This post has been sponsored by the Almond Board of California. 

Mornings tend to be the most difficult time of day to get your act together, if you know what I mean. Not only are you basically still asleep, the clock seems to always be running faster than it should. To demonstrate what I mean, this is what my actual morning looked like today:  

8:00: Wake up (late already)

8:10: Tell kids to get out of bed.

8:22: Go downstairs to make breakfast.. kids are still in bed.

8:35 Kids are upstairs, fighting about clothes. I’m trying to mediate their argument from downstairs.

8:50: The bell just rang at school– too bad we’re still at home.

8:58: I essentially slow the car to a roll and push my kids out at school, two minutes before they’re officially late. Aaaand, I’m done.

As you can see, I totally hear you when you say that your mornings are hectic, because clearly mine are too. But even though I’m rushing, there are some decisions I make every morning to keep my afternoons low stress and running smoothly. They’re not huge, and sometimes they don’t all happen, but this is what I aim for at the beginning of every day:

Get my workout done.At the beginning of the week (usually on the Sunday evening), I schedule out my spinning classes and runs. That way, I know I’m committed and my four-times-a-week workouts are going to happen. My workouts are all in the morning, so I get them done and out of the way. They set the tone for feeling productive all day long.

Pack my snacks.Too many of my clients don’t take into account the length of time they go without food during the day. Many of them will go up to eight hours without food, and end up starving (and overeating) at their next meal. I always have a few ounces of whole roasted almonds, an apple, and some cut up vegetables on me so I always have a snack on hand. Grab-and-go snacks like almonds take no time at all in the morning and will save you from feeling hangry and miserable in the afternoon.

Eat breakfast. I still can’t believe the number of people I see who skip breakfast, then come to me complaining that they’re starving later on in the day. I can’t function without breakfast, so I make sure to grab something like one of my chocolate almond protein muffins or even a quick sandwich. If I’m spinning first, I make sure my breakfast is ready for when I get back home. Even grabbing something small like a handful of almonds can save you from feeling ravenous in the middle of the morning.

Do a 5-minute meditation.Starting your day with relaxed breathing and a clear mind can help get you going in the right state of mind. Once my kids are at school, the house is quiet and I can sit for a few minutes to organize my thoughts and take a moment for myself.

Make sure your dinner is set. Planning what your meal is going to be ahead of time puts you a step ahead when you return home from your busy day. It also makes you much less likely to resort to fast food or takeout! I always start planning my evening meal in the morning. That way, there’s none of that ‘what are we having for dinner! It’s 5pm already!’ scrambling later on, and if I need something, I can go get it during the day.