My Morning Routine (2.0)

How To Create A Morning Routine

I first shared my morning routine 7 months ago.

And in that short time, a lot has changed. LOTS.

My son is now a rambunctious toddler. I’m a good 15 lbs. heavier. And I’ve (almost) quit multitasking.

It’s only natural that my morning routine changes as well. And while certain things have stayed the same (meditation, exercise, news, journaling), I’m pleased at how my mornings have improved.

And damn proud. Because it took a lot of effort to get here. Namely, learning how to wake up earlier than I ever have (which requires its own updated post).

One thing I never talked about in the first post is the importance of a morning routine. There are plenty of articles and research (and hell, even a book) about how transformative such a routine can be.

But I want to address what a morning (and day) looks like when I don’t follow this routine.

It’s a hot. f&$king. mess.

It starts innocently enough, with turning off airplane mode on my phone before I’ve done anything else. It could also stumble with having a cup of coffee before my morning water. Or it can be as simple as hitting the snooze button twice.

If one of those things happen, I derail. Hard.

I end up eating Cheetos for breakfast. Instead of the news, I read the latest posts in my Feedly and celebrity gossip. I’ll put on Morning Joe instead of getting us out the door for our walk.

And when it’s time to get to work? It takes significantly longer to get into work mode (basically, until I have to pack up and head back home).

Morning routines, in my mind, are less about the actual routine and more about making sure my day isn’t filled with Us Weekly, Chipotle, and just responding t0 e-mails. Following my morning routine makes me the best woman (and all that it entails – mother, wife, entrepreneur, writer, human, friend) I can be.

Without further ado, here’s my current morning routine. You can catch this morning, in all its raw and time-stamped glory, on Snapchat (I’m hithapal) or watch the whole story below.

It may be a good day. It may be an off day. But it’ll be an honest day – I’ll give you that.


Hitha’s Morning Routine

5:15 a.m. – alarm goes off. Hit snooze.

5:24 a.m. – alarm goes off again. Turn it off, chug the giant mug of water on my nightstand, and head to the bathroom to brush my teeth, wash my face, and put in my contacts. Make the bed and change into workout clothes.

5:30 a.m. – go through my non-negotiable morning routine rituals. I write in the Five Minute Journal, meditate for 5-10 minutes with the Samsara app.

5:40 a.m. – workouts, like everything else in my life, have become ruthlessly efficient. When I have time, I’ll do a full Power 20 workout (arms and abs are my favorite). If I’m running behind, I’ll do the method’s 7 minute workout or Ballet Beautiful’s 7 minute Swan Arms.

6:00 a.m. – Rho is up! I grab him from his crib, change his diaper, and bring him to the living room. While he drinks his milk, I sip my tea and read The Economist Espresso aloud to him. Kid’s gotta develop a news habit sometime.

7:00 a.m. – Time for “workout #2.” I grab my phone from my bedroom and take it off airplane mode, get Rho in his stroller, and we head outside for a morning walk, which has been amazing for both of us. We both get fresh air and quality time together, and I get the added benefit of burning some more calories. If I’m feeling up to it, I’ll push his stroller ahead and sprint after it about 5 times in rapid succession. He loves it.

8:15 a.m. – We get home, and I down the smoothie my husband has made in our absence (just spinach, almond milk, protein powder, and frozen berries). While they play, I get ready – shower, throw on an outfit, go through a streamlined beauty routine, and make sure my bag has everything I need in it for the day.

9:00 a.m. – Sri heads out to work, and I make Rho a proper breakfast (toast, scrambled eggs, or a banana pancake). The next hour is just for Rho – he eats (or throws his food on the floor despite all my entertainment attempts), and we play or dance around to the Hamilton soundtrack.

9:45 a.m. – Rho starts to nod off, and I savor a few minutes of cuddling before placing him in his crib (spoiler – sometimes I just let him nap on me). I finish reading the news (through the NYT Now app) while sipping a cup of this tea. Once his nanny arrives at 10, I jet out the door to start my day.

If you’re looking to create or get back to a morning routine, here are my favorite resources:

Do you have a morning routine? What are you non-negotiable things you have to do in order to have your best day? Most importantly, what’s the one thing that will definitely derail your day? Let me know below!