Your Dream Morning in 15 minutes. [video]

…AND how our morning routine helped us break bad habits, recover from burnout, depression, and shed 95+ pounds.

Yeah, there’s that too.

Hi friends, I’m finally back on Medium, after a long recovery from Founder burn out, depression and the loss of my identity.

This article comes at the request of many friends (and friend of friends) who’ve commented on how happy my partner and I “look” and have asked what the heck we’ve been doing.

The truth is that we do look great, and we know we did before, but we didn’t feel great.

We both suffered incredible losses, mine was a startup that was my identity and his was his father who was also his best friend. While it appeared we were at the top of our game, we were both burnt out in our careers, and realized that we needed a change.

In our journey to feel great, losing weight was not our number one goal, but it became a huge perk. So far, Mark has lost about 80 lbs and I’ve lost 15 pounds and 18” inches in 5 places.

More importantly, now we FEEL A-M-A-Z-I-N-G mentally!!

Disclaimer: I lost my weight without stepping foot in the gym. Mark became a full fledged gym rat.

We shared on social media that the 3 things we focused on were nutrition, intermittent fasting, and breaking bad habits with our dream morning routine.

The nutrition part will be unique to each person and the IF is not everyone’s cup of tea but I swear by it and used Sumaya Kazi’s totally FREE guide here.

The dream morning routine was and still is the glue that centered us and gave us the mental fitness needed to break bad habits.

My hope for this guide is to share:

  1. Why a morning routine is pure magic.
  2. How we created our dream morning routine.
  3. Our actual dream morning routine.

Real talk before we dive in: Taking care of yourself should be fun, enjoyable and your #1 priority in life. If going to the gym isn’t fun for you, find something that is — it almost doesn’t matter what it is, just do or make something fun with yourself.

A friend said it best, take yourself out on a date every day.

Our perfect morning routine is super fun, and it should be because we created it for ourselves.

Make your mornings fun people.


Morning Routines = Pure Magic.

If your the type that wants to just get into the guide, skip down to the bottom or start creating with this bad boy right here, you’re welcome.

We discovered the power of morning routines from Shawn Stevenson’s The Model Health Show — our ABSOLUTE FAVORITE podcast ever btw.

He shared the brain science behind morning routines and how they boost memory, increase focus, and build self-esteem. You can listen to episode 231 for the full benefits of morning routines.

For us, this was THE ONE THING (also a favorite book — but i digress) we needed to rewire our bad habits and reinforce new better habits.

Here’s why.

Creating a morning routine enabled us to have an early win before leaving the house or doing anything else for anyone else.

That tiny win we created for ourselves, mentally prepared us for more momentum towards a great day.

It gave our brain the supercharge it needed to make great decisions.

It gave our mind the structure to set daily intentions, gain clarity and focus.

But best of all…

It forced us to take care of ourselves first.

Yes, I know it still sounds a bit fluffy if you are not into self-improvement or mindfulness, but you must know by now that if your own needs are not met you sure as hell can’t take care of anyone else’s.

This is super powerful stuff, like unicorn food for the brain.

I’m sure it’s borderline disgusting to some people how happy I am. But what’s more, is that I’m far more productive, hyper focused, and less reactive than I’ve ever been.

After we created our morning routine, we noticed we started having more time than ever and everything was sticking.

There was his moment for us where we were both like — IT’S WORKING!!!!

Essentially, our morning routine became the foundation for our wellness and completely gave us a new outlook on life.

“Motivation is what gets you started, habit is what keeps you going” — Jim Ryun

So by now you’re probably thinking, jeez, but how long is this gonna take, “I’m so busy and important and I don’t have time to put myself first.”

Here’s my promise, it can take as little as 10–15 minutes to start, but doing this will actually enable you to get clarity and perspective each morning.

It sounds crazy but you’ll be surprised how much more you get done and how you can focus on what matters.

Oh, and by the way I’m totally not a morning person either, I need my full hour to get ready in the morning — and I still made it work for me. I love it so much now that on the few days that I’ve skipped, my mojo was totally off.

