Three P’s To A Badass Morning Routine With Jenn Cassetta

The Art of Badassery with Jenn Cassetta | Morning Routine


Having a responsible morning routine can give you a little peace and focus each day. If you find starting such a daily exercise a bit overwhelming, Jenn Cassetta is here to simplify the process. Tune in as she explores the three P’s to create a badass morning routine that will make you feel energized and begin your day with intentionality. Jenn also shares a bit about her own routine to jump-start her day, detailing simple breathwork exercises, the importance of journaling, the power of meditation, and more.

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Three P’s To A Badass Morning Routine With Jenn Cassetta

It’s another solo episode with just me. We want to talk about morning routines, specifically a short little framework that I have for you to either uplevel your current routine or create one. Before you cringe when I talk about morning routines, know that this is not the Huberman Lab, this is Jenn Cassetta. I’ve worked with people for decades, and I know what works. What works is starting off slow and steady. Slow and steady wins the race. A tortoise taught us all that when we were five years old, but for some reason, with a lot of these experts out there, they want you to feel like if you are not doing something at a level ten, higher or something extreme, you’re not doing enough.

Guess what? After coaching people for decades, I know that that’s not true. I know that steadily building habits over years and years, baby steps at a time, last and become so much part of your lifestyle that you never feel like you are working at it anymore. You feel like you’re in the flow. As I start sharing this framework with you, which is the Three Ps of a badass morning routine, I invite you and encourage you to read and see how this framework can help you with your lifestyle parameters. This morning routine can take up as little or as much time as you allow for it. There’ll be ways to adjust it to your lifestyle and fit it into your life so you don’t have to feel like you mess up. There’s no way to mess it up.

If you don’t do it one day, that’s okay. It’s right back onto the next. I’m going to give you these Three Ps as a framework. Within each P, I’m going to give you different options. Think of it like a menu where you can choose, try things on, experiment with, and over time, build this out into your lifestyle. Morning routines are important. I know that we hear about them with the top CEOs and what their morning routines are, you have to get up at 4:00 AM and do all these crazy things. No. The importance is starting your day intentionally, rusing discernment, and filling your cup up first before you fill anyone else’s. Putting your needs, wants and desires first, making your health and wellbeing mentally, physically, and spiritually a priority before everyone else’s.

I know a lot of you out there reading are already fighting back, going, “No. I have kids. I have this. I have that. I’m caretaking. I have work and emails. All these things happen as soon as I get up.” I’m going to  invite you to take a look at how having a morning routine of prioritizing your self-care might give you a little more peace, a little more focus, and positivity each day. Without a consistent morning routine, everything’s going to be screaming for your attention, and whatever’s screaming the loudest, we’ll probably get it, or you’re one of those people guilty as charged who picks up the phone right away. I still do that sometimes, but I won’t respond to anything before I start my morning routine.

I’ll be sharing what my current routine is as well that has developed over years and years. I didn’t start out this way. Give yourself grace if you’re starting from zero and think how you can start with baby steps. I love this quote, which sums up the need for a morning routine in my eyes. It’s by someone named Ian Thomas. It says, “Every day the world will drag you by the hand yelling, ‘This is important.’ You need to worry about this and this. Each day it’s up to you to yank your hand back, put it on your heart and say, ‘No. This is what’s important.’” Everyone, try that right now. Put your hand on your heart unless you’re driving with two hands on the wheel.

Remember that this is important first and foremost because when you fill your cup up first, you can show up for your family, friends, work, and everyone else as your best self. Not the burned-out, cranky, agitated person because you’re giving. The filled-up, confident,energized, and the most badass version of yourself. Are you ready for the Three Ps? I’m going to tell you what they are just so you know what you’re getting into and that this is worth the investment of time to read this whole episode.


The first P stands for presence, 2) positivity, and 3) protein. I fooled you there for a second, but let’s start with that first P, Presence. To be fully present in the here and now is first thing I do during my morning routine. What does that mean? What does that look like? It means not worrying about the future, the future being even that day. What needs to get done, what’s going to happen, what can go wrong? What needs to happen that day, that week, that year? What might happen if things go wrong, etc., and not living in the past, not lamenting about the past, what went wrong yesterday, last week, or when you were wronged, when you were ten years old. Presence is simply being in the here and now. Each moment is its own present moment, but how do we cultivate a practice of presence?


Presence is simply being in the here and now. Each moment is its own present moment.


There are lots of ways. I’m going to give you a menu: three things for each P, three ways to cultivate presence each morning. 1) Breathwork, 2) meditation of some sort, and 3) a gratitude practice. Let’s break down each one. Breathwork. You can do this first P while you’re still in bed. You can cultivate presence while still being in bed, not on your phone and not thinking about the future of the past, but doing some breathwork in bed. What does that look like? There are lots of different styles of breathwork. You can use an app or simply focus on your inhale and exhale. If you want to amp that up a little bit, count it out. Now, there are different options.

