EP 15: Getting Personal: My Morning Routine

Happy Summer! Welcome to episode 15 of the Photo Biz Help Podcast, my name is Natalie Jennings. 

Today I’m writing to you from Austin, TX. It’s storming outside, which always makes me feel less guilty when I need to be in front of the screen all day. If it’s gorgeous, it’s hard for me to focus. 

I’m down here looking for a temporary sublet for the rest of the summer to see how I like it. My boyfriend and I wanted to try out a new city and this one kept popping up in conversations and we thought, why not? 

So far: it’s hot. But those of you that know me know that I loathe being cold and will take sweating over shivering any day. I moved to Hawaii at 18 for a reason. If you’ve spent a winter in Minnesota, my home state, you’ll understand.

Aside from the heat, Austin is a pretty hip city. There are a ton of cool restaurants and parks, and the Colorado River runs through just like the Mississippi back home. So, I’ll keep you posted, but for now, just exploring!

If you’re new to the show, thank you for tuning in! I hope you find this mix of photo & business help useful. Every other episode or so I like to take a minute to appreciate all of you lovely listeners by reading a review. Reviews are an amazing way to help a new podcast to grow, so a massive thank you to all of you who have taken a minute to submit a review. If you’d like to say a few words, just head to …easy peasy.

Today’s review is from phoenixFreemont

The Marie Kondo of Small business organization and mindset!

This podcast is an absolute gem, and something I’ve been searching for for a long time. I myself am also a photographer and small business owner, however these bite sized episodes can be valued by ANYONE who is seeking a little more structure to the chaos that is life (and the chaos that is business owning). Natalie not only has an incredibly talent as an artist, but her ability to organize, set goals and then implicate them is another art form she has mastered. She is like the Marie Kondo of organizing and running a small business, bringing a breath of fresh air to something that can potentially cause a lot of hair pulling and anxiety. So grateful to have this podcast as another resource for me to call on when I need some help regrounding and getting back on track! Can’t wait for more!

Damn. Thank you so much for this review. I’m humbled by all of these beautiful words and your positive energy. And since I’m such a huge fan or organization, I love hearing that you like the structure of this podcast, especially the bite sized shows. I appreciate you, and thank you.

episode fifteen of the Photo Business Help Podcast with Natalie Jennings
Getting Personal in My Morning Routine

If you’ve been listening a while and have found value in this show, I’d love to hear from you. Reviews help new podcasts grow by making them more searchable. If you’d like to lend a big hand in under a minute, head to and say a couple of words about the show.

If you tuned in last week to EP 14, I introduced morning routines. Maybe you already have one, or maybe you don’t know what I’m talking about. If you didn’t hear EP 14, I recommend backtracking and giving that one a listen first. 

If you already listened, great. Today I’m going to give you and overview of my own morning routine and what’s been the most helpful and what I sometimes struggle with. 

Y’all might think I’m bananas, but I typically spend 90-120 minutes on my routine. This is generally my Mon-Fri routine with weekends a little more lax. Before you decide that I’m crazy, I encourage you to try one out for yourself. Because I’m focusing on things that are top of the list important when it comes to my health and wellness, 90 minutes barely feels like enough sometimes. 

If feels so good to go through my day knowing I’ve started on such solid ground and made time for the things that are not only super important to me, but set the tone for my day.

And I just hit the key point: I MADE time. I know everyone wants to think there’s a magic way to get things with very little effort, and you CAN achieve everything you want with minimal effort if you’re in alignment and you’re enjoying yourself, your work, your routine—but you have to start somewhere.

And this is an amazing place to start.

In EP 14 I mentioned how I got on this literally life-changing path, and it’s all thanks to a book called The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod. I don’t have an affiliation with Hal, I just love the book and am grateful that someone passed in along to me the same way I’m doing here. 

Listen back to EP 14 if you haven’t yet. And if you’d like to get a copy of the book, head to I’ve set up an link, and as an amazon affiliate I get a small kickback when you use the link…but I see it as a win win, so thanks for supporting the show AND taking steps to be better in business and life. That’s to get your copy of this life-changing book.

So what does this bonkers routine of mine look like?

As of this writing, this is what I do each morning:

Meditation 15 mins

Intentions 15 mins

Exercise 25 mins

Spanish 15 

Reading 25 

Spiritual work 15 

Shower & shake for breakfast 15

And there you have it, a two hour morning.

You think I’m crazy? Try it. As I mentioned already, it’s the most amazing feeling to not only stay on top of the things that are important to me, but I actually look forward to this built-in ME time every day.

Natalie Jennings

So let me break these down a little bit more:

First of all, I keep a list of these things handy when I change them around so I can get used to things. It’s okay to mix it up, change it around, mess with the times, or what you’re doing. It’s your morning. The whole point is to look forward to this precious time for yourself, and begin to see the value in centering, grounding and focusing each day.

Meditation 15 mins

For meditation I usually use Insight Timer, which is a massive meditation resource for any level. I think 15 minutes is a great window, and again, these times are average I’ve gathered over a standard week. Don’t get crazy about times at first. Settle into things and go with what feels good to you. And if you said, “I suck at meditation.” Everyone says that, and feels that. Don’t let it keep you from trying a little more each day.

Intentions 15 min

This is the core of my morning. I have a working list I read from that includes affirmations and things I intend to do, whether that’s call my family, drink less, slow down, or my next big biz goal. As I mention in EP 14, revisiting is so vital to staying on track. It’s powerful stuff. And my vibe is always raised a bit higher when I finish. I adjust things as they feel good or stop resonating and make sure this is a positive, high vibe part of my day.

Exercise 25 mins

Ugh, this has always been a morning struggle for me. Some days it’s 15 minutes, some days 45. One thing about this morning routine is sticking to it, but being flexible. For example, I’m really exhausted a day or two before I get my period, so I go easy on myself. If you’re too rigid with anything, it feels poopy. And in all you do, striving to be in an easy flow makes life that much easier. That’s what alignment is all about. One thing I can say is that doing an at home workout fits in so nicely to this. I might go to a yoga class once a week, or run, but putting on my workout clothes before I start my morning is so helpful for me. I like to do tabata style workouts, and I often just use a timer and make them up from other workouts I love, like Shaun T. Oh, Shaun T, I love you and try not to fear those workouts. I’ve also started to focus on how it actually feels really good to move my body. Just that tiny shift in my attitude has made working out a lot more fun for me, and like anything, the more you do it, the more it becomes a part of your life, and much much easier.

Spanish 15 (this is an average I got from the week)

I use Duolingo mostly. I try to watch kids shows in Spanish, or films, too. My partner is fluent, so we practice a little, too. But the Duolingo app is easy and really good for learning in a fun way.

Reading 25 (this is often more than one source, for example, I’m into learning about birds and I’m reading a biz book by a new friend of mine, Tania Katan called Creative Trespassing)

Spiritual work 15 

This can be anything, from reading something new to listening to a favorite teacher like Ester Hicks or just sitting in nature and listening. 

Welp, that’s it people. A glimpse into my life and my morning. IF you end up reading the book (and I highly recommend it) Hal talks about ways to make your routine fit for you, even if it’s 10 minutes! 

To get a copy of his book, head to


Thank you for listening. I hope this is helpful and inspiring. 

Head to the show notes to get links to all of the things I mention in this episode.

As always, in all you do, consistency is key.


Help support the show! Leave a review (I'll read it live on an upcoming episode): HERE
The Miracle Morning Book: GET HERE

Hal Elrod: Website
Meditation app: Insight Timer
Note taking: Evernote
Spanish: Duolingo
Tania Katan: Creative Trespassing



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