It’s Day 3 and today’s contributor is actress Liz Jenkins. (If you haven’t already joined the challenge and you’d like to learn more about how routines can help you meet your goals, visit this link for instructions and to get your free Catalyst Morning Challenge journal).

Currently, Liz can be seen playing Principal Biggs on the critically-acclaimed ABC hit comedy Black-ish. She lives in Los Angeles with her partner and Shih Poo, Maeby Jenkins. Follow her on Instagram.

After reading about Liz’s morning, think about another one of your goals. What’s a second step you can add to your morning? Even though Liz’s schedule is constantly changing, and flexibility is key, there are a couple of steps she never misses, and her career is a top priority. What’s essential for you?

Why is your morning routine important to you? I would say that it is helpful when I can do all my steps. However, being an actress means being extremely flexible. I audition a bunch when I’m lucky and when I do, I don’t have a set schedule in the morning. On any given day I could have 1 to 4 auditions that I had no clue about until late the night before. That tosses a big wrench in any sort of structure I may have had for my morning. I also have a dog, her name is Maeby Surely Jenkins so honestly, everything is on Maeby time.

Are you naturally a morning person? I am. Unless there is something going on weather-wise I can hop out of bed and get going. If it’s raining or super gloomy I tend to want to just lay in bed for a few.

What are your “essentials” for starting the day right? My essentials are grooming, water and taking care of my dog. I mean to say that if I can’t do everything I want to do in the morning I will AT LEAST get these 3 things done. I pour a big mason jar of water and drink that first thing. I’m terrible about staying hydrated throughout the day especially on busy audition days so starting the day off with a glass is very important to me. I make sure to brush my teeth look in the mirror and wash my face. You would never catch me out and about looking a hot mess. HAHAHA Just kidding, I have been caught out and about looking a hot flopping mess many times. I’m talking, pimple cream on the face, funky breath, boobs flopping in the wind because I forgot a bra and hair so messy a bird wouldn’t even know what to do with it. It is because I’ve had these moments of not paying any attention to my grooming that I’m now hyper aware of it. And of course like I said, the dog. Maeby likes to eat first thing in the morning. No if, ands, or buts, and as soon as she is done eating, she would like her walk please and thank you, so off we go.

My morning routine: I wake up naturally between 7a-8a. I haven’t used an alarm clock in many years. I go straight for the kitchen to get a glass of water and have a seat on the couch in silence (if the pup will allow it). If not, I will fix her breakfast and have my water while she eats. Then it’s to the bathroom for some grooming. I fix my hair, brush my teeth and wash my face. I will either turn on the Today show or another TV show to catch up on something I may have missed. It’s pretty important to at least keep up with the tone of as many shows as possible. You never know when you will have an audition for something and knowing for example that everyone speaks just a little faster on a Shondaland show is helpful. Then I will try to have a bite to eat before I take the dog on a 20 to 30 min walk. Breakfast varies wildly in the morning. From a pressed juice to a breakfast taco. Just depends what I have going on. After I walk Maeby, I want to workout. Either to the gym, or our makeshift home gym with TRX straps and a yoga mat. Then I shower and I’m ready to write, take meetings, or any other weekly career maintenance I may have.

Words of wisdom: If you’re struggling to start your day, music can always help. Put on something bright and positive you can move to as you get ready. Are you really telling me that What A Fool Believes by The Doobie Brothers isn’t going to get you going? Look, if the smooth sexy voice of Michael McDonald isn’t getting you in the mood to tackle the day, then I just don’t know what to tell you. Also, an animal if you have the time and means to care for one. Without fail, my pup is a huge motivation to start the day.

liz jenkins ABC's blackish