There’s something called box breathing where you inhale for a count of four, hold for a count of four, exhale for a count of four, and hold for a count of four. It looks like a box if you were to draw that out with your hand. I practice 4 by 7 by 8. Inhale for a count of four, hold for a count of seven, exhale for a count of eight, because most people have heard of box breathing, but not the other. Let’s try the 4 by 7 by 8. Test it out. You can do this while you’re driving. In fact, I recommend you do it while you’re driving, walking, or doing the dishes, anytime of the day.

Remember, you can inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth, or you can inhale and exhale through the nose. It doesn’t matter. As you inhale, make sure you fill up and expand the belly. As you exhale, let it go. Ready? Let’s do one cycle. Inhale in 2, 3, 4. Hold it in 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. Exhale in 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. Very good. How did that feel? I recommend starting out slow. Start with three cycles of whichever count that you choose, especially if you felt dizzy that time. Some people feel dizzy right away because they’re not used to holding their breath that long. Start out even slower. One cycle. Next week do three cycles. The next week, do five cycles. Maybe get to ten cycles of breath work.

What you’re doing is downregulating the nervous system. You are helping your brain and body relax so you can tap into your prefrontal cortex, which is in control of logical thinking and creative thinking. This is where you start to relax and get maybe intuitive thoughts or creative thoughts. They usually pop up when you’re most relaxed, in the shower, out for walks, etc. This can initiate that relaxation response in your body first thing in the morning. Second practice can be meditation. Sidebar, how I start my morning? I have a meditation routine that habit stacks.

If you are reader of this show, you’ve probably heard me talk about habits stacking before. I love to combine habits, stack them on top of each other. I got that from Atomic Habits by James Clear. I was doing it, I didn’t know the name for it, but essentially I’ll start out with those cycles of breath. I do about ten cycles of breath, then I go right into my meditation. I call it all the whole meditation, but it starts with the breathwork then meditation. What type of meditation is going to work for you? It depends. There are so many to try. Some people like to sit and be aware of their thoughts or their breath. I find that difficult to do. I find it difficult to think that, “I’m supposed to not have any thoughts right now. There’s a thought. Let it go.”

Instead, I focus on something. I start with a little gratitude. That’s the third menu item. It’s gratitude. I start to think of things that I’m grateful for because I’m already relaxed. Now the gratitude starts to bring up great feelings in my body. When you’re thinking of people you’re greatful for, pets or anything like that, all of a sudden different hormones are going to be released like oxytocin.

Start to feel these feelings of love and connectivity. It’s amazing. In my particular meditation, I go into visualization after that. I started to visualize things that I would like to happen in the future. That can be the future day, 1 or 5 years from now or whatever it is. I try not to put timelines on and date stamps on my visualizations. This is what I’m working towards. That’s my meditation practice. If you’re still in bed, you could throw on a guided meditation if that’s what you want to do. I don’t recommend doing this from bed. I think it can be best if you’re awake, present, and upright.

However, if you’re like, “This is the only way I’m going to make it work because the minute I get out of bed, my dogs start barking. The minute I get out of bed, the kids know that I’m accessible to them,” or whatever that is, if you need to do it in bed, make it work. Throw on a guided meditation. I use Insight Timer. I’ve talked about that before. There are meditations on an app called Mindvalley. I’ve had the CoFounder on this show, Kristina Mänd-Lakhian.

Go on YouTube. Simply put in whatever you want to feel that day. Do you want to feel an abundance meditations? Do you want to feel grateful or gratitude meditations? There are many free things to choose from, but to cultivate some type of presence in the morning. How long did that first P take? As little or as long as you’d like. Breathwork, 1 or 10 cycles. It could take less than 30 seconds, up to five minutes or longer. For the whole meditation, how long do you want to sit there and meditate? In my Burnout to Badass 8-week group coaching course that I run about three times a year, we start out with one-minute meditations. Two weeks later, we changed it to 3, 5, 7 to 10 in over eight weeks’ time. Even that could be quick for some people.

Start slow. Start baby steps. The magic is in the consistency. Doing something every single day is going to work for you so much more over time than doing twenty-minute meditation on Sundays and forgetting it for the rest of the week because you don’t have time. Fit in those baby steps. That’s my morning routine. I get out of bed, sit and start my meditation which consists of these three parts. Breathing, gratitude, then visualization. This is before my coffee. The coffee is almost like the reward. That’s another part of Atomic Habits in James Clear’s book. Having that reward after you do something like that. I even had a client that I coached. She wanted to get her movement in the morning. She wanted to go for a walk. She wanted to do something with her body.


Start slow in creating habits. The magic is in the consistency.


