What is your morning routine?
I wake up at 5:00am and immediately smile in bed, excited about what the day may bring. I drink a big glass of water, brush my teeth, wash my face, and get dressed. Then I take fifteen minutes to sit quietly in my favorite chair and close my eyes, visualizing the day ahead.
After meditating, I work out for forty-five minutes before eating breakfast and helping my wife dress our son for school. Finally, I go into the office.
How long have you stuck with this routine so far?
For at least the past ten years, but even before that my routine was pretty similar. As an athlete, I’ve always woken up early in the morning. What I’ve added lately is quiet time and a baby!
How has your morning routine changed over recent years?
When I’m on vacation or a business trip, variations in my routine will occur depending on the circumstances. I’m otherwise content with my routine. Things in the future may require changes, and I will execute them when the time comes.
What time do you go to sleep?
Do you do anything before going to bed to make your morning easier?
I read before I go to sleep every night. I only read books before bed, not newspapers, which may disrupt my sleep. I find that when I read the news, it makes me too alert and unable to fall asleep until much past my bedtime.
In general, the news is very negative and affects me mentally and, in turn, affects my sleep. I read historical books before I go to bed, and since they aren’t thrillers, I can easily fall asleep after. Nothing makes me feel stronger in the morning than a good night’s sleep! Sleeping well re-energizes me so that I can easily handle a twelve-hour workday.
Do you use an alarm to wake you up in the morning, and if so do you ever hit the snooze button?
Yes, I set an alarm, but I often wake up a few seconds before it goes off. In situations where my workload has doubled, I sometimes hit the snooze button, but never more than once. When I feel like hitting snooze more than once, that means I need a vacation or long weekend. After taking a long weekend, I’m back to my old self and ready to go full force!
How soon after waking up do you have breakfast, and what do you typically have?
I eat breakfast forty-five minutes to an hour after I wake up, and my breakfast consists of lean protein and complex carbohydrates, such as three or four eggs, a slice of dense fitness bread, and some fruit.
Since I do a fasted workout every morning (except for water), by the time I eat breakfast I need the nourishment from healthy, balanced foods. The protein from the eggs helps to rebuild my muscle, the complex carbohydrates from the fitness bread gives me sustained energy throughout the day, and the natural sugars from the fruit makes me happy!
Do you have a morning workout routine?
In the morning, I prefer doing my ReSYNC Method workout because it allows all my muscles to mobilize and prepares me mentally for the day ahead. I usually work out for 30-45 minutes in the morning, depending on my schedule for that day. The ReSync Method is simple - you use your own body and little else, so it really can be done anywhere and at any time. Every muscle can be trained by the body’s natural resistance, which makes this method a perfect option for anyone who doesn’t want to spend hours in the gym or invest in costly and heavy machines. I can adapt the method to fit my life and routine.
Do you have a morning meditation routine?
Fifteen minutes after waking up, I sit in my chair that faces a window looking out on trees, close my eyes, and prepare myself for the day ahead. This helps me gather my thoughts and visualize my day; making me more adaptable to whatever unexpected things may occur. Also, this quiet time helps me stay positive and focused all day. Sometimes, when I need another short reinforcement of quiet meditation time, I take 5-10 minutes to myself in my office and reinforce the agenda from the morning.
Do you answer email first thing in the morning or leave it until later in the day?
I answer my emails after I finish the team meeting with my staff, and that time varies depending on the workload. Sometimes I start answering them at 9:00am, sometimes I start at 10:30am. I like to read them first, think about them, and then answer. That way, I’m more constructive and, therefore, productive. When I get extremely busy I answer emails quickly, and that’s usually when I forget to mention something, which requires another email, creating unnecessary extra work.
Do you use any apps or products to enhance your sleep or morning routine?
No, but I am pro-technology, and if an app comes out that I truly believe can enhance my sleep, improve my deep sleep, or help me wake up easier, I would be the first to use it. I cannot reiterate enough how important sleep is to a healthy body and mind - as humans, we cannot function in the long term without quality sleep!
How soon do you check your phone in the morning?
Around 6:30am, after breakfast. But it depends on if I’m expecting some important information. With my new book, I check my phone more often in case interviews like this pop up!
What are your most important tasks in the morning?
Taking care of my physical and mental health, and spending some quality time with my family before the rush of the day. This is extremely important to me because it helps me to be more creative, energetic, focused, disciplined, positive, and outgoing. Being fit and healthy helps me cope with all the professional demands of my career.
What and when is your first drink in the morning?
Immediately upon waking, I drink a big glass of water to hydrate my body and decrease muscle tension due to overnight dehydration. I continue with another two big glasses of water while I work out, to which I sometimes add lemon or lime. The lemon and lime keep me from getting bored with plain water. The vitamin C in citrus fruits is a great immune booster, and helps reduce inflammation during my workout.
How does your partner fit into your morning routine?
Before my wife and I had our son, the routine was less challenging. But now, in addition to taking care of myself and spending time with my spouse, we make our son’s needs a priority. My wife Dijana is really great and supportive of me and my professional goals. She really rocks!
Do you also follow this routine on weekends, or do you change some steps?
On weekends I usually try to sleep a little later, so I move the routine back an hour. Considering the professional demands I have with my work, I try to work about 30 percent less on weekends. On Sundays I work with Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church to educate the congregation on health and fitness.
On days you’re not settled in your home, are you able to adapt your routine to fit in with a different environment?
My routine is pretty straightforward and can be done anywhere. However, I am flexible to a certain extent and can adapt to situations when necessary. I believe that change is a good thing.
What do you do if you fail to follow your morning routine, and how does this influence the rest of your day?
Should this happen, I adapt as I go. I don’t let a break in my morning routine ruin my day! Sometimes it’s nice to experience the day from a different perspective. Sometimes, when I feel stuck in my routine, I purposely break it; too much comfort for me creates discomfort. I like challenges and seek them out often.