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I had the incredible honor of being interviewed by Cristy “Code Red” Nickel where we talked about work/life balance, success habits and so much AMAZING stuff! Here’s just a little bit of the GOLD we unearthed.

Cristy and I do something REALLY important that many people don’t do – and it might jus be the key to our success. Want to know what it is? We get up REALLY early. I’m talking it’s still dark out kind of early. Here’s the thing, by having an early morning routing, we’re able to take care of ourselves first, before everyone else’s needs kick in.

For me, this means the gym comes as soon as I get up. As soon as I get home from the gym, I take some time to set my mental state. I sit in the tub, but where and how doesn’t matter. It’s about creating a vision for the day and asking for the success and influence I want and need to create happiness in the world. At this point, the rest of my responsibilities kick in with serving breakfast. Cristy’s routine is pretty similar. Here’s why this works: Putting yourself FIRST gives you the emotional and mental strength you need to go out and care for everyone else. This is necessary whether you have kids or not.

Now, here’s the thing, if you’re someone who has more energy at night, that’s okay. The point isn’t what time you get up. The point is to set your day up to put yourself first, literally first. Whatever time you wake up, start your day with setting your intentions and goals and creating a good emotional, physical, spiritual, and mental place for yourself.

Nutrition matters, too. What you eat truly determines your mood, your energy, your ability to succeed. Good food that nourishes your body will give you more energy throughout the day. The right foods can actually help you wake up more easily and have consistent energy throughout the day. What you eat even makes a difference with how you handle stress.

Bottom line, it’s about putting yourself first to best help others. Whether it’s sleeping, nutrition, a morning routine, or all three, when you take care of yourself first, there’s plenty of you to go around. It’s like when you’re on a plane and they tell you that if there’s an emergency to put the air masks on yourself first and then reach over to help the child(ren) next to you.

I challenge you to create a routine that puts yourself, your goals, your vision first and see how that drives your success.