Nicole Antoinette is a distance runner and vintage dress hoarder from Los Angeles, California. Make her a green smoothie and you’ll be so far in her good books you’ll likely never come out.
What is your morning routine?
As a big believer in the idea that how you start your day determines the rest of it, I’ve become fiercely protective of my morning routine.
The cornerstone of my morning routine isn’t actually what I do, it’s what I don’t do – and that’s check email in bed. This was a really tough habit for me to break, but by buying an alarm clock to use instead of my phone, and by keeping my phone in another room at night, I’ve been able to create a routine that lets me get my most important things accomplished before getting sucked into the world of email and Twitter.
Typically, my routine involves getting up around 6:00am, making peppermint tea, and doing an hour of writing/work for Life Less Bullshit. Then, I’ll make a green smoothie (my morning staple!), answer important emails, and head out for a run.
Getting my writing and running finished before moving into other things helps me feel my best, because it ensures that I’m carving out time for the two things that are most important to me, regardless of what else is going on.
How long have you stuck with this routine so far?
It’s been about a year now, which means it’s nicely habitual at this point. It took a while for that to happen, but by being consistent day after day over such a long period of time, I’ve created a routine to fall back on automatically, even on days when I don’t really want to (and believe me, those days happen!)
How has your morning routine changed over recent years?
Prior to the past year, I didn’t really have a routine. I’d wake up, check email in bed, and just start reacting to it. I felt a lot of pressure to be available to everyone all the time, which meant hours and hours of reactive work with very little time and energy spent on the things that matter most to me, since I was always too exhausted for them by the end of the day.
What time do you go to sleep?
Between 9:30 and 10:00pm.
Do you use an alarm to wake you up in the morning, and if so do you ever hit the snooze button?
My boyfriend uses an alarm, so I usually just get up with him. I’m not really a snooze button person – when I’m up, I’m up – but to say I never use it would be a giant lie :)
How soon after waking up do you have breakfast, and what do you typically have?
I start the day with peppermint tea, or sometimes warm water with lemon, and then about an hour later I make a green smoothie. On Sundays, which are my long run days, I’ll have oatmeal with chia seeds and half a banana, but other than that it’s green smoothies every other day of the week :)
Do you have a morning workout routine?
I wouldn’t say I have a morning workout routine, since I don’t do the same thing each day. I do have a set time-slot for exercise, though, and during that time I’ll do whatever my coach has on my training plan for that day.
How about morning meditation?
Nope. Although, running is a sort of moving meditation for me, so I guess that counts!
Do you see to email first thing in the morning or leave it until later in the day?
I don’t check it first thing, but I’ll check it before heading out to run. So, between my most important work and my exercise I’ll answer the things that are most important, but everything else I leave until later in the day.
How soon do you check your phone in the morning, either for calls/messages or social media and news?
After I’ve finished my hour of writing/work, I’ll check my phone and email. So, about an hour after getting up.
On days you’re not settled in your home, are you able to adapt your routine to fit in with a different environment?
If I’m traveling for work, I’ll keep the routine relatively consistent, but if I’m on vacation, I try to really unplug as much as possible – no work, no email, etc. The running is consistent though; that goes everywhere with me!
What do you do if you fail to follow your routine, and how does this influence the rest of your day?
As committed as I am to my routine, that doesn’t mean I follow it every single day. I mean, of course not, right? Sometimes, life happens. On those days, I just try to regroup and get back on track with my daily plan as soon as possible, without letting an off morning turn into a totally “blah” day.
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