Taking Back the Morning

For my entire life, I’ve been a morning person. (Well, except when I was a baby because apparently I just slept all the time.) I may not necessarily want to get out of bed when my alarm goes off, but I’m not a “snoozer.” I click off my alarm and from the minute my feet touch the ground I’m off and running. I kind of feel bad for people when they’re with me in the morning because I’m basically in a 3pm state of mind.
Places to go, people to see is my philosophy when it comes to the morning.
Add on top of that the fact that I’m thrive on routine. I can still remember my routines for each year of school. In high school, all four years were exactly the same. (Middle school was different because I couldn’t drive and my sister’s schedule affected my own.)
I woke up every morning at 5:45. Straightened my hair until 6:03 (seriously). Walked downstairs and needed to be at the table eating an Eggo waffle by 6:14. I’d read one article in the paper and be done by 6:20. Upstairs to get ready until 6:45. Check the computer (which “back in the day” meant scrolling through Facebook) until 6:55. Obsessively go through my backpack until I knew I wasn’t forgetting something and then out the door at 7 to walk to school.
A little crazy, but it ensured that I started off the day on the right foot.
I had a similar type of morning schedule when I had a regular job last year, but when I quit to work for myself I really struggled with the morning part of my routine.
But now I think I have it down pat and it’s literally changed my days.
The trick I found is two-fold (and I think this would be perfect for people who aren’t really morning people, too). I realized that having a morning routine wasn’t about hitting the ground running so much as it was setting myself up for success.
I used to go to bed simply dreaming of the coffee I’d have in the morning. Now, however, I literally go to bed so excited to go for a walk with Teddy in Central Park. It’s off-leash before 9am, so we head out early for an hour-long walk/play.
Knowing I have something fun to do is a huge help in getting to bed at a decent time and clicking off the alarm when it goes off the first time. And the benefits are HUGE. Teddy gets in a ton of exercise so he’s a happy puppy all day long. Plus, I get in some extra steps in and extra sun
When I bring Teddy back to feed him, it’s only 7:15 so I go to Starbucks for coffee and an hour or so of reading depending on what my morning meetings are. Honestly, the reading element was something that was missing from my routine for a few months now because I used to read before bed, but wasn’t able to fit it in at the end of the day. Having it back in my day (and especially the morning) makes a world of difference.
8amish and I’m ready to go for the day. I feel good. I don’t feel stressed. And most importantly, when I go to do actual work, I’m completely happy and in a great mood! Nothing is worse than sitting down to work and being groggy and grumpy. (Can you actually get good work done that way anyway?!)
Not everyone has dogs to walk or bookworm tendencies, but I imagine there’s something that can get everyone out of bed to enjoy an hour or two of personal peace.
If you have a long commute, maybe you want to opt for audiobooks instead of music (chewing gum for the ears). If you’re into yoga, switch to a morning session. If you like to cook, prepare meals or plan meals in the morning. Things I suggest avoiding: anything involving a screen. Television, internet, phones. It’s idle and won’t really give you the energy to start the day. (Might as well stay in bed for the extra hour!)
I love my mornings now and I can say with absolute certainty that my days are more productive and (most importantly) generally happier!
Is there something you can add to your mornings to get a happy jump start on the day?
Say Hello

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Allison Leighann

I absolutely need to find something to make myself get up! I'm such a night person so I never go to bed before 2, but I always feel better if I make myself get up earlier. But I just don't know what to do! I have a kitten instead of a dog, but maybe I could figure out something with her. And I always have blog stuff I could do. 🙂


Fiona Heath

Thank you so much for this post, Carly. I am currently really struggling to get into a routine and be self motivated to get up and on with it.

Do you think reading from a Kindle is okay first thing?

Fie x
Coffee & Confetti


such good advice – i start my day behind the laptop immediately, and by the time it is evening i just wanna throw that thing out of the window because i feel i have been staring at a screen all day long!
xo, cheyenne

Samantha Kay

I'm a morning person as well, and a good morning routine can seriously change your day.

