5 Simple Tips for Creating a Balanced Morning Routine

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Oikos Whole Milk Greek Yogurt but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

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Recently a friend asked me about my morning routine, which I honestly kind of balked at. Umm, I get out of bed? I brush my teeth? I make sure that I give both my husband and our dog a big kiss? What was she talking about? What the heck is a morning routine?

This sweet baby angel pointed something out that I hadn’t thought about - I tend to start my day pretty early and start getting things done before it’s fully light out. Depending on the day I get up early most mornings to do one of the following: coach rowing, teach a yoga class, go to a workout class, or meet with a client. Most of these, for better or for worse, happen before 6:30 AM.

I hadn’t thought about my morning routine much because I was picturing myself waking up at the same time each morning and doing the same things in the same order, which is something that absolutely do NOT do. I like flexibility. As I started pondering what I do at the crack of dawn each morning I realized that I actually did have a pretty solid morning routine in place with a system that worked really well for me.

I learned pretty quickly after I became self employed that if I didn’t put some routines in place I would end up working until 1 AM, sleeping in until 10, and living on hummus and carrots. I am somebody who needs a routine. For as much as I adore my anti-desk life, structure keeps me sane. Without really intending to over the past few years I’ve created a balanced morning routine that will get this sleepy girl out of bed (I can almost guarantee that if you typed “sleepy girl” into a search on this site I think you would find at least a dozen posts). None of this stuff is crazy complicated. Honestly, a lot of my strategy just involves being sassy to myself, you know?

These 5 tips have helped me create a balanced morning routine. I hope they help you, too!


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1. Prep. This is going to sound kind of insane, but I really like to plan things out. For me that looks like this -

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  • Each night I look at my calendar for the next day so that I know what’s happening. I make sure that I have everything ready for my meetings/calls, plan out my playlists for my yoga classes, and shoot over a reminder email to important fellow humans I’ll be seeing the next day to make sure we are all on the same page.

  • I never thought I would be somebody who does this, but I now pretty regularly plan my clothes for the next day before I go to bed each night. That usually requires me to plan a few outfits when considering workouts, classes I might be teaching, any photoshoots I have that day, and coaching rowing.

  • Even though my office is at home I usually am not physically in my home all day, so I make sure my bag is packed with everything that I need: chargers, water, notes for my meetings, and something to eat. Lately I’ve been bringing Oikos Whole Milk Greek Yogurt with me during the day. It’s made with whole milk, which is so indulgent. Since it’s made with whole milk always hits the spot. Girls gotta eat!

2. Set the tone for your day. If you start your day running around your house thinking about how stressed out you are and shoving everything into your bag at the last minute, I can almost guarantee that your entire day is going to feel like a hot mess. When I can (read: when I’m not coaching at 5:30 AM) I give myself enough time to indulge in getting my day started. If I have time, I sit down and eat a good breakfast like one of the 15 flavors of Oikos Whole Milk Greek Yogurt  (hi, Lip Smacking Lemon Meringue, I love you!) while I catch up on some reading. I take time to journal out my intentions for the day. I sometimes will pop in a quick meditation session. I save high intensity workouts for later in the day when I need an energy boost, so in the morning I will do at least a few minutes of yoga. Usually Maxi joins and then we snuggle/she tries to eat all my yogurt. I’m hyper-intentional about how I start my day to make sure that I set my entire day up for success.

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3. Figure out your non-negotiables. This is incredibly personal and will look completely different for everyone. It might even be different each morning depending on what you know you have coming later that day. Whatever you’re doing, figure out the things each morning that you refuse to compromise. For me that’s some kind of food, caffeine (AN ABSOLUTE MUST FOR ME), a clean face, drinking a big glass of water, and writing a few lines in my journal. I don’t always have time to shower or it doesn’t make sense if I’m about to lead a sweaty workout, so that’s not a part of my non-negotiable list. Make sense? Think about the things that will make you feel like the absolute greatest and won’t suck up a ton of your time. Do those things every single morning.

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4. #TreatYoself.  When I worked in corporate recruiting I would try to get to the office no later than 7 AM. My boss at the time was on the East Coast and I liked being done with work early in the day, so it was a win-win situation. The only issue was… getting out of bed. So I started making myself some really delicious breakfasts. I’m pretty frugal when it comes to...life, but I started splurging on fancy breakfast things so that I would look forward to breakfast in the mornings. And you know what? It worked. When I started getting tired of my breakfast I would change it up. I got into crazy smoothies, fancy avocado toasts (millennial over her!), the tastiest breakfast scrambles, and Oikos Whole Milk Greek Yogurt yogurt bowls. It tastes like a treat for breakfast.

5. Find a sense of urgency. If I don’t have something that I need to drag my booty to, I will absolutely spend hours of each morning staring at the blank screen of my laptop waiting for inspiration to hit. I noticed this pretty quickly, so I started packing my mornings full of things that I have to do (ideally where other people are relying on me!) so that I get my rear in gear. I teach yoga at least two early mornings per week, try to schedule a meeting before 9 AM at least twice a week, and will schedule a workout for the other mornings where I don’t have work-related tasks that need to get done.

Obviously having something on the calendar helps get me moving, but I also realized that when I start my day with something productive it makes me feel incredibly productive. That productivity then pools into the rest of my day and by the time evening rolls around I feel like a total baller. When I don’t have any meetings or hard responsibilities until the afternoon I feel completely untethered.

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Do you have a morning routine that you love? What gets you out of bed in the morning? Sleepy girls all over the world need your help, people!

Sending you a big hug and a tasty breakfast,

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Lizzie BraicksComment