What is your morning routine?
I wake up at 5:00am seven days a week. The human body wants consistency, so that’s what I give it. In my first hour, I shower, go downstairs and drink a large cup of water, then start the coffee maker. Then I take out the dog, feed her, and play catch with her in the backyard. During that playtime I go through my five-minute gratitude exercise, and then I’m ready to GSD (Get Shit Done).
By 6:30am or so I get my coffee, protein shake, another glass of water, and my MacBook and get down to business for three hours, with my phone silenced, turned over (screen side down), and pushed far away from me so I don’t get distracted. I work on the things that are in my zone of genius first; things that make money like sales copy, ads, offers, email broadcasts, and impromptu social media posts or videos. I finish off my three hours of GSD time by replying to emails and clearing out my inbox. Then I’m off to the gym from 10:00am to 11:00am where I train hard, listen to music, and keep the phone on silent so I don’t have my workout time invaded by texts, calls, emails, or notifications - this is sacred time.
I spend fifteen minutes in the car after my workout just relaxing and gathering my thoughts. This is when I give myself permission to “screen suck” by replying to texts and posting on social media. I get a chicken salad from The Habit at 11:30am, eat it at the restaurant, then walk into the HQ by noon to meet with my leadership team and work with my own team.
How long have you stuck with this routine so far?
For three years now. There’ve been some changes along the way. It’s been an evolution of building entrepreneurial discipline.
How has your morning routine changed over recent years?
I went from waking up at 7:00am to 6:30am, then 6:00am, then 5:30am, and I finally settled at 5:00am. I used to try to meditate, but I realized I just don’t like it, so I don’t force it. Instead, I spend five minutes going through my gratitude exercise each morning, and that sets the pace for the rest of the day.
What time do you go to sleep?
At 10:00pm, same time every night. This is just as important as waking up at the same time every morning. Like I said, the human body wants consistency.
Do you do anything before going to bed to make your morning easier?
One thing I always do is turn off my phone at least one hour before bedtime. There’s no solution I can provide to any problem at that time of the night, so what’s the point of having your phone on and checking emails and texts? After my kids go to bed I do a brain dump by making a list of all the things I want to dominate the next morning. Then I watch an episode of a favorite show, hit the hot tub for fifteen minutes, then go right to bed. With my mind clear and my body relaxed, I get a good sleep, which sets me up for a perfect morning.
Do you use an alarm to wake you up in the morning, and if so do you ever hit the snooze button?
I do use an alarm, and I never hit the snooze button. I constantly tell my coaching clients and our Fit Body Boot Camp franchise owners that the worst thing you can do to yourself is hit the snooze button in the morning. I explain it this way: If you hit the snooze button first thing in the morning, you are sending a message to your own subconscious that says “My goals and dreams aren’t that important. They can wait.” How can you hope to accomplish something great if that’s the kind of thought you’re starting out with? In fact, I’ve now turned off the “snooze” feature on my iPhone completely. I suggest anyone who reads this does the same.
How soon after waking up do you have breakfast, and what do you typically have?
About an hour after waking up I have a cup of coffee and a two-scoop egg white protein shake. Nothing else until after my workout.
Do you have a morning workout routine?
For me fitness is the foundation of the entire day. If I don’t work out, then I feel “off” for the rest of the day. I go to the gym and do an interval-type workout. From time to time I slow it down and do an old school “meat head” workout just to change it up a bit and because I love moving heavy weights.
Do you have a morning meditation routine, and if so what kind of meditation do you practice?
I’ve tried meditation and I just can’t get into it. It’s not for me. I can’t sit still that long. The closest things I have are my workout and my gratitude exercise, which takes five minutes. It goes like this: I think about three things I’m grateful for this morning, as well as three people I’m grateful for, then I send a text message (or email) to those three people to let them know that I’m grateful for them and to thank them for being in my life.
Do you answer email first thing in the morning or leave it until later in the day?
Absolutely not! Email is a terrible way to start the day. I have a special block of work time in the morning when I check for important emails, but I don’t seriously go through my inbox until much later.
I want control of my mornings. I want to control my emotions and set my own priorities. When you throw email into the mix, you lose that level of control, so I save it for later when I’m not in a creative space.
Do you use any apps or products to enhance your sleep or morning routine?
Nope. It’s all a matter of discipline and structuring my day for success. After a while, it mostly becomes muscle memory.
How soon do you check your phone in the morning?
Once at 7:00am and once again at 9:30am.
What are your most important tasks in the morning?
I do money-making tasks first and “housekeeping” tasks second.
Do you also follow this routine on weekends, or do you change some steps?
I follow this routine seven days a week the best I can, even when I travel. I can’t stress enough how important it is to wake up and go to bed at the same time on weekdays and weekends. That’s how you train your body to take the routine seriously and stick to it.
On days you’re not settled in your home, are you able to adapt your routine to fit in with a different environment?
I do my best to model the same routine wherever I travel. That may mean going to Starbucks first before sitting down for my GSD time, but for the most part I do my best to keep to my exact home routine.
What do you do if you fail to follow your morning routine, and how does this influence the rest of your day?
I try to get back on track as soon as I can.
If don’t sleep well, I double up on coffee so that I can get into my work and workout grooves. If I have to miss my workout for some reason, I shift my day around to complete my workout later in the day. What I don’t do is beat myself up if a day does not go as planned. I simply do my best to adapt and overcome, knowing that tomorrow I’ll be back on my routine.