My Transformative Morning Routine - URBANETTE: Lifestyle Magazine & Blog


My Transformative Morning Routine

This morning routine changed my life for the better.


Before I met my husband, I used to wake up in the morning and immediately check my email. Then I’d probably skip breakfast and be glued to my computer all day, eating lunch at my desk most of the time. In the evenings I’d either run out to dinner or an event (or two!), or work all night. My stress levels were high, but I was too busy to really notice.

My Transformative Morning Routine

My husband had several well-thought-out routines that helped keep him healthy, and made it easy for him to deal with the stress of daily life. So, with his help, I started on a path to find inner serenity (which, incidentally, is also a great way to find your soulmate, happiness, and career success.) It turned out to be much easier than I’d anticipated. All I had to do was make a few new actions habit. Here are the five things I now do every morning that have transformed my life, and can transform yours too:


Bathroom Sanctuary

Each morning, the very first thing I do when I wake up is head to the bathroom to brush my teeth. That’s when spa time starts.

I leave my Origins products out next to the sink so they’re easily accessible in case I’m really tired (and also because I love the look of the bottles on my counter). I love the line because it’s so natural, the products feel and smell great, and I respect that they leave out all the chemicals known to be toxic, plus they list all their ingredients on their website.

My Transformative Morning Routine

If my hair is feeling dry, I’ll put some Ojon Rare Blend Oil Rejuvenating Therapy on it and throw it up in a ponytail. I start with Origins Plantscription Anti-Aging Power Serum and apply it all over my face. Then, to instantly make myself look more awake, I slather on Origins GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream to Brighten and Depuff under my eyes.

My Transformative Morning Routine

Then I quickly dry brush my skin, which takes about a minute and helps to exfoliate and get my circulation going. After that, I apply Origins Comfort Mood Whipped Vanilla Body Soufflé (in the summer I use their whipped vanilla body soufflé, and in the winter I use their ultra-rich vanilla body butter) to my whole body, to keep my skin looking young and healthy. The smell helps me to wake up, and relaxes me at the same time, keeping my mind off of all the tasks I have to do that day.

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A writer, artist and designer since she was young enough to put pencil to paper, Hilary spends most of her time in France, but still considers herself a New Yorker, and visits regularly. Hilary spent the past decade living in NYC and has traveled extensively around the world, looking for hot new topics, destinations, and brands to bring to Urbanette readers.


  1. Helen Dark

    Very useful tips. I really need these!
    I have my own to add, staying out of the sun is better for our skin.
    Thanks for sharing.


  2. Heather Strobel

    I needed some great tips. Yours are helpful 🙂

  3. Louise Stone

    Great list, some I would not have thought of. I’ve found inspiration from a lot of the things you post here. I am removing make-up at night, cleansing, exfoliating, moisturizing with an spf product. These are the things that i think will keep me looking younger.
    Thanks for the additional ideas! I’m going to try them out this week 🙂

  4. Cornelia Green

    I liked reading all of them. Meditating, applying creams, eating healthy breakfast- all sound good to me. I think exfoliating is a good idea. Exercising is also the way to stay youthful I think.. Exercising is the answer to a lot of things. Thank you for posting these.

  5. Lela House

    You followed your own tips. Thanks for this handy post; so many useful gems!

  6. Elsie Spurlock

    Great article. I’m certainly going to try a few of your suggestions. Some I knew about-and have used, but others were not. These really are great tips, I pretty much drink only water, stay out of the sun, wear sunscreen and I eat well and exercise. Protection from the sun and moisturizing are super important for me. 🙂

  7. Always an inspiration, Hilary! But (next time) I think this would look super glam in your apartment: 😉 xo

  8. Thanks for sharing from a hard place in your life. Living hectically and speedily can be mindless, you really need to wake up and smell the roses. Living with purpose, in a strategic way is key and you seem to have found such a great example of that.

    I love the list in the morning (I love post’it notes for this)… I just need to make my list more reasonable at times~

  9. Cassi Braun

    Life changing tips! Thank you.

  10. Felicia Stewart

    I just created a complete personal routine and I’m daily working at trying it out, confirming I can make it and putting in there items that relate to others around me, who may affect my routine. Now I know routine is way to go.

  11. Matilda PARKER

    This is awesome!
    I’m a huge fan for morning routines.
    Some people think my routine is way too regimented.
    But for me it’s all about productivity and keeping promises.
    More promises = more willpower = more success

  12. Susanna Milton

    I am trying to create a more productive morning routine. Usually I just get up, make a really quick breakfast, and then go on the computer until I need to go get dressed, brush my teeth, etc. This week I set my alarm 5 minutes earlier and actually got up when it went off instead of snoozing it once (so I was up a total of 10 mins. earlier than usual) and did things such as unloading and re-loading the dishwasher and putting away the laundry etc. I actually felt better than I usually do in the morning.