I found this post coincidental because I posted my Summer Schedule yesterday with a detailed morning routine. It's really helpful to have a routine.


In the summer I always plan my morning around the Today show. It is my favorite show to watch and summer is the only time I'm ever able to watch it, so it helps me go to bed and get up on time!

Prep on a Budget

Mika P.

What an awesome morning routine! I might try it- I'm definitely not a morning person. What time do you usually go to bed/how many hours of sleep do you get? Because I feel like I would be so tired by the end of the day when you get up so early and have such a busy morning!


Thanks for the great advice! I have never been a morning person and the snooze button and I are good friends by now. I am slightly envious of morning people, but I agree that it would be easier to wake up earlier if I had something fun to do for an hour before I had to leave the house. I am going to try and move my yoga to the morning or maybe just go for a walk now that the nice weather has finally arrived!


Why is listening to music chewing gum for the ears? I commute to work and lots of people either listen to music or read the newspaper in print or on an ipad. I liked to read books on the ipad during my commute since it's easy to fit in my bag and it's built-in reading time for me during the day.

Rebecca Field

I start work at 5am 3/7 days a week, I've found that this means I waste my days off catching up on the sleep I feel I've missed. Just a few days ago I printed out my morning schedule and pinned it to my wall – to be the same on workdays and my days off. Hopefully this will help me get back on top of my mornings!

Sugar Snap Pearls

I love this! I actually decided to start being productive with my mornings this summer and it has made a world of difference. I am not going to pretend that I enjoy waking up for a 5:15am spin class three times a week, but I feel so darn accomplished afterwards!

Andrea Ruiz

I love the idea of reading a book as part of your morning routine! I do check my phone in the morning and go through instagram until I reach what I saw last night before sleeping.That way I get some outfit inspirations from the morning birds that get up before me and post their ootd. 🙂 My happy morning kick is coffee and orange juice. I can't live without both of them. Coffee gives me energy and orange juice washes away my sleepy eyes. It's the perfect combo

Andy at savor each bite

Rachelle M

We have the same morning motivators a long walk and a good book. I've just now gotten into including them at the end of my day too. I try to be outside walking at sunrise and sunset and ending my day with reading an physical book, not the kindle app on my ipad has made a world of difference.


Seriously love this post! I am the same way as you in the morning (need my schedule down to the minute) and my roomies hate how awake I am. When I have the ability (aka not in my dorm room) I love to watch the news while eating breakfast more than anything.

With summer, though, I've been slacking on my mornings and you've inspired me to get back to getting up and being productive!


Gwendolyn Burke

I know it's been said a million times but Teddy is so CUTE!
Glad you have a morning routine that works for you and Teddy. It's all about finding the balance.

Miss Jessie

This post was seriously encouraging! I used to get up at 5:00am, and had a great routine going until I got off track. I'm going to try and get back into the schedule because it truly made my happy. 🙂

Katherine L

I feel like no matter what I try, I will never be a morning person. I think I'm genetically programmed to hate mornings. I think of one of my major problems is that my programs contains only late afternoon/night classes, so during the school year, I generally don't have to start my day until 3pm (finishing between 9-10pm). I can easily stay up (almost) all night without complaint, but don't make me get out of bed early! 😛


Rachel Degraba

I've been trying desperately to wake up earlier. Waking up at noon makes me feel like I've wasted so much of the day! Thanks for the tips Carly, maybe a routine is just what I need!

Rachel @

Keyonna Baierwalter

This is a great post! I am definitely a morning person. It's 9am and I've already taken my pup to the dog park, stopped on the way home to get a soy chai latte and now I'm sitting here studying for and exam I would like to take this fall. I feel so productive and with it being summer break, I feel like I have so much more time now. I've already walked my little puppy, but I still think I'm going to take some time to workout later this morning. I LOVE your pictures of Teddy! He reminds me so much of my pup, Kermit!