Today Abby is giving us an update on her fall goal, which was to create a happy and healthy morning routine! Read on to see how she did ...
It feels like we've been moving at warp speed this fall (how is it already almost Thanksgiving?!). While I've generally failed on my daily exercise and healthier eating goals (thanks to daylight saving time, Halloween and my list of many excuses), I'm excited to share that I've made a lot of progress in my attempts to create a happy and healthy morning routine. Is it perfect? No. But that's OK, because it's far beyond what I've ever been able to stick to. I'm in the camp of striving for progress, not perfection. Below is the routine I've been following pretty much every weekday this fall.
My alarm goes off. I turn it off (no snoozing) and get out of bed. I don't check my emails or Instagram at this time—that's too much of a slippery slope. I head to the bathroom to do a quick but effective skin-care routine and brush my teeth. These past few weeks, I've been using the Sunday Riley Ceramic Slip Cleanser, which I'm really loving. After patting my face dry, I use NUDE Progenius Omega Treatment Rescue Oil on my face, followed by Olay Total Effects Eye Cream and Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Moisturizer. I'll finish off with a little L'Oréal Paris Revitalift Miracle Blur Oil and Glossier Balm Dotcom on my lips or any other dry patches. Sometimes I'll use the Pixi Glow Tonic Exfoliating Toner after my cleanser, but I try to keep it pretty simple—I don't do complicated in the morning.
My puppy, Nellie, usually needs to go out to do her "business" right away, so she's typically waiting for me in the bathroom doorway. We don't have a backyard, so I take her for a quick spin around the block. To avoid going out in my PJs and slippers, I keep a pair of men's sweatpants, a fleece zip-up and shoes (sandals or Uggs) lined up downstairs near our door. I'll put the pants on over whatever I've worn to bed (unless I'm already wearing sweatpants), along with my fleece and shoes, and I'm out the door. I see a lot of people outside in their PJs with their pups first thing in the morning—we're all doing the same thing, and it's kind of funny. Nellie is very efficient, so we're usually back inside in 10 minutes or less.
Usually my fiancé is up at this point, showering and getting ready for work, so I take about 10 minutes to myself before opening my computer. I'll play with Nellie, make some coffee (I'm obsessed with Trader Joe's cold-brew coffee because you can make it iced or hot), do a few minutes of deep breathing, do some stretches or light a candle. Sometimes I'll open my computer and spend 5 minutes or so on Pinterest to get my creative juices flowing. I also try to gulp down a big glass of water, but I don't always remember to do this.
By this time I'm looking through my emails and getting right to work. Usually I'll check in with the team on the East Coast, or G-chat with Caitlin and Taylor about anything that needs to get done ASAP. Each night I try to make a to-do list of things I need to accomplish the following day, so at this time I'll also start checking off those items.
Nellie gets fed at 9 a.m., and I always make it a point to eat breakfast when she does. (In the past I'd often forget to eat, then find myself starving at 11 a.m. or noon.) I usually have a bowl of granola with Greek yogurt, or make myself an egg or two with a few avocado slices. I do eat at my desk, which I'm sure people will say is terrible—but my desk is right across from the kitchen table. I'd rather eat and get stuff done than stare at my window and listen to the pings of emails piling up in my inbox.
Sometimes we have team calls around this time, but if not I'll brush my teeth and change into workout clothes or a regular outfit. Then, between 9:30 and 10 a.m., I'll take Nellie for her longer morning walk around a really nice little park near my apartment complex. This is my favorite part of the morning. I typically don't take my phone with me—I focus on using the time to de-stress, get fresh air and enjoy some exercise. I'd like to think that I also come up with my best creative ideas and solutions during these walks.
When I return from my walk, I sit back down at my computer and continue with my work.
So, there you have it—my morning routine! I'm sure I'll continue to make some tweaks here and there, but I have to say: I'm really proud of myself for staying faithful to this morning routine. I'd love to hear about your daily routines (or other productivity-related suggestions) in the comments below!