My Favorite Way to Start the Day

If there’s one thing I’ve learned after owning and running a business for over 20 years while raising 4 kids, it’s that you have to get control of your day before your day gets control of you! The things I do first-thing in the morning, starting before everyone else is awake, is what sets up the day for success. This means approaching the morning intentionally, planning what I’m going to do the night before, and building in routines that make it as easy as possible to check all the boxes when I’d rather be getting a few extra minutes of sleep.

Since I travel frequently, I have come to truly cherish the “normal” mornings I have at home, where everything goes more or less the way I plan. Although with 4 kids and a husband committed to rescuing dogs (we’ve had as many as 5 at one time!) there’s always something that doesn’t go quite the way we expect.

Days when I wake up at home and spend the workday in the office and not at an airport or some other city are the best days. I feel so energized by being around my family at home and Pinnacle associates in the office. People are so much more creative when they are in a room together. I love it! And, even more importantly, I love having the time to connect with my family.

Starting the day right for me has to include exercise. I have to wake up before the world does to get my workout in. Fitness is a high priority, so I try to do something active first thing in the morning every day — even when I’m traveling. Of course, when I’m training for a triathlon my schedule looks very different because it starts way earlier and is more strenuous.

Below is an example of my favorite kind of “normal” morning and how I set myself up for success throughout the day by doing a few simple things first-thing in the morning.

6:00 AM — I get out of bed, put on my workout clothes, lace up my shoes, brush my teeth, put my hair in a ponytail, and throw a hat on. I keep this routine as simple as possible so I can be out of the door fast. This is no time for glamour or fussiness.

6:08 AM — I get moving, usually this is a run or a bike ride or if I’m really tired or have any injuries a brisk walk. I live by a lake and I absolutely love mornings spent riding my bike around the lake. I aim for 45 minutes of solid activity and then head home.

6:53 AM — The Human Alarm Clock arrives home to wake up all of my sleeping children and get them moving in the right direction to get to school on time. Most days I’m getting even more exercise running up and down the stairs making sure my teenagers are awake. As any mom can attest, this is no easy task! But I secretly love peeking into their rooms, waking them up, and helping them get their days started on the right foot.

7:15 AM — Breakfast is on the table. I’m a big fan of feeding kids (and adults!) a hot breakfast, so almost every morning I’m home I make my family scrambled eggs. My boys love theirs with sausage, but for myself I keep it light and have mine with spinach. But every once-in-a-while I’ll slip a chocolate chip pancake in there for a special treat — my youngest son’s favorite!

7:30 AM — The kids are out the door and on their way to school. I stay engaged with them until the last possible minute and drive the youngest two to school.

7:45 AM — After dropping the boys off, I rush back home to get ready for the day. While I shower and get dressed, I am mentally reviewing my calendar for the day and the conversations I need to have. My goal is to make the most of my time in the office, focusing on Pinnacle Group’s top priorities. I mentally prepare for an update meeting with our General Counsel on Pinnacle’s ongoing global expansion, a conversation with the President of our Talent Solutions division on our newly enhanced Progata Talent Platform and IT infrastructure improvements, and I make a note to check in with several people who are involved in strategic client initiatives. If I get half of the things I’m thinking about accomplished, I will have had an amazing day!