    There are some good ideas in your list, I will have to try some of them.

  13. Sabrina Wellington

    Great list. 🙂 I am a routine person, so I really like this. But I lack in the morning meditation part. I need to start doing this.

  14. Ayla Pennington

    Great tips, thanks! What I always do is walk outside in the park and get some fresh air first. Walking in the parks is for me like meditation, connecting myself with the “source” and “downloading” my inspiration for the day. 🙂

  15. Amelia Beckons

    I’m thinking of starting my morning routine and filling it with inspirational stuff. When I’m not inspired and not primed to be optimistic and fired up, I’ll go through the day feeling ultra-bad. I heard that one particular morning routine that’s good is taking cold shower in the morning, but I’m not going to try that!

  16. Sasha Rosswell

    Great article, Hilary! 🙂

    I just got back to college, so I am still playing around with my routine. I wanted to keep my routine from last year, but that has proven difficult, unless I wake up earlier and make more time.

    As off now, I have a few of these things on my list, like meditation along with checking my favorite Facebook pages, checking my email, etc.

    Anyways, thank you for the awesome ideas, Hilary. 🙂 Appreciate it!

  17. Sabrina Grattidge

    My problem is I only sleep 4-5 hours and I’m wake by 2 am when I should be getting moving at 5 am, I’m drained. My morning routine is great when I can get my body to rest and stick to it. Any suggestions for this?

  18. Lynn Hayes

    Great article Hilary! I really like how you balance the meditative stuff with productivity and becoming a better person. Sounds like a solid morning routine. 🙂

  19. Frances Seifert

    I include in my morning routine a short workout. I listen to podcasts while doing it. I review my vision board and repeat my personal mission statement every morning. I post on my blog. All in all my morning ritual has 9 iron habits included. It takes me about 40 minutes. If I have more time I add some more; if not – I do them during the day. 🙂

  20. Kimberly Thompson

    I love this thanks for sharing! I’m not a morning person and at all my jobs my biggest and most consistent sin is being late to work!! shame!! I want to change that.

  21. Catherine White

    Would totally love to implement some of these into my morning routine. I always find I don’t go to bed early enough, which in turn, makes me not wake up early enough.

  22. Pearl Nguyen

    Healthy morning routines make the start of your day awesome! And if the start of the day is good, then the rest of the day is bound to be good as well. 🙂

  23. Emily Wentz

    Sounds difficult to make it all a daily habit, but once it’s a habit, you notice the difference!

  24. Pamela Sanabria

    This is by far the best DIY post ever. Thanks so much.

  25. Kaitlyn Barrett

    After reading this, I feel very motivated to pick up a healthier lifestyle. 🙂

  26. Helena Stevens

    OMG! I meditate while I wait for my mask to dry, too! 😀

  27. Andrea Mitchell

    Thank you for sharing your morning routine! I’ll be sure to change my (very) unhealthy morning routine. #ThankYouHilaryRowland

  28. Shannon Bradley

    Oooops guilty as charged… My life needs a total transformation too!

  29. Betty O'Leary

    I had no idea you had cancer! You’re a very strong and inspirational person. I admire your strength.

  30. Celine Carter

    You and your husband are so made for each other! Love that pic! <3

  31. Lana

    Embarrassed to admit but I always skip breakfast, I workout often but never meditate. I think I better start following your steps. 🙂

  32. Marina Henderson

    Your “before I met my husband” era is totally how I’m living right now. Maybe it’s time to follow your lead!!

  33. Danielle Wilson

    Amazing article! Thanks for sharing these tips with us! 🙂

  34. Hazel Collins

    It is indeed true that stress can really make an impact and take a toll in our bodies. When we are stressed out our brain pumps hormones(stress hormones) and these hormones can ruin our health. Helpful tips like this is really essential to help us to be able to manage stress. Be happy and grin a lot! it will make us feel better and make us feel relaxed. Being in constant stress can give us illnesses that’s why we need to be proactive and shake it off of our system.

  35. Sarah Uibel

    I totally agree! Whenever I stick to my routine (scarily familiar to yours), I feel great and can take life head on. When I don’t, it’s the opposite. Amazing how taking time to do these things daily actually saves time/stress. SO counter intuitive.

  36. Esther Earl Harris

    Same here, i love the smell and the scent of vanilla and cocoa butter. Doing something productive is also a great way to alleviate stress. Also, keeping a positive attitude can convert your negative stress into a positive one. It is essential to find a way to handle it and keep moving forward. Take action and stop doing what causes you stress.

