I'm a BIG fan of a daily routine. And I'm not alone.

Many of the most successful leaders, entrepreneurs, and people on the planet have a morning routine they follow to ensure they're settling themselves up for a productive day. Because once you've created a daily routine, it eliminates the need for decision making.

In fact, when I stray from my routine, I feel it all day. And I don't show up the way I want to.

So today I'm going to share with you the elements of my morning and evening routines and how they help me be the best version of myself – at work and at home. And why they can do the same for you.

Note that some folks (think Hal Elrod) are proponents of doing ALL OF THESE in the morning. For me though, I already wake up early enough and value the time I get with my kids before the day starts, so I split it up and only do the activities in the morning that I think will have the biggest impact on my upcoming day.

I've also noticed that certain habits – like gratitude and reading – serve me best at the end of the day. So it's important to decide what works for you.

Okay, here goes:

5:30-5:45am – alarm goes off. Yep, I've become one of those people.

WHY???

The truth is, I always told myself I wasn't a morning person, and it just wasn't true. I needed a reason to want to get up. And for me, with a 2 1/2 year old, 2 other kids and a busy life, if I want to have some morning time for myself, this is the only way I'm going to get it.

For years I tried to fight this and there's no other way around it. I digress…

So 5:30am – alarm goes off. Get up. Drink water. Workout.

Why? Exercise has been shown to lower anxiety, boost happiness and increase executive function. There is just about no downside to exercise.

What? Most days are yoga. Some weight training. I keep it simple.

Directly after working out I meditate.

Why? Meditation is amazing for increasing self-awareness of self-command. This may be the single best thing I've implemented in my life in the past year. And the reason I do it immediately after working out = habit stacking. My cue to meditate is that I just finished exercising. It's now automatic.

What? I use the Calm app because I like the tracking and the guided meditations. But there are lots of ways to do this.

6:15am – shower, ending with a COLD shower

Why? Truthfully, it sucks and I never thought I would implement cold therapy into my life. I'm already so freaking cold all the time. But the feeling and energy you get afterwards is actually worth it.

After this I grab a coffee, get ready and go hang with the baby and then start my day. I purposely delay my caffeine for an 60-90min after waking (helps with energy and Circadian Rhythms)

Evening routine:

After dinner I stop eating for the day. It helps with better sleep and naturally allows me to fast 14hrs before I eat again.

9:30-10pm – in bed.

Yep, for you night owls this may sound crazy, but that alarm is going off at 5:30am again tomorrow…

Read

Why? I love reading as a habit because I'm constantly looking to improve and get better. I read self-help, business books, coaching books, you name it. I personally don't love fiction but I believe any reading is good!

Journal – I keep a gratitude journal and write 3-5 things that were awesome about that day.

Why? Gratitude is the root of joy and the antidote for comparison. I really believe this. When I remind myself of all of the small, wonderful moments from my day I truly feel grateful.

Affirmations – I will write or read affirmations relating to who I want to be and how I want to show up in the world

Why? There's a lot of science behind why affirmations work. We can use affirmations to change our thoughts and beliefs, which then change our actions. It's basically magic.

10-10:30pm – Sleep

I know that I need 7.5-8hrs sleep at night. So ideally I'm closing my eyes at 10pm, but sometimes it's a little later.

One element that others swear by in terms of their daily routine (that's not in mine) is visualization. Sometimes I do some visualization when I'm doing affirmations, but I haven't incorporated this into my daily routine. Instead, I use a Life Vision tool to create the vision I want for my life, and refer back to that periodically.

I've been following this daily routine for around 4 months, and have come to LOVE It. I feel as though I actually get ‘me time' (moms, you know what I mean here), I feel as though I'm doing great things for my health and that I'm investing in my own self improvement.

Before I created my routine, these were all things that I wanted to do, but simply never did! I always talked about wanting to work out more regularly, but with my busy life, I just didn't do it. I needed a routine that would force me to invest the time every single day.

If you're looking at this thinking – Woah, that's too much change for me!

I feel ya. I used to sleep in until the last possible minute and down a double shot latte immediately upon waking.

And I know ‘they' sometimes say to build one new habit at a time. But for me, I went all in. The first week I figured out which of these things I wanted to do in the morning vs. at night and then I made the commitment to just do it. Every day. For 30 days.

And if I hated it I could quit.

One more thing:

The first 30 days for me were all about building the habit. Not about perfect execution.

Some days I only did 10min of yoga and 5min meditation. Some days my mind wandered the entire time. That was okay. The goal was just to show up and do it. I worked on improving later.

So there you have it – the routine that I feel keeps me at my best and allows me to show up as the coach, parent, partner and friend that I want to be. Yours may be different, but I hope you were able to take some inspiration from this.

The best part of creating a routine like this is taking control of your life. Deciding what's important to you and carving out the time to make it happen. No more excuses.

When we fill our cup and invest in ourselves, it allows us to also be better leaders and bring our best selves to work.

Until next time friends… ✌️💜

Katy