What is your morning routine?
I set my alarm for 6:30am and, depending on the morning, get up right away or sleep for another fifteen minutes (no later).
I only look at my phone to turn my alarm off, it doesn’t get any more attention until I’m finished with what I need to do; the first thing of which is heading to the bathroom to brush my teeth. I don’t feel right if it’s not the first thing on my list and, in some ways, it makes me feel even more awake.
I then head out into the living room for some meditation. I only do five minutes a day, but it makes me feel wide awake.
Afterwards I’ll drink a glass of water, sometimes with lemon, before heading out to the gym. Luckily the gym I go to is in our apartment building, so it’s only a short walk downstairs. I need to work out before I do anything else; being an athlete my whole life, it’s the only way I can function fully during the day. I always have a plan when I go to the gym, I’m not one to just wing it. I like a nice, structured workout to begin my day.
When I’m done I’ll head back up, by which point my wife is usually up and working. Before breakfast I’ll take our miniature poodle, CJ, on a walk. My wife and I will then eat breakfast together; always Stumptown Coffee in a french press or pourover with oatmeal or homemade granola with almond milk.
Next it’s time to hop in the shower and head to the office to plan practice for the day, and do what is needed to improve our team. For me, the morning is the most precious time of day. I never rush things and always take my time.
How long have you stuck with this routine so far?
I’ve been in this routine for roughly five years, give or take some minor tweaks along the way.
How has your morning routine changed over recent years?
Obviously going from college to the professional world changes schedules quite a bit, but my ideas and what I feel I need to do has rarely wavered. I’m definitely a creature of habit.
What time do you go to sleep?
Usually between 10:30 and 11:00pm. On the odd occasion it could be later, but I generally try to get enough sleep.
Do you use an alarm to wake you up in the morning, and if so do you ever hit the snooze button?
For the past year I’ve been waking up to Lovely Day by Bill Withers (he’s the man). I only snooze once, for about fifteen minutes at a time (and not every day).
How soon after waking up do you have breakfast, and what do you typically have?
Recently I’ve preferred having breakfast after my workout; I feel more energy on an empty stomach.
I’m a big cook and have perfected my favorite breakfast food; oatmeal. I always use almond milk from Whole Foods with Trader Joe’s quick cook steel oats. I’ll either put in fruit and nuts or sometimes just some almond butter and a scoop of jelly (jam).
I’ve recently been getting into making my own granola as well, which is always a solid choice.
Do you have a morning workout routine?
Yes! Having played soccer (football) at a pretty high level my entire life, strength coaches have always been there to give me my routines.
I became very close with my coach from college and to this day he sends me 4-6 week plans. It’s great, and fuels me with a little extra motivation knowing he gave it to me. I think people like to be pushed; and having a clear idea of what to do in the gym allows them to get better results, regardless of their goals.
How about morning meditation?
I meditate for five minutes right after I get up and brush my teeth.
I have learned that meditation truly is a discipline, and it therefore needs to be practiced. I’m no longer frustrated if I don’t have a good session, or if I don’t get it done at all. There’s no point in stressing over something that is supposed to de-stress you.
Do you answer email first thing in the morning or leave it until later in the day?
Not until after I’ve finished breakfast, but I’ll usually take care of that at the office before our team has practice.
How soon do you check your phone in the morning?
Not until after I’ve finish working out.
What are your most important tasks in the morning?
Exercise, breakfast, and spending time with my wife and dog before we head out for the day.
What and when is your first drink in the morning?
A tall glass of water, right away after brushing my teeth.
On days you’re not settled in your home, are you able to adapt your routine to fit in with a different environment?
This was something that was very stressful for me up until recently. I used to freak out if I couldn’t be in my normal routine with my normal food and everything that goes with it.
I have since learned to adapt to changes in my routine, which has helped me to enjoy my days away a lot more. Sometimes I’ll still need to bring my own food to feel better, but other times I’ll make the best of what I have. I’ve realized that it won’t really affect me unless I let it.
What do you do if you fail to follow your morning routine, and how does this influence the rest of your day?
Certain things I can get away with not doing. But the staples; working out, food, and family time are crucial.
If I have a good morning my day is usually great, regardless of what happens throughout it. If I start the day in a bad mood it makes for a much longer twenty-four hours.