  37. Ashley Moore

    Love this! i’m really guilty with checking of emails and mobile phone right after waking up in the morning. I can’t stop doing it , like my alter ego always wants to check if i have new messages. Great timing! because this holiday it will surely stress us out so much. I think watching funny videos will help us cheer up and it will free us from stress. I’m interested in trying the lemon detox as well. My mom has a high blood pressure and she has her maintenance but right after trying the lemon detox she said that she can start the day even without taking her medicine and she also feel great.

  38. Kimberly Vigil

    Thank you for sharing this with us! very informative and helpful tips. There’s always going to be stress in life, but it is up to you if you will let it affect you and your life. Following this tips every morning is very important and these will really help you, us. Pray after waking up and be thankful, it will not only make you calmer but healthier too. I’m always doing a breathing exercise when i wake up in the morning, before falling asleep and whenever i’m stressed to calm and relax me.

  39. Jenny Garett

    stress is really inevitable. we don’t have control over what will happen and what’s ahead of us. We are the more vulnerable we are to life-threatening illnesses, flu and colds when we are stressed out. It is right to consult experts and professionals to help you in giving stress management tips and reduce your stress. by the way,i’m also doing the fresh lemon and warm water detox right before having my breakfast.

    • Jenny Garett

      *we are more vulnerable to life-threatening illnesses, flu and colds when we are stressed out.

  40. Very inspiring! Most of the time we are too busy that we miss doing the “more” important things. I would have to agree with you — no matter how busy we are, we SHOULD NEVER skip breakfast! We really need to breath in, breath out, relax and meditate once in a while 🙂

  41. WOW! Thanks for sharing your experience with Origins products! You got me there, I’m trying Body Soufflé. 🙂 Great article by the way!

    • Agree! Hilary also got me! I’m eager to experience Origins products because of her! I’m trying Body Wrap. I really need to calm my mind!

  42. Christine Muchoe

    This article is so important! I never used to skip breakfast until I got to college and just didn’t have the time but around junior year I started cooking eggs in the morning and it changed my life. Seriously can not overstate the importance. I was focusing more in class, I was in a better mood, and I ate less later on in the day.

    Also, similar to making a list of things you’re grateful for- my roommate and I used to at the end of each day say 3 things each that made us smile that day. Sometimes it’d be stupid like “my econ professor high fived me in the hall” but it still made an amazing difference in improving our outlook and made the bad things seem less important.

  43. Gabrielle Williams

    Really wonderful and useful tips! I must admit that checking my email or my phone is my “morning priority.” And in an instant, I’ll feel the need to hurry up or get busy… I’ll suddenly feel restless.

    But, Hilary is such an inspiration! And I must agree that I must take a break, breath and relax. After all, I’m just starting my day. I personally tried advice #1 (and have been doing this for 2 weeks now)— drinking water with lemon. It’s really refreshing (and gives me fresh breath) to start my day right and really productive 🙂

  44. Having a relaxing morning definitely starts the day right. Thanks for the tips about eating a healthy breakfast and drinking lemon water…I need to definitely try that before going to work tomorrow 🙂

  45. I am exactly like you Hilary. I wake up, check e-mails and get coffee and prepare for work. I think after having read this, I’m going to slow down and relax more. Thanks for always sharing inspirational stories. 😀

  46. I’ve been wanting to start getting more healthy and productive – I just didn’t know how to do it. Thanks for the guide.

  47. I’m totally going to adopt these rituals. So important to start the day right. Whenever I do, I always feel better and have more energy. End up being a lot more productive too. Don’t know why I think I can skip it and be as effective. Just need to be more diligent about it. Thanks for the motivation!!

  48. Francis Woods

    Hilary, you’re such an inspiration! Thanks for putting it all out there and speaking from the heart 🙂
    You should start doing videos, too!!

  49. As a health coach, I can say that all these ideas are really, really good. If you follow Hilary’s advice here, you’ll feel like a new person in about a month. Cut out gluten/breads, sugar, dairy and red meat, and you’ll lose weight and feel great (hey, that rhymed!)

  50. Sarah Evanston

    LOVE this article! So genuine. Thanks for sharing and not being afraid to admit that you had a hard time adopting these habits.

  51. I’ve been meaning to start meditating. The water with lemon trick I’ve known for a while and I can attest that it really helps give my skin a glow.

  52. Courtney Watson

    I really need to follow your lead and start doing these things every morning too. I know it would make a big difference in my life. I’ll use this as a daily guide/reminder of what I should be doing – thanks!

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