My husband hates the snooze button, so I avoid using it when I’m home with him. He doesn’t get the concept of a snooze button. He thinks you should sleep until the very last minute you can, and then get up.

How soon after waking up do you have breakfast, and what do you typically have?

I eat breakfast almost right away. Breakfast is really important to me. I love to eat cashew yogurt, granola, and fresh fruit or avocado toast. Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day and I love cooking it! I joke that I could eat breakfast for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

My husband makes really great pancakes on the weekend, and when my dad comes over, he makes really great biscuits and gravy! I’m a southern girl at heart.

Do you have a morning workout routine?

My workouts vary depending on where I am. My husband and I love to do TRX, and I love to do hot yoga. There’s a great three-mile hike in our neighborhood with lots of hills that we like to run/walk, and I also enjoy doing interval sprints. If I’m not enjoying a class, I prefer to be working out outside. My husband was a professional athlete, so fitness is a big part of our regular routine.

Do you have a morning meditation routine?

My morning meditation routine is to take time for myself by having an hour of quiet time to ease into my morning and believe in the impossible.

Once my day starts, it takes off like a roller coaster, so I’m very protective of my quiet time in the morning. Just like you’re supposed to warm up and stretch your body before a hard workout, my morning routine is how I warm up my mind for the rest of the day. What I do is mentally exhausting, and if I don’t get my mind ready to take on the day, then my day is just off.

Do you answer email first thing in the morning or leave it until later in the day?

I try to get out any pressing emails first thing in the morning. I travel between the East and West coasts a lot. Depending on which coast I’m on, I sometimes adjust my hours to be on the same work schedule as my team members to make sure they have everything they need from me to get their work done for the day.

Do you use any apps or products to enhance your sleep or morning routine?

I have a Sleep Number bed and I love it! (This is not an ad.) My bed tracks my sleep and gives me a score every morning. I have an app on my phone that is connected to my bed, and it tells me how well I slept the night before.

How soon do you check your phone in the morning?

I usually check my phone right away. I do enjoy catching up on Instagram and Facebook in the morning. I find it relaxing, and that’s how I keep up with family and see adorable photos of my nieces and nephews.

What are your most important tasks in the morning?

The morning is my time to get caught up and ready for the day. I hate going in to my day with the feeling of being behind. The most important task for me in the morning is to make sure I’m mentally ready for the day ahead.

What and when is your first drink in the morning?

I try to drink two eight-ounce glasses of water as soon as I wake up.

How does your partner fit into your morning routine?

My husband is an early riser and usually wakes up at least an hour before I do. By the time I wake up, he is much more awake than I am. He allows me to have my space and wake up my way. We love watching the news or our favorite TV shows together in the morning.

Do you also follow this routine on weekends, or do you change some steps?

I love to sleep in on the weekend! I keep my routine the same, but I love when I don’t have to set an alarm. I’m often traveling on weekends or going to events, but I love when I have a weekend off! My job is fast-paced, so when I get a weekend off, I really like to relax, be lazy, or cook for family. I actually find cooking to be really relaxing.

On days you’re not settled in your home, are you able to adapt your routine to fit in with a different environment?

I’m always traveling, so I’m used to life on the road. I try to keep my morning routine the same no matter where I am. I often travel with food and even bring my own coffee with me to hotels. I can make any hotel room feel like home!

What do you do if you fail to follow your morning routine, and how does this influence the rest of your day?

I’m really flexible and can adjust easily. However, I always try to give myself an hour each morning to relax, wake up, eat breakfast, and drink coffee. If I don’t get to do that, the rest of my day feels rushed.

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