It was very important to me to write this out before Baby Joe is born. I know my life is about to change drastically so whether I look back on this as how my mornings used to be, or refer to it when I am able to establish a new routine – I wanted it on paper because it has worked so well for me. My number one goal every single day is to set myself up for success. I think this is especially important when you work from home.
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Ashley’s Morning Routine
I am not going to sugar coat it, and pretend I have the perfect morning routine, but as I always do – I am going to tell you the truth. There is definitely room for improvement. In the book, Atomic Habits, there is this exercise where you write out your morning routine and then you distinguish whether each thing is either positive, negative, or neutral. So here’s what my morning looks like.
I wake up when Joe leaves for work at 6:30. I normally just lay there and check texts or DMs during this time — this is something I am trying to change. Starting off the day very first thing in the morning definitely gets a negative grade.
I finish whatever water is left in the cup by my bed and get up. I take my vitamins and medicine first thing in the morning so I don’t forget, refill my water cup and get my coffee going. Recently, I have been reading my Unf*ck Yourself daily calendar at this time — it is SO good. While my coffee is brewing, I clean up any mess that was left in the kitchen the night before, put dishes away etc.
I then bring my coffee onto the couch where I read my devotional from Jesus Calling and my entry from The Daily Stoic. I find that this really grounds my day, and starts it off with a clear head and positive outlook. On days where I skip, I can really tell a difference.
I then open up my planner and see what I have going on that day, add anything to my to-do list, or amend anything that needs to be moved – which in our line of work, happens more than you think. Once all of this housekeeping is done, I will finally open my computer. I try to get to email first, and then I will work on writing for the blog, choosing items for Daily Favorites, or order anything we need for upcoming shoots. I will work until I get hungry.
I used to be the world’s biggest slacker when it came to making my bed, but my friend, Bobby, recently made me make the change to making it every day, and it really has helped keep my house clean and my mind clear. I hate working in a messy space. I do this before I make breakfast every single day so I can’t get out of it.
After breakfast, I either head to the gym or for a walk, to the office or get ready for a shoot, which is when my day officially begins and starts to look different every single day. I have found that doing the same thing every single morning always sets me up to have the best and most productive day. I love how much work I have already gotten done before 8AM and I have a solid list of priorities for the rest of the day. At the RISE conference, we found that most of the speakers on stage had a morning routine that never changed, and when I look at successful people around me, like my Dad, he has done the exact same thing every single morning since I can remember.