What is your morning routine?
I’m up between 5:30 and 6:00am. My husband and I try to go to sleep pretty early - between 9:00 and 9:30pm. I need a solid eight hours to be a functional human. We spend the first twenty minutes when we wake up talking, cuddling, and sharing what our dreams were the night before. It’s the first question we ask each other after we say good morning. “What were your dreams like?” Our morning routine is all rooted in connection - to ourselves, each other, and the day ahead.
While I’m working out with my personal trainer (see below), my husband, Felipe, begins making breakfast. Then we try to eat together briefly before the day really gets going. He’s a furniture maker, he has a shop attached to our house, so he works from home, and this allows us to spend more time together before he goes into the shop.
How long have you stuck with this routine so far?
This has been our routine for the past 8-9 months.
How has your morning routine changed over recent years?
2016 has been a very busy year: We kicked it off with the relaunch of Barbie’s new body in January. Then we spent the last four months planning a summit on gender stereotypes with the White House, so there have been some sleepless nights and, as such, I have had to modify my routine a bit to increase my energy and to help restore balance.
I’d like to do yoga more regularly, and I’m working on finding more time to write in the morning. Journal writing has been a lifeline for me over the years - I’ve been writing in journals for two decades. Oh, the stories I could tell… :)
What time do you go to sleep?
By 9:00 or 9:30pm. Of course, we have our binge-worthy shows to take in (House of Cards, Bloodline), and if they aren’t on I’ll check into pop-culture happenings and business news - everything from Forbes to Fast Company, and HelloGiggles for the feel-good stuff. If I’m really diligent, I’ll read a book before bed. I just devoured Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert; it was deliciously inspiring for the creative and consulting work I do!
Do you do anything before going to bed to make your morning easier?
I try to get off the screen 20-30 minutes before bed, but I’m not always successful with that. I make a master list of ideas, including follow-up questions for clients and ideas to share with my team, before turning in. It’s a big brain dump before sleeping.
Right before we go to sleep, my husband and I do the same tune-in ritual: We talk about our day, we let go of “good” or “bad” moments. The intimate connection we’ve created has been an important artery in our relationship; it helps us shut out the day, go to sleep happier, and rest better.
Do you use an alarm to wake you up in the morning, and if so do you ever hit the snooze button?
I never hit snooze. I am usually up before the alarm because we have two cats who like to nuzzle and talk to us around 4:00am, so they serve as a pretty good backup to the alarm clock.
How soon after waking up do you have breakfast, and what do you typically have?
My typical breakfast is a variation of eggs with spinach, mushrooms, onions, or avocado, and some sliced fruit. My husband’s eggs are delicious; he stir-fries the veggies in garlic - yum! If I’m drinking coffee, it’s a vanilla latte. I also love mint tea.
Do you have a morning workout routine?
I work out 2-3 times a week with a private trainer, Kendra Smith. She was in the WWE and is a stunt person and all-around badass, so she teaches me boxing and Muay Thai. It’s the most fun I’ve had working out, ever!
Do you have a morning meditation routine, and if so what kind of meditation do you practice?
My meditation routine can vary. I like guided meditation; I recently finished Oprah and Deepak’s 21-Day Meditation Experience and loved it. It was part Oprah with her inspiration, part Deepak with his contemplation, and part killer meditation music.
I couldn’t get enough. I signed up for the next round starting in a few weeks. It was twenty minutes and I did it twice a day.
Do you answer email first thing in the morning or leave it until later in the day?
I work really hard to not get into my phone/email before breakfast because then my brain is not my own. I find I get too into solving other people’s problems and stop being present in my own life. I am deeply committed to creating more space in my day for being present in my sanity, my marriage, and my inner relationship.
Usually I dig into email right after breakfast, but it’s definitely a work in progress!
Do you use any apps or products to enhance your sleep or morning routine?
How soon do you check your phone in the morning?
I try not to look before 8:30am, but I have been known to sometimes check it while I’m up in the middle of the night peeing. Is that normal?!?
What are your most important tasks in the morning?
Connecting with my husband (at the risk of making everyone who’s reading this barf). My marriage is the absolute best thing in my life. I waited to get married until I was 40; I definitely found the perfect person for me, though, so I enjoy it. I commit to and create time around this relationship. Because I run my own business and am working nonstop, I’ve spent the last year trying to align myself with the things I love the most.
I also like to stay connected with my passion of helping girls reach their full potential, so I love to read inspiring stories about girls doing big things in the world.
What and when is your first drink in the morning?
Water with lemon, or mint tea with honey or agave. Latte if I really need it.
Do you also follow this routine on weekends, or do you change some steps?
As much as I want to sleep in, I can’t. If I sleep until 8:00am, I feel victorious.
I have begun working out on Saturday mornings because it kick-starts my weekend. But Sunday is all-day vegging. We rest HARD. We hit the farmer’s market then hang out by the pool and nap pretty much all day. Sunday is my favorite day of the week!
On days you’re not settled in your home, are you able to adapt your routine to fit in with a different environment?
I travel often for work, and whether I’m traveling to speak at a conference, to meet with clients, or to fulfill my philanthropic passions, I find it’s very hard to stick to the connection part of my routine.
That is where I find I slip up the most. I start checking emails right away and sporadically meditating or working out. I don’t love that; but I love what I do, so it balances out.
What do you do if you fail to follow your morning routine, and how does this influence the rest of your day?
I definitely feel more alive when I’ve taken time for me, my body, and my relationship; there is no doubt about that. My mind feels clear and I feel happier and more energized.
But I try not to beat myself up if I’m not as consistent as I want to be. I believe in infinite do-overs in life. If I get up and jump right into work, I try to at least stop for a few minutes in the evening and correct course. I’ll read a book, call my husband, or listen to Oprah and Deepak. They always know how to help me get back on track.