It’s been over 10 years since I used to roll out of bed, throw on a pair of sneakers and, go for a 3-5 mile run no matter if it was sunny, raining, hailing, or snowing. From there, I’d come home, have a protein bar, make a pot of green tea, and hop into an ice bath to get myself ready for the day.
Ya, I don’t always miss that … but I still value a morning routine and I don’t know many successful people who don’t have one in one form or another.
What makes a great morning route?
A solid morning routine doesn’t have to consist of a series of strange yoga poses and elaborate avocado smoothies and essential oils. It can totally include those things, but all that really matters is that you have a program you enjoy and preps you for the day.
Generally speaking, I don’t wake up with an enormous grin on my face. I love mornings but I also love the cozy warmth of my bed and extra spooning time with my wife. But, extra morning cuddle time with my wife is the usually the exception, not the rule – so here’s how I get going most days.
My Healthy Morning Routine
Step 1: Wake up
6:00 am – I use a relaxing and inspiring song as my alarm and leave my phone 10 feet from my bed so I actually have to get up to shut it off. But once my feet hit the creaking floorboards in our apartment, I only have so long before my girls wake up and the meditative parts of my routine go by the wayside. One thing I am always mindful of is, trying not to schedule anything before 9:00 AM in case I sleep in I stay up late the night before on business calls with Australia and Asia. From there I:
- Make a double shot of espresso. (Or Bulletproof Coffee…I’m not fussed either way)
- Chug down about 750ml of water with a small scoop of creatine.
- I may also do a shot of apple cider vinegar (which I frickin’ hate) or pop an oil of oregano capsule and a 7-mushroom elixir. Not because I particularly enjoy having bad breath all day but I find this immune system boost works better for me than just about anything else.
Step 2: Meditate & Journaling
6:15 am – I do 15-minutes of deep breathing meditation using the Oak App. From there I might read something easily digestible from Rumi, Meditations or the Tao Te Ching. Then I journal for another 10-15mins Journaling usually focused on a series of questions. Here’s are the morning journaling questions I ask myself:
- What do I face today that I feel or think negatively towards?
- What am I feeling egoic about?
- What am I grateful for?
- Who can I help?
- How can I show love to those who do not show me the same?
- What can I let go of?
Step 3: Check-Ins while Nature Calls
6:45 am – By this point, the espresso and agua have sparked a bowel movement so I head to the only bathroom in the house that gets WiFi.
That’s when I clear out, pun intended, all the junk: which includes anything that clutters my inbox. Skim the news (if it’s too negative I just ignore it).
Step 4: Quick Morning Workout
7:00 am – By now the family is awake and I’m feeling more awake and more agile which means it’s time for the home workout. More often than not I choose to workout in the morning because I find my afternoon gets away from me so unless I have a special meeting scheduled or I’m travelling, the morning is when I crush a quick 25-35 minute bodyweight workout. I often burn energizing essential oils while I work out. The aromatherapy keeps the room smelling nice and helps me stay alert and focused. I also drink another 750ml of water with a full lemon in it and listen to an audiobook or podcast (Usually Tim Ferriss, Kevin Rose or Joe Rogan)
Step 5: Shower & Get Ready
7:30 am – I don’t shower every day … as gross as that may seem. Washing off those natural body oils daily just dries me out too much. When I do take a quick shower and lather on natural, oil-based face and body wash. I love to use a Neti pot to clean out my sinuses and I usually start (my shower) with warm water and end with 1-2 minutes of cold— unless my wife is showering with me—then the cold is a no go … which I’m usually thankful about!
Step 6: A Healthy Breakfast
8:00 am – Clean, refreshed and ready to rock, I usually start returning emails while two eggs boil on the stove. Not gonna lie, I’m one lucky guy as my wife often makes me breakfast. And she’s a vegan so most of the month I eat supercharged oatmeal with seeds, berries, and nuts. Sometimes, it’s a super-healthy shake instead. When I’m really lucky, we also juice, but the machine is a nightmare to clean so it’s generally reserved for lazy weekend mornings. I’m not above eating a dirty breakfast sandwich, but I’ve found heavy carbs like pancakes or French toast seem to make me lethargic before lunch.
Shake Ingredients: Vega Protein Powder, Blueberries, Banana, Collagen Powder, Spirulina and Cholera Powder, MCT Oil, Almond or Coconut Milk
Step 7: Quick Caffeine & Recharge
8:45 am – I crush a second espresso (this time, macchiato style) and if all the liquid I’ve consumed hasn’t made me pee a few times already, I know I’ll be pulling over for a public convenience en route to work!
Occasionally, I’ll then take a magnesium supplement and maybe a B-complex as I head out the door. I’m from the “Wet Coast” so if we’re in the middle of a rain bender, and I haven’t been anywhere sunny of late, I’ll also pop a vitamin D.
