“While my morning routine helps me start the day feeling like my best self, I don’t beat myself up when I can’t do it.” – Kara Goldin Share this quote on Twitter

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Kara Goldin

What is your morning routine?

I wake up every morning at 5:30am on the dot. The first thing I do is check my email and my calendar. This gives me a chance to see what’s in store for the day and to make sure I don’t miss any urgent emails that came in since the night before.

Next on the agenda is a large latte and a hike with my two dogs. I live in Marin County, so there are beautiful hikes right outside my door, and taking the time every morning to enjoy the outdoors and get some exercise refreshes me and gets me ready to tackle any challenges that come my way.

When I get home, I make myself a healthy smoothie and then take advantage of a small fifteen-minute window before I take the kids to school. I usually use this time to check in with staff or to cross a quick task off my to-do list for the day. After I shower and drop off the kids, I head into the office feeling energized and ready to take on my day.

How long have you stuck with this routine so far?

This has been my routine for years. While I sometimes need to adjust it slightly based on my travel schedule, the thing that I try to keep constant is exercising first thing in the morning.

How has your morning routine changed over recent years?

My routine has been pretty consistent for a while now. I’ve found something that really works for me, so aside from minor adjustments to accommodate my schedule or travel plans, I’m happy with my current routine as is.

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What time do you go to sleep?

My day starts bright and early, so I try to get to bed by 10:00pm.

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

I scan my inbox to make sure I’ve replied to any important emails or action items from the day that are time sensitive. This lowers the chance of waking up to fire drills and allows me to rest easy.

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

Yes, my alarm is set every day for 5:30am, and pushing the snooze button is not an option. Time management is essential when running a business. I value every moment of my day, so as soon as that alarm goes off I’m up and starting my routine.

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

After I check my inbox I have a latte so I’m alert and ready for the day. When I get home from my hike I make myself a healthy smoothie, which usually consists of kale, apple, strawberries, and some hint water. This gives me a quick energy boost and makes me feel great.

Do you have a morning workout routine?

Exercise is an essential part of my morning routine, and I can’t start my day without it. I go on a walk or run through the Marin hillside every day with my dogs. This is an aspect of my routine that I cannot sacrifice since it helps me feel centered and ready to take on any challenges the day may throw my way. Exercise is such an important part of my life that I like to start my day with it so I don’t have to worry about trying to fit it in later.

Do you have a morning meditation routine?

I really consider my hike my morning meditation. While it’s not traditional meditation, it’s a peaceful time for me to be at one with nature, and it allows me to completely reset before starting another busy day. It’s something I love doing, and it truly keeps me balanced.

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

I always check my email first thing in the morning. When there’s something urgent in my inbox I address it right away, or when there are quick responses I can fire out first thing I do that and cross it off my list.

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

I recently started using Headspace, which is an app that helps me fit in bite-sized moments of meditation throughout the day. I find that practicing some form of mindfulness throughout the day, not just at the beginning or end, helps me stay centered.

How soon do you check your phone in the morning?

I check my phone immediately upon waking up. Running a company means there are a lot of moving parts to manage, so it’s essential that I’m tuned in to everything going on and available to my staff. Once I know what the priorities are for the day I can unplug a bit to enjoy my hike and family time.

What are your most important tasks in the morning?

Reviewing my inbox and calendar is essential so I know exactly what I’m walking into each day and can feel fully prepared. While I don’t consider it a task, exercise is also one of the most important things I do in the morning to ensure I go into the day with a clear head.

What and when is your first drink in the morning?

My first drink is a double latte and a hint water, which I have pretty much as soon as I get out of bed.

How does your partner fit into your morning routine?

My husband Theo is a huge part of my morning and my day, since he’s the COO of my company. He usually accompanies me on my hike, which is a great way for us to spend quality time together outside of the office. He’s been part of this company from the very beginning, so he’s very aware of how I work. He knows when I need space to get things done and when I want to talk things through with him.

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

Yes, my routine stays pretty consistent on the weekends. I don’t sleep in because weekend time with my family is precious and I appreciate every moment. In addition to family time, weekends are also when I have a little more time to review less urgent things I didn’t get to during the week, so it’s just as important to manage my time well during the weekend as it is during 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 a lot, so I’ve definitely learned to adapt my routine to wherever I am. While hiking is not always an option, I do fit in my morning exercise, whether it’s walking, running, or just hitting the hotel gym.

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

In life, just like in business, it’s important to be adaptable and to roll with the punches. While my morning routine helps me start the day feeling like my best self, I don’t beat myself up when I can’t do it. Instead, I try to adjust the day as needed, whether that means fitting in some extra exercise by walking more, or sneaking in an extra cup of coffee or caffeinated water for a quick boost.

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