Here’s Our Formula for Creating a Dream Morning Routine:

As I mentioned above, you can totally skip ahead and start building your routine here.

STEP 1 : FIND THE STUFF YOU LOVE — GO CRAZY!

Get a sheet of paper and write down all the stuff that makes you happy or that you think might make you happy, go crazy. Don’t hold back.

What are the things that you always say you wish you had time for or that you’ve always wanted to explore?

Is it adult coloring, learning to code, practicing a new language? What are the things you want to try or love doing when you have extra time.

For us it was:

  • Hydration — drinking more & better quality water and tea
  • Gratitude — Freedom Journal & 5 Minute Journal
  • Removing Stress — meditation, yoga, reading, listening to podcasts
  • Movement — Walking & Rebounding (fancy word for trampoline)
  • Workouts — HIIT & Weight training

STEP 2 : PICK YOUR TOP THREE

Prioritize and break down your wish list into mini activities that you can do in 5 minute increments.

I know, it’s overwhelming right? They all sound great, they all take time but here’s where the magic happens…

STEP 3: GO MINIMAL & JUST START

We took a minimal approach, maybe thats the lean startup design-thinking gal in me but the key here is to set yourself up for success.

Ask yourself: What’s the smallest commitment I can make to myself every day for a week to see if this work’s for me?

  1. Baby Steps: We started our morning routine with 15 minutes and 3 rituals: 5 minutes p/ritual.
  2. Mark started with: inner bath (5min), meditation(5min), movement(5min).
  3. I started with: inner bath(5min), meditation(5min), and journaling(5min).
  4. Once established, we starting stacking on one additional ritual at a time until it became a habit.

A word of Caution People: You don’t want to go crazy at the beginning thinking you can Hulk Hogan your way to greatness here.

Our Actual Dream Morning Routine:

Obviously, we became obsessed with our mornings and the way they make us feel so the evolved Dream Morning Routine is now

Daniela’s current morning routine (45 min):

• Wash my face, brush teeth and floss (reframe: not flossing is like, not wiping)

• Inner bath: pitcher of water with lemon (+tea or coffee on my fasting days)

• Sit in my special floor space in the sun and smile because I am facing my favorite pictures showcasing some special times with Mark and family.

• Meditate with mantras for at least 5 min, no timer — just listen to what my mind needs. Sometimes I get lost in it and sit for 30 minutes and I used to never be able to make it past 2 minutes!

• Write in my daily intention journals ( I have 2: 5 min journal for personal + movement + gratitude and Freedom Journal for business + productivity).

• Rebound for 5 min (fancy word for trampoline).

• Complete my daily budgeting using Every Dollar app. (reframe: added this to make my finances my best friend).

• Timeblock — Use intentions from my daily journals to spend 5 minutes time blocking my day.

Marks morning routine (<45min):

• Drink 20 oz of water

• Guided meditate for minimum of 5–15 minutes.

• Read for 10–15 minutes

• Jump on rebounder for 5 minutes or go for a 15 minute walk.

• 2x p/week do 15–20 min yoga with Daniela

• Shower, dress and stretch.

  • Boom!

We are constantly tweaking, making it more fun so we feel better and better, but that was what we did.

This has been truly life-changing for us so I’m honored to share our journey and hope you find this knowledge as valuable as we did and still do.

BONUS: Video of the magic + a tool to help you create your own dream morning routine.

So, I gave you the entire low-down. Now it’s your turn.

We’re making it easy for you.

Here’s a SUPER EASY free tool to help you build your own unique Dream Morning Routine.

No Excuses.

Give it a try, we want to hear from you.

Post your dream morning routines in the comments — have fun — go crazy.

Share your wins with us, if this is helpful for you it might help others too.

UPDATE: We didn’t realize the response we would get from FB and Insta but in the process of writing this guide we decided to create a private group to share and discuss daily practices, break bad habits and answer any questions. You can join the group here.

Cheers,

Daniela & Mark