Other Supplements: Zinc & Copper
Step 8: Let the workday begin
9:00 am – Sixty percent of my week is made up of meetings and phones calls, but the other forty percent I try to reserve for solid focused work time. I love to do this focused work when I’m feeling on fire after the morning caffeine intake. It doesn’t always work out that way, but I’m just saying I love it. If I can go till 2:00 PM dialled in, then I’ll surface for lunch (when I do more emails and busy work and maybe even scroll social a little), maybe quickly meditate again, or just move around a little and try to and get dialled back in. I should note I’ve probably drunk another 750mls of water and munched on almonds to keep my energy up.
When I work from home, I’ll usually diffuse essential oils, listen to meditation music and drink non-caffeinated tea. One or two days a week, I’ll stay home to work or work from a coffee shop, or even a hotel lobby, just to change it up a little. I find the change of scenery can lead to fresh perspectives.
Of course, my schedule changes when I travel, which I do 7-10 days out of each month – sometimes more. I prefer the face-to-face meetings I have while on the road to dealing with people over email or the phone.
By the afternoon, my day’s focus has usually shifted to urgent issues that were planned. I prefer dinner meetings to lunch meetings as midday meetings tend to derail the rest of my day. And when I can, I like to make my longer calls while walking. Moving helps me think and keeps me from doing emails while I’m on the call – I’m not as good at this I’d like to be.
Some weeks I dedicate 60-90 minutes 2 times a week to writing my book. If I’m travelling, I take advantage of my no-airplane-WiFi rule (assuming nothing is super urgent), and otherwise I schedule writing for late evening. The reason I do blogs (and not podcasts) is because I try to take advantage of flying time to write.
There you have it, that is my healthy morning routine, now on to my productive evening routines.
My Productive Evening Routine
Step 1: Ending the Work Day
5:00 pm – The typical end of the workday in Vancouver means it’s 8:00 AM in Shanghai and 10:00 am in Sydney. Since I have factory partners all over Asia and business associates down under, I usually schedule Skype calls at these times to go over any issues or answer questions.
Usually, I’m lucky if I’m out of the office by 7:00pm and home by 7:30pm.
Step 2: Commuting Home
7:00 pm – My commute on either end is spent returning calls or and/or listening to an audiobook and could be completed by Bus, Car-Share or Bike depending on how I’m feeling and how rushed I am to get home.
Step 3: Unplugging
7:30 pm – Once I get home, my phone goes into a corner, someplace where I’m not going to respond to it if it signals. Usually, there is high demand for chasing my girls around the house. Being Dad equals being a scary monster most of the time!
If the wife is having a glass of vino, then I’m on board. I’m not one to say no, but I usually keep my beer, wine and spirits intake to a glass or two. This isn’t a nightly routine, but not far from it either.
Step 4: A Healthy Dinner
8:00 pm – We often eat on New York time (A habit we picked up while living there) Sometimes, not even until 8:30 or 9:00. Why? Because we eat together! Fortunately, my vegan wife is an amazing cook so we eat in a very healthy manner.
Occasionally we eat fish, but usually, it’s vegetables and nut based sauces. Sometimes, we get our carb fill of delicious pasta smothered with virgin olive oil, garlic, and. Since I don’t identify as a vegan or even a vegetarian, you can bet I eat meat when I travel.
As for going out, we travel so much that when we’re home we’re mostly homebodies. We rarely eat out and rarely even go out to socialize.
Step 5: Quality Family Time
8:30 pm – Dinner is followed by reading to the girls (almost without fail), or an occasional board game (My daughter is a ringer).
Step 6: Putting my kids to bed
8:45 pm – The girls get ready for bed. I usually take a zinc supplement. And occasionally I’ll take Gaba, 5-HTP, more magnesium and Bacopa – (I don’t do these supplements everyday)
Step 7: Meditation
9:00 pm – The girls put on their meditation music, walk around the house with smudging palisantose wood and then head to bed. If I’m on bedtime duty, I usually do a second meditation as the girls fall asleep beside me.
Step 8: Quality Time with my wife
10:00 pm – If I didn’t pass out while putting the girls to bed, one of two things usually happens:
- My wife and I light candles, make tea and we both do a little bit more work. Australian and Asia are both in the middle of their days and If anything is urgent my phone is on again and I’m taking calls.
- If all the stars have aligned we light candles, make tea, read, journal, or have a bath together.
In both instances, there will be meditation music, diffused essential oils (like lavender), and more palisantose wood and, yes, each other. Sometimes my best work is done in the late evening.
Step 9: Sleep
Well, this is it, the day is over. I’ve either conquered it, royally botched it or was totally indifferent! Now it’s time to get ready for arguably the most important part of your day. SLEEP! And that’s it. No rocket science, just a consistent evening routine.
Also, it’s worth noting that there’s plenty to share when it comes to sex, wellness, and intimate connections but I’m not going to get into that here. Maybe another time I’ll co-write something with my wife. But for now, those are my healthy morning route and productive nighttime routine. Do I do them everyday without fail…absolutely not! I certainly try to keep healthy habits but I also try not to get bent out of shape if things don’t go according to plan either!
I would love to hear about yours, so please share a comment below!
Please note: that I am not a doctor or am not recommending or endorsing any products. The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Thanks for Reading, be well!