Morning Routine


There is nothing that I love more than starting my day off with a strong mindset to tackle a busy workday that lies ahead; with this, comes a well-rounded morning routine focusing on my physical and mental well-being. A wise man [Benjamin Franklin] once said, “daily habits create success – early to bed, early to rise, makes you healthy, wealthy and wise.”

As an HR Leader, I often wear many hats – this means I need to ensure that I am mentally prepared to switch gears [tasks] at any point throughout the day in order to be the best leader I can be for my amazing team. So what does a typical Morning look like for me prior to heading into the office?

5AM Wake-up Call

I usually begin each Morning with a 5AM wake-up call [bright + early]. I know 5AM may seem beyond early, but honestly, this is a perfect time for me to wake up and build mindfulness first thing in the Morning prior to getting my fitness on at F45 – trust me, it works and your body will thank you! Also, real talk – there is something so magical about waking up early in Toronto while the city lights are still beaming and at the streets are peaceful [talk about Zen]!

Lemon Water + Apple Cider Vinegar

Waking up  to lemon water with apple cider vinegar [+ sometimes honey and chia seeds] is honestly a dream and beyond refreshing! Maybe it is because I love all things lemon, but what better way to kick-start your productive day than with an amazing beverage [hot or cold] which contains so many health benefits:

  • Keeps your skin blemish free
    – The vitamin C component in lemons will help decrease wrinkles and blemishes; your skin will look/feel rejuvenated, clean and glowing [yes and yes!]
  • Restores the pH balance + reduces inflammation 
    – Lemon is one of the most alkaline foods you can find, which will aid in reducing your body’s overall acidity levels
  • Boosts the immune system + fights infections
    – Lemons are high in vitamin C which is the most important macro-nutrient for our Immune System [bye bye colds]
  • Detoxifies the liver + aids in kidney function
    – Lemon water will help flush out any unwanted material, while preventing calcium build up in the kidney

Journaling – Five Minute Journal

If you have yet to purchase the Five Minute Journal, I would 100% suggest heading to your local Chapters/Indigo or even Amazon to purchase one – this journal is a must-have to start [and end] your day on a positive note/with gratitude. Based on positive psychology research, the Five Minute Journal has been designed to improve your overall well-being and happiness by focusing on the good in your life and becoming more mindful. Amazing right!?

The Five Minute Journal consists of both a Morning routine and an Evening routine:

Morning Routine

  • Gratitude List – Three things you are grateful for
  • Creating a Better Day – Three things that would  make your day great
  • Daily Affirmation – A statement of what you want in your life

Evening Routine

  • The Amazing Three – Three amazing things that happened during your day
  • Making the Day Better – A statement of what you would change throughout your day

Physical Activity

Physical activity first thing in the Morning has quickly become a part of my daily routine.  Alongside many health benefits [i.e., brain cell growth, boosts mood and combats stress], without-a-doubt, I feel stronger both mentally and physically – let’s just say, I feel like I can conquer anything the day brings me with a positive attitude, bright smile and a sense of ease!

Alongside running and pilates, F45 [functional fitness in 45-minutes] has quickly become an obsession of mine and I thank three of my best girlfriends for being my inspiration to join such an outstanding community! For those who are curious, F45 was founded in Australia [2012] with one idea in mind – to offer a 45 minute high-intensity circuit training workout. Trust me, you will never walk out of  an F45 studio without sweating! What I love about F45 is that every day is a different workout; a workout is never repeated as each class is carefully designed from a database of over 3,000 different exercises.

Side Note: Shout-out to the F45 Bayview Village team for welcoming me with open arms and for always pushing me beyond my limits each class [just what I need]!


Meditation is very new for me, thanks to The Skinny Confidential [I am OBSESSED with her Podcast]! Quite truthfully, the thought of meditation was quite intimidating/scary as I am someone who is “on-the-go” all of the time and it is tough for me to truly relax. However, to ensure I am the best version of myself when I step into the office each day, I knew that meditation would help me become more “zen-like” – at least I am still hoping!

Following my workout, I try my best to take the time to listen to a guided meditation for at least 5-10 minutes [that is really all you need] – so far, I am LOVING it! Although at times I find my thoughts drifting all over the place and I can’t stay focused on the guide, I know that this is completely normal and with time, my meditation practice will only improve. Some amazing meditation Apps to help you get started on your meditation journey are: [1] Head Space [2] Insight Timer [3] Calm – I would suggest the Guided Meditations to start!

Brain Fuel – Fab 4 Smoothie

I am someone who absolutely loves smoothies – it is quick, delicious and super nutritious. However, I must admit, I was someone who use to love having copious amounts of fruit in my smoothie [thanks Booster Juice for the intro years ago]; after listening to a Skinny Confidential Podcast featuring holistic expert and nutritionist Kelly LeVeque I soon realized that although adding fruit is completely OK [limit to 1/4 cup of fructose], too much fruit will only increase your blood sugar and will eventually store as fat.

To help balance blood sugar and to keep you full, Kelly developed a formula called “Fab Four” which is a combination of Protein, Fat, Fiber and Greens [includes superfoods]. She not only uses this formula for smoothies, but for every day nutrition – what a perfect and simple formula to follow, right!? I have two “go-to” smoothies that I absolutely love [thank you Kelly]:

Spa Smoothie

1 serving of protein powder [I use hemp seed protein]
1/4 avocado
1 tbsp of chia seeds
1 tbsp of flax seeds
1 tbsp of maca powder
1 tsp of spirulina
5 drops of BioSil collagen
Juice from a small lemon [3 tbs]
1 handful of spinach
1 small cucumber [peeled]
1/4 cup of mint
1/2 cup of  coconut water
1/2 cups of water

“Cinnamon Toast Crunch” Smoothie

1 serving of protein powder [I use hemp seed protein]
1/4 avocado
1 tbsp of chia seeds
1 tbsp of flax seeds
1 tbsp of maca powder
1 tbsp of cocoa
1 tsp of cinnamon
1 tbsp of sunflower seed butter
5 drops of BioSil collagen
1 handful of spinach
1/4 cup of banana
1 date [optional – for added sweetness]
1/2 cup of unsweetend coconut milk
1/2 cups of water


I truly believe in continuous personal and professional development. So much so, that I have made a promise to myself to take the time to do at least one professional development activity [PDA] a day. As a “lone-wolf” in HR for the company I work for, I am continuously looking to enhance my skill-sets any chance get [daily motto: you cant grow without learning]. What better way to be inspired and to set yourself up for success each day than by listening to a motivational podcast any time/any where [i.e., cleaning, folding laundry, doing your makeup, driving, etc.] – how efficient right!? Believe me, if you are not privy to podcasts, I highly recommend you hop on the train or at least give it a try – there is a ton of amazing experts in various fields you can gain knowledge from and they do not cost money!

Some of my absolute favourite podcasts that I listen to on a regular basis are:

  • The Skinny Confidential
  • The Rich Roll Podcast
  • The School of Greatness – Lewis Howes
  • Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations + Master Class
  • The Tony Robbins Podcast
  • The Tim Ferris Show
  • The Gary Vee Audio Experience
  • The Joe Rogan Experience

Cheers to early morning routines and setting yourself up for success on a daily basis!

Lots of love,

Sara Locke – XOXO

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