5 Things I do Every Single Day

I am a firm believer in how you start your day sets the tone for how you finish your day. I find that when I wake up late, I feel rushed and can’t seem to get my feet underneath me the rest of the day; but when I take the time to be intentional about my morning and start my day, I always feel accomplished and focused. So, over the years I have developed this morning routine and I truly feel like it makes a difference in my day. The 5 things that I go through below have evolved over the years to accommodate my schedule or current season of life but I always try to stick with the theme or intent behind them. These are the 5 things that I do every single day.

1. Wake up early

I mean duh the day starts off by waking up but how and when you wake up makes a difference. Believe it or not but I was not a morning person growing up (I mean what kid is?), my parents always joke with me about this. Apparently one day, back in my prime middle school years, I was feeling especially grumpy and explained to my parents that I was not to be spoken to before 3rd period, they always loved to give me a hard time about this.

Fast forward to today, I wake up between 4:30 and 4:45 am. Now, I know this is not for everyone, but I love starting the day before the sun is up. I do not hit snooze, I do not check my phone, my alarm goes off and I get up. Even though it sounds counter intuitive, there are so many benefits to getting up early. Studies show that getting up early can increase energy levels, alertness and concentration. Now, don’t think I am telling you to sleep less – you gotta make sure that you are getting enough sleep which may mean going to bed a little earlier. I try to hit the sheets around 9pm – sleep is just as important!

The overall intent behind this is it allows me to take time for myself. Everyday we are pulled in a million different directions and give pieces of ourselves to those around us – I feel ready and able to work and perform when I take time to prepare and be intentional with myself and my time.

2. No phone for 2 hours

This is probably the hardest thing I do in the mornings and definitely the most rewarding. I have set a strict rule for myself that I will not check emails, social media or news for the first 2 hours after I wake up. Was it hard to start this? Yes, but honestly it got scary to me when my first action in the morning was to check what was going on in the world and not what was going on with myself.

Are there exceptions to this rule? Sometimes, but for the most part I am able to stay strong. The intent behind this is to allow myself to identify how I am feeling and not allow the world to dictate my emotions for the day. There would be times I would see a work email come through that got me anxious or see something on the news that frustrated me and that would completely rule my day. Give yourself the gift of not giving the world the ability to tell you how to feel.

3. Move your body

I love moving my body. Whether it be running, riding my Peloton, strength training or just going for a walk, I love it. Working in an office/desk job there are days I will sit down at my desk and won’t get up much the rest of the day, so starting my day with a few movement points “in the bank” help me not feel as sluggish or tired at the end of the day. The intent, for me, behind this is not to burn calories or to be a world class athlete- for me, I view this as my “play time”. I think that as adults we forget to have fun when moving our body, we deserve play time just as much as kids do!

Working out and exercising is not a punishment – it’s a celebration and should bring you joy. If running for 30 minutes doesn’t bring you joy – guess what? Don’t do it! Do a Zumba class, take a walk, dance like no one is watching, the point is to commit to moving your body for you.

4. Journal/Write

This has been the habit that has evolved the most over the years. I have used this time for a devotional, writing down things I am grateful for, “standard” journaling and most recently just writing about the things that bring me joy. When Jared and I moved into our new house a few months ago we found a box full of old journals that date back to before we were married and it was so fun to look back and read how I have grown and what I have gone through in life.

The intent behind this habit is just another way to engage with myself. Engage with how I am feeling, engage with what I can learn through a devotional, engage with the things that bring me joy and make me happy. I think that we don’t take the enough time to engage and be intentional with our thoughts and feelings and this allows me to do that.

5. Make a to-do list

After all the above is said and done, I make sure to make a high level to do list for the day. I structure my to-do into 2 sections:

  1. The “Big Three” – these are 3 things that I absolutely have to get done for the day, no excuses. Sometimes these are work related things for a project I have or sometimes they are just making sure I fold the load of laundry that has been in the dryer for 2 days. Whatever it is, these are non-negotiable.
  2. The “Little Three” – these are 3 things that if I get to them great but my whole day isn’t ruined if I don’t. Typically in this section are house related things or maybe blog project items. BUT, this section doesn’t mean that I don’t try to get to them. These are not parking lot items to be forgotten about, just things that don’t require as much urgency.

Making a to-do list helps me structure my day so much. Some days I will make multiple to do lists to keep me on track and seriously – is there a better feeling than crossing something off of your to-do list? Find ways to keep yourself on track and focused – you will ultimately feel that much more accomplished.

I hope that this has been useful information to you. I would love to hear about any morning routine or daily habits that you have!

XO, Ashton

2 responses to “5 Things I do Every Single Day”

  1. I’m such a fan of waking up early. I think it’s one of those things that you don’t realize how powerful it is until you try it. Loved the list and looking forward to reading more! 🙂


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