The Urban Monk’s Morning Routine


I’ve spent the last couple of decades refining my morning routine to optimize energy and help me have the clarity and focus needed to run a big life daily. With kids, dogs, weather, and film launches, there’s no shortage of chaos in life, so it makes the morning that much more important.


Because short of an earthquake or something crazy, the mornings are a bit more predictable…like still water before you go over the falls into the rapids of your daily life.

That said, I’ve adjusted plenty over the years and have landed on a routine that hasn’t changed much for a long while. That’s obviously because it works for me. 

I need sustained energy throughout the day but also need to remain calm and focused. That’s why coffee has never been my favorite- it’s too hot, jittery, and short-lived. It’ll give me a burst for about 90 minutes and then I’m left longing for more octane or sugar- neither of which are good.

I’m also not a morning workout person. I prefer Qigong and meditation to start my day. This includes a 5 exercise set from my Taoist tradition which helps power up my lower dantien and focus my energy back into the base of my spine. I’ll then meditate for about 10 minutes in front of a candle before waking up the kids and starting the day. It gives me 15 minutes to check in with myself and “drink from infinity” before the world’s demands stack up. 

While the kids are getting ready, I’ll write out my goals for the day and spend a couple minutes in my gratitude journal. This will usually happen in the bathroom, which I find to be a far better use of “down time” than scrolling through social media or the news.  Around midday I work out right before I have my first meal.

So wait- you skip breakfast?

I do. This has been odd for me since I’ve always been a big breakfast guy. The science is in though. An 8 hour feeding window (Time Delayed Eating) is a powerful regimen for fat burning, stem cell production, and overall longevity. Because I have young kids, dinner time is sacred family time so I opted to keep that in place and skip the morning meal which is all hurried and “let’s get your shoes on” with the kids.

That means I stop eating at 7pm and have my first meal shortly after 11am the next day. I have been doing great with two scoops of my RISING ENERGY powder which gives me a calm and centered sense of focus without the “cracked out” feeling of coffee. 

I take the powder and get to work as my wife shuttles the kids to school. I then take about 90 minutes of calls inside my Infrared Sauna. It’s an EMF-shielded model that has a little compartment for my phone. I’ll slap on my earbuds and conduct my business from in there and then do a wet steam for about 15 minutes afterwards. In there, I meditate (again) and do a mid-morning centering practice. Then it’s time for an ice cold shower, getting dressed and going into the office again. I’ve only “lost” about 20 minutes of “productivity” with this routine, yet gained so much more.

Now I get lots of people don’t have these toys and, to a certain extent, they’re a nice luxury- not necessary. The key is to do some journaling, some qi gong, and meditation every morning. That’s the special sauce.

Around 11 am I’ll go for a run or drive down to the gym. I’ll usually take some Collagen protein powder on my drive down. After the workout, I have lunch and jump back into my day.

I have a powerful night time routine I’ll share in another blog if you care to hear it. Let me know in the comments section below!

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