“My routine is there to serve as the building blocks for a successful day. It’s a tool. I try not to get bogged down if I can’t do it all.” – Carly Stein Share this quote on Twitter

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Carly Stein

What is your morning routine?

I wake up at 7:00am. The first thing I do upon waking is five minutes of gratitude journaling using the Five Minute Journal. It’s beautifully designed with a few simple, targeted prompts for each morning and evening. I really love that it gets me in the habit of being more thoughtful about my days.

For my other journaling, I use a basic composition book—nothing fancy. I go through so many journals, I like to keep things simple.

Next, I practice around ten minutes of meditation, sometimes a little more.

Because my days are so unpredictable, I make sure to fit in a workout early on. I’ll take a spoonful of B.Powered Superfood Honey for a little energy boost and head off to a workout. That might be SoulCycle, Barry’s Bootcamp, yoga, or a chill run on the beach. When I get home, I’ll get ready for work and make breakfast—usually a smoothie. While I’m drinking, I’ll do three morning pages of free writing (I’m working my way through The Artist’s Way) which clears my slate and gets me ready to tackle the day.

How long have you stuck with this routine so far?

I’ve kept up this particular routine for about a year, on and off. It’s tough to be super consistent since I travel constantly. But, whenever I’m home, this is my go-to.

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How has your morning routine changed over recent years?

My journaling and meditation practices have evolved quite a lot. I started with just five minutes of meditation every morning, but now I really try to focus on prioritizing my gratitude practice. Humans tend to focus on the negative (survival instinct), so it’s so important to consciously cultivate gratitude. I also started with The Artist’s Way a month ago, inspired by one of my amazing team members.

What time do you go to sleep?

Generally between 11:00pm and 12:30am.

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

Right before bed, I’ll do another bout of five minutes of gratitude journaling to recap my day. I’ll also plan my morning workout so I can tackle my day head on without getting slowed down by unnecessary decision-making.

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

Yes I do use an alarm, and I never hit snooze. I find it easier to just get up when the alarm goes off. That’s what an alarm is for, right?

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

I’ll generally eat breakfast an hour and a half to two hours after I wake up, right after my workout. Typically I’ll have a smoothie loaded with fruit, greens, adaptogens, healthy fats, bee pollen—all the good stuff my body craves.

Do you have a morning workout routine?

Yes, I do. I either do a Barry’s Bootcamp class, go running, take a yoga class, or spin. I like to mix it up and do whatever feels most beneficial to my body in the moment. But the most important thing is that I move first thing in the morning—it’s non-negotiable.

Do you have a morning meditation routine?

What I do is really basic. I sit down on a mat and just focus on my breath. I don’t do anything more complicated than that. It’s just ten minutes of re-centering.

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

I try really hard not to check my email first thing in the morning, but depending on what’s happening, sometimes I do. I know it’s a bad habit, so I do my best not to pick up my phone when I wake up unless I know that there is something time-sensitive going on—but I’m not perfect. It’s a work in progress.

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

In the mornings I use the Muse Brain Sensing Headband. I love how you can track your brain’s progress and get that external support to help calm down. It makes meditation even more appealing to a type A personality such as myself.

I’ve been practicing yoga since high school. I was introduced to Muse by a friend about a year ago and I’ve found that it really helps to keep me on track with my practice. I definitely think it’s valuable to learn how to meditate without technology, but the Muse Headband has been a great tool to help deepen my self awareness.

To help my sleep, I use a diffuser with lavender and take a spoonful of our B.Chill Hemp Honey before bed. A lot of people associate hemp with calming and sleep, but honey is actually incredible at relaxing the body, too. A small spoonful of honey before bed has been shown to support melatonin production in the brain, which is the hormone that helps you sleep!

How soon do you check your phone in the morning?

Many days I’ll check my phone 10-15 minutes after I wake up. I’m working on this, but it’s hard for me not to reach for it, especially since half of my team is on the east coast and they are well into their workday by the time I’m awake.

What are your most important tasks in the morning?

Without question, working out and practicing gratitude. Both of those things get me in a solid headspace for the day.

What and when is your first drink in the morning?

I’ll drink a lot of water with my workout, within an hour of waking. After that, I’ll whip up a tonic with breakfast to help me function at my highest, which usually contains B.LXR Brain Fuel, adaptogenic mushrooms, and bee pollen.

How does your partner fit into your morning routine?

Having a busy routine, it can be challenging to find ways to fit a partner in without making self-care sacrifices. Luckily, he gives me all the space I need to do my thing, but I’m happy for him to join in once in a while, too.

I try to encourage him to meditate, but I’m also conscious of giving him the space he needs to come to it on his own. So occasionally we’ll meditate together. Also, sometimes before bed we will tell each other three things we are grateful for.

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

Yes, I follow the same routine on the weekends. I find it hard to sleep in. My body craves routine. Of course, since I travel and change time zones on a monthly basis, I occasionally will sleep until 9:00am, but no later than that.

I actually can’t remember the last time I’ve slept later than 9:00! I’ve always envied those people who are able to sleep in until noon.

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

When I’m traveling, I always bring my journal along and do my best. If I don’t have it, I use the Gratitude 365 app to keep up with my gratitude practice.

Meditation can also be a challenge on the road, but I give it my best effort. If I miss a day, it’s okay. I try not to be too hard on myself—that’s just unproductive and unhelpful. In that way, I mindfully practice self kindness.

As for exercise, there are a few fitness videos I keep on my computer for when I need access to a good, quick workout, so I am able to keep some semblance of a routine no matter where I am. I love Tone It Up workouts. When I’m traveling and am short on time, I’ll pop on their quick abs routine or one of their HIIT workouts. Short, intense, and effective!

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

Even if I can’t accomplish my routine in its entirety, I take pieces of it and do my best to incorporate as many parts as I can. I love setting myself up for success with all these rituals and practices, but I’ve found that the most important predictor of success in my day is my attitude. My routine is there to serve as the building blocks for a successful day. It’s a tool. I try not to get bogged down if I can’t do it all. My attitude is way more important.

Our recommended book this week is The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion. We only recommend three things a week that we believe will be of interest to our readers. Please take a moment to check it out.

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