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Fantasies for Nerds: The Perfect Morning Routine


caneel executive coach

I'm a social scientist who helps people break out of the invisible traps and make whole-life changes easily and naturally.

I have a fantasy that is so hot it wakes me up at night.

Tossing and turning, I obsess about the life that is just around the corner for me.

Just one app or one hack away.

Just one smidge of willpower more, and a bit of life design perfection, and I will be there!

Once my fantasy comes true, all will be perfect, and I will be magnificent, and my life will run like perfect clockwork.

I will be well groomed and tidy, better educated and more conscious, with a gorgeous and orderly house and a simple yet extraordinarily comprehensive set of routines that I track effortlessly so that I can quantify how they correlate with my well being and personal KPIs, without letting the tracking become a distraction.

First, I will have a morning routine. It will work efficiently and be so life giving and healthy. Effortlessly I’ll track my completion of each step using my voice with Siri shortcuts, which update my habit tracking app and nudges me along to the next piece of my morning routine soundtrack.

First, without an alarm clock, I’ll wake up before the sun, peaceful and joyous and energized, clear headed and limber, ready to greet the day. I don’t rush, I simply stretch and mindfully wiggle my toes in bed while connecting to my life purpose. Then 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, I rise from my bed.

I know that I will enjoy each moment of it, and it will also provide the perfect foundation for me to have a typical day in the life of Caneel, wherein something amazingly creative and profound happens that benefits all stakeholders.

In 20 minutes or less, I complete all of the carefully designed steps of the morning routine, a cleverly crafted series of Atomic Habits that connect to each other in the perfect order, each one setting up the next:

· write my morning pages (currently takes 25 minutes and I always want more)

· do 5 minutes of breathing exercises

· meditate in a gorgeous sitting space for 20 minutes (you can see that my fantasy is already unattainable by now, but stay with me….)

· write in my gratitude journal while listening to binaural beats

· repeat some mantras or affirmations

· visualize my day and me living the life of my dreams in my zone of genius

· drink some green juice

· do a brief but effective 25 minute yoga sequence

· walk for an hour while noticing the beautiful world around me,

· come home and dry brush my skin head to toe to stimulate my lymphatic system and boost circulation

· take a hot and cold contrast shower like Wim Hof

· write and publish a blog post before the kids wake up

· my creative work already shared with the world, I now get down to business and plan the most important three things for me to do that day, and pick one big rock to complete first that helps move me much closer to self actualization

· spend 15 minutes of quality time with my lover and life partner Roy, where we share what’s inspiring and moving us, read a page from a parenting or spirituality book together, give each other a luxurious massage, cuddle, connect with our values and our vision for the future, and don’t discuss any logistics or finances

· snuggle and play with Soren and Arrow when they wake up (note, this happens around 6:30am, currently 30 minutes after I wake up)

· while my kids dress and groom themselves and sit in their rooms silently meditating for 3 minutes….

· I plate our healthy and colorful breakfast, which I have prepped in batches of mason jars in the fridge

· the kids come downstairs we all eat together, joyfully, while sharing things we appreciate about each other and gazing at our family values and vision board on the wall, and somehow doing all of this while fully dressed and clean (though getting groomed and dressed, my least favorite part of the morning, is not part of my fantasy)

· Wave goodbye with a gorgeous, clear-eyed, lip-glossy smile as my husband calmly leaves to walk them both to school

Alone at last in my pristine home, mind body and soul operating in perfect energized alignment, I joyfully begin my workday routine:

· At this point I settle down at my desk with gratitude.

· I light a candle to summon the spirits asking them to support me in having an inspiring day that has a big positive impact on the world without adding any demands to my time or emails to my inbox

· I reconnect with my purpose statement and 20, 10, and 5 year goals, as the context for revisiting my plans for today

· Complete a big rock and my three important tasks for the day. There are no others on my list. And it only took four pomodoros to get it done! Ah, that was easy and so pleasant!

· Get to inbox zero in both personal and work email, Slack, Voxer, Messages, Voicemail, and snail mail

· Coach or host a group coaching forum for my favorite clients, also inspiring world-changers who light me on fire with passion and gratitude! With me there to witness, challenge and support, each of them is growing by leaps and bounds. One sends me a referral and a glowing testimonial.

· After lunch I do some deep work — a creative project or an experiment — as well as some daily reading or learning (while taking notes that I quickly polish and turn into a blog post)

· I briefly review my stats and achievements from the day, all while practicing detachment from all outcomes out of my control

· Close the day early and wrap up with another meditation session, tidyingmy desk, and practicing voice or piano or painting before the kids return to school to find me fresh and rejuvenated after reading a book in an epsom salt bath, ready to get our fresh vegan dinner out of the crock pot, which they can’t wait to eat.

The reality doesn’t look like this. For sure it includes automatically brewed coffee with a variety of clever supplements mixed in and breakfast for the kids, but the rest is a crap shoot and usually includes about one of the elements above.

It also includes a few other habits that aren’t as productive, enlightening or healthy (such as hunting for habit tracking apps on my phone while I drink my coffee).

Seeing my dream routine written down here makes it obvious: My morning routine is nothing but a hot sexy nerdtastic fantasy. It’s so out of my league…. so unattainable. Even if I could squeeze three hours into twenty minutes (or squeeze three hours of morning routine into my morning) I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t even enjoy living that way.

But it’s fun to dream.


Photography by Kelley Raye //

Dr. Caneel Joyce is a CEO Coach and social scientist who helps people break out of the invisible traps and make whole-life changes easily and naturally.

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