I said, “What do you love so much in the morning?” “Coffee.” “Great. Before you have your coffee, go for your walk. That way you are encouraging yourself. You’re giving yourself that reward afterwards.” I’ve heard about that from, I can’t remember who it was, but someone who was writing a book. Before he was able to eat his breakfast, he had to write a certain number of pages because then the breakfast was like the reward. I love it. If that helps you do your presence, try it on.


The second piece stands for positivity. Cultivating a positive mindset first thing in the morning. It not only helps you set your state for the day, but it’s also good for your health. You can train your brain to look for the positive and to focus on the positive. That will help you in many ways. You know this. You know that nobody likes to be around negative person or people that are always looking for what’s wrong, etc. Nobody likes that. I don’t even like to be around myself when I’m in a negative mindset, but I have to cultivate this positive mindset. It doesn’t necessarily come naturally to people. It can, depending on how you grew up. For most people, it doesn’t. We work on this.

All of a sudden, when you have that positive mindset, most of the time, I don’t think anyone has it all of the time, when you start having it more and more, you start attracting people in your life, good people, people that want to be around that energy, like-minded people, more positive people, because you’re radiating this positive energy. You’ll probably start to repel negative ones too, which is also an added bonus, but those health benefits.

Back to the health benefits. Studies show that positivity and a positive mindset can increase your lifespan. You can live longer. You will have lower rates of depression. That’s pretty obvious. Lower levels of distress and pain, actual pain in your body will go down. Greater resistance to illnesses because your immune system is boosted, is able to fight off bugs and illness better psychological, physical well-being, and better coping skills during hardships in times of stress AKA resilience. Building resilience is probably one of the most important things I would think as we get older in life. Life keeps coming at us with all these things. The more resilient you can be, the more you can go with the flow or get back up after being knocked down. There’s a lot to say about that and a resilient person. That’s a priceless skill to have.

Need I say more? How do we do it? What are some menu options on how to cultivate positivity first thing in the morning? Lots of ways. First and foremost, affirmations, speaking to yourself in a very positive and affirming way. The second one is a battle cry. For me, that means having affirmations on steroids. Not just 1, 2, or 3 sentences, but I’m talking a whole list, paragraphs of affirmations. If you’ve heard my keynote or read the book, you know where I get battle cry from, where I get that term out or where I borrowed that term from. Kelly Herron Lieberman. Her episode is number five where we talk about her affirmation and battle cry of, “Not today.” She used this battle cry when she was in a physical altercation, when she was being abused by someone.

When I heard her story, I thought it was powerful, like, “What if we all had a battle cry? What if we went through life having a battle cry? Not for creepy guys and predators, but for the predator in our head, the creepy voice, the negative voice, the one that’s telling us we’re not good enough, we’re not smart enough. We’ll never get that done. We’re not good enough for the promotion so why bother anyway? No one’s going to read this show so why am I bothering? Nobody cares.” That voice. We need a battle cry for that. We need someone to cheer us on.  That someone needs to be ourselves first and foremost because looking for constant affirmation from others is probably the most exhausting and pointless thing that we can waste our time on.

Affirming ourselves is going to be the best investment of our time. I will put in the show notes a very powerful battle cry that I created, that I have in the book, that I have people stand up and say in all of my keynotes and programming because it’s super fun. I’ll do it right now for you, “I am strong. I am safe. I am sexy. I am bold. I am brave. I’m a badass and I know it. I am healthy. I am wealthy. I am powerful beyond measure world. You better move out of my way because I am on a mission. A mission to serve, to heal, and to lead.” That’s right. Enjoy it. That’s the battle cry. Have everyone stand up and say, it’s something I say to myself. I also have tons of other battle cries every single day.

Download a copy of the Badass Battlecry here. Print it out and hang it in places that you will be reminded to use it daily (bathroom mirror, refrigerator, etc.).

I do it in a journaling practice. That’s your third menu item. Nations, battle cries, journaling to create positivity. I’m going to add a quick forth, and none of those sound good to you. Too corny and too woo-woo, whatever. I don’t care. Listen to a positive podcast, read a book, get on Audible. Get yourself listening and filling up your ears and your mind with other people’s positivity, right? That’s good too. Back to journaling. You can use The Art Of Badassery book as journal prompts. There are journal prompts and exercises to do at the end of each chapter, and you can start with those if you don’t know what to write. Essentially in journaling, there are tons of different ways to do it and different practices. You can dump all your thoughts out onto the page.

You can write about what you want to happen, like a visualization exercise for the future. That’s what I do. I start with a thought, whatever’s on my mind, and then I start affirming myself. I start writing affirmations. I start writing out what I’m going to accomplish, what are the things that are going to happen, what’s great about my life and what is great about this world. Anything positive that I can glom onto and start going and going. It’s like one thought feeds another. Before you know it, I have an entire page filled with life-affirming thoughts, and it’s powerful first thing in the morning. I commit to writing one full page in my journal. My journals are 8.5 by 11 notebooks. I don’t like those little tiny ones.


