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 setting themselves up for a productive day and an evening routine to wind things down. And there are a couple of reasons for this:

  1. Once you've created a daily routine, it eliminates the need for decision making.
  2. The right routine will help you show up better in every aspect of life. Seriously.

In fact, when I stray from my routine, I feel it all day. And I don't show up the way I want to. Maybe my energy is low or I'm snappy with my toddler… either way, I notice a big difference.

So today I'm going to share the elements of my morning and evening routines: what I do and why I do it.

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:

6:00am – Wake up and workout

Time for some truth. I wish I was in the 5am club. I'm not. My natural circadian rhythm is a little later, so even a 6am wake-up is stretch for me. I've also gotten much better at tracking and prioritizing sleep, which has been game-changing, and I've learned that my body prefers going to bed at 10:30pm and waking up at 7am. So…. baby steps.

But at the same time, I had always told myself I couldn't be a morning person, and it just wasn't true. I needed a reason to want to get up. And for me, with a 3 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 6:00am – alarm goes off. Drink water. Get up. Workout.

Why? Outside of the obvious health benefits including cardiovascular health, exercise has been shown to lower anxiety, boost happiness, and increase executive function. There is just about no downside to exercise.

What do I do? Today, as you're reading this, I'm in the process of running my first ultra-marathon (which I'll share more about in next week's newsletter).

So these days I'm running 3-4 days a week, strength training 1-2 days, and doing yoga 1 day for mobility. If that sounds terrible to you, pick the exercise you love most and do that! The important thing is that you do something (for you ladies in your 40's or later, you should definitely add strength training to your something if you don't already).

Cold plunge time

I typically cold plunge after working out if I'm running, but will sometimes do it before when I'm strength training. This all has to do with impact on muscles and gains… but it's a good rule of thumb.

Why? For me, cold therapy is a massive mood and energy booster. There are a bunch of health benefits that have come out (insulin sensitivity, brown fat activation, cardiovascular benefit) but if I'm honest, the primary reason I do this is psychological.

Right now my cold plunge is broken and I feel foggier and more lethargic without that dopamine spike in the morning. Does it suck to get into freezing cold water? Yeah. Is it worth it? Definitely.

What do I do? 2.5 mins at 50degF.

Next I meditate on my PEMF mat

Why? Meditation is amazing for increasing self-awareness and 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 and cold plunging = habit stacking. It's now automatic.

Also, since cold therapy increases focus, meditating following a cold plunge has benefits. Especially for a busy ADHD mind like mine.

Oh, and if you're wondering why I do it on a PEMF mat, I like to stack as many things as possible to be efficient and I love lying on my mat. Helps with recovery and grounding, and feels really good. I also wear a red light mask when I do this for my skin, but now I'm really letting you all in on how weird I am, so I'll leave it there 😉

What do I use? I use the Calm app because I like the tracking and guided meditations. If you are new to meditation I highly recommend the Mindfulness for Beginners series by Jeff Warren on the Calm app. It's very accessible and will get you through your first 30 days.

I've been meditating consistently for around a year and a half. This year I decided to try a 100 day stretch. I'm currently on day 115 of consecutive meditation and it's definitely impacted my life.

Time for my reward = coffee

After this I grab a coffee, get ready, and go hang with the family before the work day starts. I purposely delay my caffeine for 60-90min after waking (which helps with energy and circadian rhythm).

Again, if you think that sounds insane I get it. I used to drink 1-2 cups of coffee before leaving my bed! I'm not kidding. When I was a single mom I had my eldest trained to bring me a latte in bed every morning.

Mid-day I go for a walk

This was a big shift from the days of back-to-back meetings all day, texting my partner to toss a granola bar into the room so I could eat something while on a call. Not anymore!

I decided to start booking off a lunch hour (yes, a full hour) every. single. day. And friends? I'm never going back.

I eat proper food and take the dog for a walk, usually with my partner. We catch up, get a bit of exercise and fresh air, and then get back to it refreshed.

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. Unless it's 1-2 days before my period. Those days I eat crackers all evening, unapologetically!

9:30pm – in bed… or earlier if possible

For you night owls this may sound crazy, but that alarm is going off at 6am again tomorrow! And I love having time to wind down and do my evening routine so the earlier I can climb into bed, the better.

Read

Why? I love reading as a habit because I'm constantly looking to improve and get better.

What? I read lots of non-fiction: self-help, business books, coaching books, you name it. I personally don't love fiction but I believe any reading is good!

Journal

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.

What? I keep a gratitude journal and write 3-5 things that were awesome about that day. I also call out one thing that I'm celebrating from that day.

Affirmations

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.

What? I will write or read affirmations relating to who I want to be and how I want to show up in the world.

10:00pm – Sleep

I know that I need ~8hrs sleep at night. So ideally I'm closing my eyes by 10pm.

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 18 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.

I also had to let go of the guilt. I had to embrace putting myself first, even if that means my partner gets up with our toddler instead of me.

If you're looking at this thinking – ‘Woah, that's way 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 after that if I hated it I could quit. But of course, I loved it!

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 2-5min 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.

Over time, my workouts got longer and so did my meditation sessions. I also added in the cold plunge.

So there you have it – the routine that I feel keeps me at my best and allows me to show up as the teacher, 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.

If you're ready to take your career to the next level, check out my offerings below. My goal is to help you design the life and career of your dreams.

Until next time friends… ✌️💜

Katy