Before I started Physique 57, I didn’t give much thought to creating a morning routine for success. My days on Wall Street started something like this: wake up, press the snooze button, roll out of bed, and then spend way too much time primping and preening. Finally, I’d go about the morning prioritizing whatever I deemed easiest to do. I’d ease into the day.

Looking back, I can’t believe how little effort I gave to self-care before I ran off to give the universe my very best. Once I launched Physique 57, I needed to develop into a fitness industry leader, sharpen my mind, kick productivity into high gear, and return home with full-blown energy to shower my three children with motherly love. Needless to say, I had to rethink my time allocation. I quickly realized that the solitude and quick pace of my mornings were the most critical part of the day for me to master. Now I cherish every minute of my morning routine.

By morning routine, I mean how I program the hours between 6 am and 10 am. When I follow this schedule, I can guarantee a day filled with high performance, motivation, accomplishments, meaning, and calm. Here are my current morning self-care tips for optimizing success:

Wake Up At The Same Time Every Weekday

Commit to a set waking time, no matter what. I’ve studied morning routines for years. Articles from the medical community and successful executives give the same advice: wake up at the same time every day. So, I keep the weekday alarm set to 6:00 am. And forget the snooze button. Research shows that hitting the snooze button will leave you feeling drowsy for the rest of the day.

Enjoy Some Quiet Time & Create A Plan

Before the children bring beautiful chaos to my morning, I sit at my kitchen counter and review the following plan for the day.

  1. Establish three goals, which I schedule in my Outlook calendar.
  2. Choose one precious gift in my life that I’m grateful for (also in my Outlook calendar).
  3. Review my schedule and get psyched for what’s to come.

I study all of my upcoming meetings and calls to determine my desired outcomes — intellectual, mental, and emotional. I know that I’m more likely to accomplish a goal when I have a game plan.

Learn Something New Every Day

I find that learning something new from a motivational speaker or podcast gets my brain in rapid motion before I even walk out the door. While I get myself ready in the morning, I listen to about 15 minutes of podcasts that range from funny, educational, or inspirational. A mix of the NYT Daily, Problem Solvers, Conan O’Brien, and Tony Robbins gets me jazzed for the day. I continue to listen while commuting to our headquarters if technology permits.

Make Sure To Eat A Healthy Breakfast

Of course I would be remiss if I didn’t highlight breakfast, the most important meal of the day. Each morning I have two protein-packed hard boiled eggs, fruit, and green tea. I usually prepare my meals the night before since I don’t have much time to pick up food after school drop-offs or during the day. Also, note: research says that, after you wake up, it’s best to wait an hour before drinking caffeine. This gives your hormones a chance to balance before the caffeine hits your bloodstream.

Do The Hardest, Most Important Stuff First

Once at the office, the morning is the best time to bang out my important tasks, even the most difficult to tackle. Years ago I read that Mark Twain famously said to ‘eat a frog’ in the morning, meaning that once the frog eating is behind you, the rest of the day is remarkably easier. Daniel Pink expresses a similar sentiment in his bestselling book When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing.

I’ve been following this morning routine for success for years and it never fails me. You may be surprised that I didn’t include exercise, especially since I own and operate a fitness business! Rather than do a pre-work workout, I take a Physique 57 class midday or in the early evening in order to clear my mind and get a jolt of energy. If you love your morning workout, just fit that into the steps outlined above.

Give these tips a try and let me know if you see a shift in your productivity and mindset. I may have a different routine years from now, but for now, this morning routine for boosting success has me raring to go, day in and day out.