That is that. Let’s move on to P number three. What do you think it is? It’s protein. Why is it important? Having a high-protein breakfast is going to help you in many different ways. Mostly for focus, for regulating your blood sugar, and feeling satiated. I’ll break that down a little bit, but quick sidebar, if you’re out there going, “I don’t eat breakfast. I skip breakfast.” No problem. This is not to say that you must eat breakfast first thing in the morning. Remember, this morning routine can be spread out. It doesn’t have to be the first thing you do when you wake up. It’s part of your morning routine. Some people want to work out. Great. I highly encourage doing movement as part of your morning too.

I do, and then I have my protein after that. Whatever time you break your fast, whatever meal you have first is your breaking the fast, is your breakfast? That meal should be high in protein. What is high protein? 20 to 25 grams at a minimum. I’ll get into that in a minute too. Why should your first meal of the day be packed with protein? It’s going to increase satiety and make you feel satiated. Studies show when people have high protein breakfast, they make better decisions throughout the day with their food. They’re not looking for constant snacking. They’re not searching for reward foods, or reward-driven behavior. In fact, MRI scans have shown that eating a protein-rich breakfast reduces the signals in the brain that control food motivation, being motivated by food and reward-driven behavior.


Eating a protein-rich breakfast reduces the signal in the brain that controls being motivated by food and reward-driven behavior.


This reminds me of a little popular drug on the market called Ozempic and other things like that. That’s what they’re talking about. They’re talking about it numbing that part of the brain that is constantly motivated by food so people don’t want to eat as much. They’re not drinking as much. They’re not looking for these addictive behaviors, sugars, etc. That’s why, but here’s the deal. I’m not throwing shade in these drugs. I’m not even mentioning it other than to say that having a high-protein breakfast mimics what that drug is doing for folks in general. How does that work? There are two opposing hormones that you should know about: leptin and ghrelin. For every hormone in the body, there’s usually an opposing hormone. Leptin is that satiety hormone. It makes you feel satiated and ghrelin.

Think of it like a hungry ghrelin, very hungry all the time. That is your hunger hormone. When that’s high in the body, you want to eat more. You’re driven to eat. When leptin is high in the body and ghrelin is low, then you are feeling satiated and energized. You don’t need to constantly be looking for food. Studies show that a heavy protein breakfast will increase leptin levels throughout the morning. I know it myself. I remember experimenting back in the day with oatmeal. Oatmeal is such a good breakfast, we hear, but I always notice that two hours later, like 11:00, I would be hungry again. I was like, “Something’s going on here,” and then it wasn’t until I started my morning routine of having my protein-packed smoothie that I realized my body needs protein in the morning.

Studies show that most people will thrive on a protein-packed breakfast. How many grams? At least 20 or 25 where the studies showed starting the best effects, and also the amount of grams depending on your goals, weight, activity levels and all of that. My morning smoothie has anywhere from 20 to 22 or 23-ish grams of protein that I’ve designed specifically that way. I feel satiated for hours. I feel great. I feel energized. I’m not looking to snack. My next meal is lunch. What are other ways to get protein in your morning breakfast? What are other ways to get protein into your first meal? Think eggs, Greek yogurt, nuts, seed nut butter, and things like that. Chia seed and pudding. I love that. I have a handout for you.

It has my twelve food rules that I share with everyone because as a clinical nutritionist who no longer practices clinical nutrition or making meal plans for people or anything like that, I wanted everyone to have access to twelve simple food rules that if you followed this way of eating with these guidelines, you’ll never have to diet, you won’t have to worry so much. In that handout, there are breakfasts, protein-packed breakfast ideas, as well as healthy snack lists. Go ahead and grab that at

Episode Wrap-up

Real quick, recap the Three Ps of a badass morning routine: it starts with cultivating presence, then next positivity, and then protein. It doesn’t even have to be in that order either. I suggest that order because I find it’s the easiest and most logical. First thing in the morning, you want to be present. It takes a little more effort to be positive than it does present, but then you want to amp up, you want to get yourself ready. You want to motivate yourself with some positive affirmations, then there might be time between whatever you do next and you’re breaking the fast, but when you finally do, make sure there’s some protein in there and that will give you lasting energy, satiety, high levels of leptin, and feeling like an overall badass. That’s all I got for you in this episode. Thank you so much for reading. I want to hear from you. What do you like about this show? Leave a review. Make sure you subscribe so you don’t miss an episode. Thank you so much. That’s all for now.


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The Art of Badassery with Jenn Cassetta | Morning Routine