It’s Day 7 and the final day of our challenge. (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).
I hope it was a great week and that our women leaders inspired you to make positive changes to your morning routine.
My name is Jennifer, I am the founder of Catalyst Branding + Business Consulting, and I am today’s contributor. I started my first business in 2005, and consult with women entrepreneurs in groups and 1:1 to scale their businesses. My next annual group program will be kicking off soon; if you’d like more information, you can sign up for Priority Access to be among the first to get information by signing up here. You can also schedule a 15-minute discovery call to find out if our services are right for you.
And with that, I’m happy to share my routine on our final day. Thanks for spending this time with me, XO, Jenn
Why is your morning routine important to you? Getting a hold of my day early on – and harnessing the power of my routine – has been essential to meeting my goals. I have Rheumatoid Arthritis, which can be painful first thing in the morning – it’s not always been my favorite time of day. We also have two very energetic, intelligent boys who can easily dominate if I don’t get out ahead of them. My mornings require intention or it’s all downhill from there.
Are you naturally a morning person? I was always more of a night owl. My younger son made me a morning person (or at least a person that wakes up early, haha). During the school year we have to get up early. But, when we spend the summer in Seattle my natural rhythm is bedtime around 11pm and waking up around 6am – some of my best work happens in the evening. This makes a school year morning routine even more important to me, because it doesn’t come easily, I need habits that I don’t have to think about.
What are your “essentials” for starting the day right? Most Sunday evenings I write out my appointments for the week even though I use Google calendar – it just helps me to better connect with what I have coming up. Each weeknight I remake my ‘To Do” list for the next day so I can hit the ground running, and I pack my gym clothes or I ain’t goin’. In the morning, my essentials include my skincare routine – as I’ve gotten older, I’ve had to really stick to it, and it helps me to wake up – and my 42 oz. Miir stainless steel water bottle (complete with Catalyst logo, of course!). As a family, we’ve started decreasing our use of single use plastics, it’s a work in progress, but our water bottles were a big culprit.
My morning routine: We’re up by 5:45am on school days, we rotate a few songs in place of an alarm, like Habanera from the opera Carmen (talk about mood music), Summer Haze by Shapeshifter, or on the occasion that I’m flying to Seattle from Phoenix for work, Dyslexic Heart from the Singles soundtrack. Choosing a “wakeup song” based on what we have coming up makes the start to the day feel special.
By 6am, my husband gets coffee brewing while I wake up our boys and they we start breakfast – meals together are important to us. With long days apart, it’s a big part of our quality time. A couple of mornings a week we’ll squeeze in a quick hike on a trail up the road from our home.
By 7am, I’ll listen to the news (and usually my boys bickering, to be honest, it’s never perfect, is it?!), while I’m getting ready. It’s important to stay in touch with current events that could impact my business consulting and social media clients. I’ll also take a few minutes to meditate to music or just sit in silence to get centered before we’re all off for the day by 8am.
About half the time we all carpool, dropping the kids to school and then heading to the office (my husband is also an entrepreneur and we have our teams located in the same office suites), and the other half of the time I work from home with our rescue dog, Max.
Words of wisdom: Mornings can be difficult, especially if you care for kids or parents – at one time we cared for both and it was a real struggle. Many days started in total chaos and I’d just get into my car and want to cry. Here’s the thing, though, people and situations will take as much as you’re willing to give (even the people who love you, like partners, kids, and parents).
Routine is like autopilot, you don’t have to think about it, so make yourself and your goals a priority. Put self-care and a little time for yourself on autopilot. Even just two minutes of anything that makes you feel good in your routine is going to change how you feel about your entire day and your belief in your ability to achieve your goals.
Figure out what that is and be unyielding – the more you find and do those things over and over in the same order, the more you will do them without thinking, and the more they will add up to the outcomes you’re looking for. You deserve it.