The Best Way to Start Your Day

So your alarm didn’t go off, you have a busy day planned, you had a late night last night, you want to create healthier habits, whatever the reason, you’re a little short on time and you still want to start the day off right. You can wake up 1 hour before needing to eave the house and still start your day looking and feeling great! Here is my 1 hour plan, broken down 15 minutes at a time:

15 minute workout:

This is an overview. For a more detailed description and examples of how to properly complete the movements click HERE.

4 minutes of burpees – track how many you can do in 4 minutes. Watching your number go up is a good way to keep track of your progress

1 min of jumping squats – touch the floor then jump and try to touch the ceiling.

1 min of pushups with arm raise – make it easier by doing them on your knees, make it more challenging by elevating your feet. First do a push up, then raise your arm in front of you so its in line with your body. Place hand back on the floor and start over with the other arm.

1 min of bicycle crunches – lift both feet off the floor then alternate touching opposite elbows and knees. If its too easy, pick up the pace! You can also sit up so you are balancing on your butt instead of lying on your back.

1 min of band or dumbbell rows – this one you’ll need either an exercise band, dumbbells, or something heavy you can use as weights. Keeping your back straight pull your band toward your belly keeping your elbows close to your side. If you’re using weights bend over at the hip, keeping your back straight, and your knees slightly bent, pull the weights off the floor keeping your elbows close to your body. Lift the weights until your wrists are beside your waist, then lower and start again.

Rest, beginners rest 1 min, advanced rest 30 seconds.


For the last minute instead of rest you’ll do a cool down, 1 min of gently jogging in place.

You should have worked up a sweat, and got your heart pumping. Maybe not the worlds best workout, but definitely better than nothing to start the day!

15 Minute shower and get dressed:

©stefano pepucci
©stefano pepucci


If you’ve got difficult hair, or hair that’s a little too dirty for dry shampoo, you can still skip the wash till you have more time. Braids and twists work wonders for unwashed hair. For more ideas check out this article in Women’s Health Magazine

How I take speedy showers:

  1. I get in and get wet. If you can stand cold water do it cold, it will keep you from standing around and dilly-dallying.
  2. Once I’m wet, I turn off the water. I lather up everywhere, including my face (avoiding eyes so I can still see).
  3. After I’m soapy everywhere, if I need to shave, I do so while still soapy (soap is slippery so no need to rinse it off before applying shaving cream).
  4. I turn the water back on, wash around my eyes real quick while my back is rinsing off, then spin around and rinse the front.

Its super fast and you get clean everywhere. That usually takes 5 minutes or less leaving me 10 more minutes to put on lotion and deodorant, and get dressed. You can use this technique, or find your own.

15 min makeup:

You can make a beautifully put together look in less than 15 minutes.

Here I’ll outline how you can create a simple but polished look.

  • First, conceal under you eyes and cover any blemishes.
  • Next, use a tinted SPF or BB cream to provide protection and even out your skin tone. For a list of the best tinted moisturizers with SPF click here.
  • Then, set it with some foundation powder like MUFE pro finish or Kat Von D powder foundation. For more recommendations check here. Between the tinted SPF and the powder, you’ll get medium coverage in a flash while still looking natural.
  • Sweep a neutral shadow such as a light or medium color from the e.l.f. Studio Need It Nude Eyeshadow Palette over your lid.
  • Pop on your Mascara making sure to get good coverage at the base of your lashes. This makes your lashes look fuller while reducing the need for eyeliner.
  • Hit cheeks with a little peach colored blush to give you a summery glow.

Grab a sheer lip color, balm or gloss (which you’ll apply after breakfast and teeth brushing) and head to the kitchen.

15 minute breakfast:

There 100 million ways to prep your breakfast the night before in order to save you time in the morning. Some of my favorites are overnight oats, pre-measured smoothies, and mini fritatas made in muffin

©vanessa lollipop
©vanessa lollipop

pans, not to mention the convenience of hard boiled eggs, almonds, fruit, and a plethora of other things you can munch on your way to work. But lets assume you didn’t do any of that. You can still make a delicious, nutritious breakfast on the fly.

Try this: Dump last night’s chicken leftovers in a pan with a handful of spinach, scramble in a few eggs (or just use the whites) and you’ll be nom-ing a unique, protein packed breakfast in about 5 minutes that will keep you full for hours. Need more ideas? Here is a great cookbook!

Now all that’s left to do is brush your teeth and be on your way. Apply that lip color right before going into the office so it’s fresh, and there you go. You’ve accomplished a healthier start to the day in the same amount of time you used to spend just doing your hair.






photo by Brian Donovan

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Mariah Aurora is an lifestyle and fitness coach and professional Makeup Artist. Her goal is to help as many people as possible overcome personal setbacks so they can achieve the body and life they deserve.

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