By the time I’m ready to call it a night, I have done my best to squeeze every minute out of the day doing something I really love to do. That makes me feel good and I tend to sleep very, very well.
Quickly describe your morning routine.
My NYC apartment has the most glorious natural light shining in my bedroom, so I tend to wake up with the sun around 5:30 AM – 6 AM. I’ll take a moment to make a mental list of the things I have to do throughout the day before getting out of bed. After I’m content with my plan, I’ll jump up, feed my kitten Connor, then grab my phone to quickly check emails and Twitter for the latest news. Two to three times a week, I’ll attend a morning Bikram Yoga class, but when I don’t, I make a warm cup of water with lemon and sit silently for 15-20 minutes before getting started with my day. It helps to visualize where I’m going and why. Usually during this time, I get the motivation I need to proceed with my to-do list because I have seen my ultimate goal and understand why the small things I do throughout the day help me get there.
How often do you change your morning routine?
Depending on whether I have an early morning in-person meeting – which I do my best not to schedule before 11am – my morning routine stays pretty consistent.
Do you use an alarm or a specific app to help you wake up?
Nope. I haven’t used an alarm in years. The only time I use an alarm is if I am catching an early morning flight, and even then, my subconscious tends to wake me up before it goes off. I’m always amazed at that phenomena.
Do you eat breakfast in the morning, if so, what do you typically have?
For the past few months, I’ve been making my own smoothies and veggie juices for breakfast. For the smoothies, it’s mango, pineapple, and strawberries. For the veggies, it’s kale, spinach, lemon, ginger, celery, and cucumber. Mid-day I’ll usually make a scrambled egg wrap with tomatoes and cheese.
What is the first drink you have in the morning, and at what time?
Not long after I wake up, the first drink I have is a mug of warm water with lemon. I heard it’s good for digestion and removing toxins from the body. Sometimes, I’ll add a green tea bag, but mostly I drink it alone.
Do you exercise in the morning and/or meditate in the morning?
I do. I either meditate for 15 to 20 minutes or I’ll take a morning Bikram Yoga class, which is 90 minutes of hot yoga.
How soon after waking up do you check your phone? [Check/send emails, social media]
I don’t bring my phone in my bedroom with me, so no rolling over to check it, but this happens almost immediately after I get out of bed and get into the living room. I’ll usually try to find a quote that resonates with me as well and post it to my social media sites to share the inspiration with my online friends and followers.
What are the most important tasks you complete in the morning?
Pretty sure feeding my kitten is an imperative, but also taking the time to get focused during the day by sitting for a minute in complete silence. It really does help to quiet the mind and bring me to a place where I can be intentional with my time and take action through the day.
What is your bedtime routine?
My bedtime really changes from day to day. Sometimes I’m out on the couch by 9 PM, other times it’s 12 AM after dinner, or 2 AM after a late-night FaceTime with a friend. Either way, by the time I’m ready to call it a night, I have done my best to squeeze every minute out of the day doing something I really love to do. That makes me feel good and I tend to sleep very, very well.
Are you able to keep the same routine when you’re traveling or in a different environment?
For the most part, yes. I tend to travel alone, and I enjoy being in hotel rooms and having my own space so I can maintain my routine. Waking up, drinking my warm lemon water and/or tea, and taking the time to sit in silence, rarely changes.
Do you stick to your routine on the weekends or do you tweak it?
Yes, since I run my own business from home, my weekend mornings are pretty consistent. I tend to go to Bikram on Saturdays and Sundays, which accounts for my meditation time.
Do you see a change in your day if you forget/don’t to follow your morning routine?
I do! If I rush or fail to center myself in the morning, I can totally feel the difference. I’ll usually end up breaking during the day to sit in silence for a few minutes and return to a quiet place. Then, I’ll pick things back up again and get back to work.
What project(s) are you currently working on which adds value to your life?
I just finished working on the African-American media publicity for the A+E ROOTS series, which was awesome. I really loved this project because it reintroduced such an important piece of our history to new audiences – including myself. I also work with an amazing team at the NYC Mayor’s office through the Young Men’s Initiative. I’m also working on projects with the Black TV and Film Collective, and the National Foster Youth Institute. Everything I do right now through my business is quite meaningful to me.
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