Mark Kennedy is a husband, dad, and former kinesiologist currently working for a hedge fund. You can catch Mark running and biking in Toronto, Ontario and beyond.
What is your morning routine?
My morning routine has varied very little over the years, taking me through my single years, to being married, to having an eighteen-month old son.
During the week, my alarm goes off at 6:10am. As my son is an early riser, there are days when I need the alarm, but mostly it’s not necessary. My wife and I are often woken up with our son going through his words like “doggie” and “basketball” closely followed by “uppie” (aka get me out of this crib!).
While my wife gets our little man ready for the day, I shower, shave, and iron a shirt. Many find it weird, but I love ironing my shirts. Sure, I could get my shirts dry-cleaned, but there is something meditative about ironing a shirt to me. It’s one of those mundane tasks that is just part of my morning routine.
While my wife gets ready for work, I hang out with our son and we typically make a green smoothie together. That’s my morning fuel.
Once the smoothie has been downed, kisses to the family and I’m off to grab my jet fuel: a cappuccino from my favorite local coffee bar.
I love sipping on a cappuccino and listening to a good podcast on the subway to work.
How has your morning routine changed over recent years?
Other than my wake-up time (kids have a way of changing this), my morning routine has largely been unchanged for eleven years.
My routine has changed very little throughout the years. I would love to be an early morning workout guy, but I’m just not. I get my best workouts done after I’ve been up for a bit and caffeine is running through my veins. I guess one welcomed change is that I rely on my alarm less and my son waking me up more.
What time do you go to sleep?
I usually go to sleep between 10 and 11:00pm. Past eleven would be considered a “late one”.
Do you use an alarm to wake you up in the morning, and if so do you ever hit the snooze button?
I use the alarm on my iPhone, which is set for 6:10am.
I am not a “snooze button” kinda guy, but definitely used to be. Lately I have been using my Fitbit Flex to wake me up. It’s pretty cool because it vibrates on my wrist and doesn’t wake up my wife.
How soon after waking up do you have breakfast, and what do you typically have?
Breakfast happens about twenty minutes after I get up. My wife and I purchased a powerful blender a couple of months ago and green smoothies are the breakfast of choice these days.
My favorite morning smoothie contains frozen mango, ice, banana, spinach, walnuts, almonds, chia seeds, and almond milk. It’s delicious and keeps me going until lunch.
Do you have a morning meditation routine?
A few years ago I had a regular meditation routine using a guided meditation on my iPhone. It helped me manage anxiety and calm my mind immensely.
I wouldn’t necessarily call it meditation, but now I take twenty deep controlled breaths in the shower each day to calm my mind and start the day off on the right track.
Do you see to email first thing in the morning or leave it until later in the day?
I know I shouldn’t, but I do have a quick check of my email, Twitter and some sports scores when I wake up to “connect” with the world. A habit I would like to break!
How soon do you check your phone in the morning, either for calls/messages or social media and news?
I check my phone in bed, shortly after my alarm goes off. One of the drawbacks of using my iPhone as an alarm is having the temptation of “checking in” beside me.
What are your most important tasks in the morning?
I don’t think my most important task in the morning is really about me. With kids, mornings can be hectic. I like to make sure my wife and son are happy and ready for their days. That to me, is important and makes me happy.
What and when is your first drink in the morning?
A tall glass of water with omega-3 oil about twenty minute after I woken up and showered.
On days you’re not settled in your home, are you able to adapt your routine to fit in with a different environment?
I am pretty good at adapting my routine when I am away from home. With that said there are two things that are “must haves” and usually in this order: shower and coffee. If I get them, my day can begin.
What do you do if you fail to follow your routine, and how does this influence the rest of your day?
Just ask my wife. She knows how I need my morning routine to get my day started on the right track. Otherwise, I can be a grumpy dude.
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