How to Create A Morning Routine to Change Your Life8 min read
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It can be frustrating to go day after day feeling like nothing has been accomplished. I have recognized a common theme that when my mornings go well, generally, the rest of my day goes well. On the flip side… When I have a bad start to the morning, rarely am I able to turn that day around. To say that the first few hours of your morning determine the rest of your day sounds a bit far fetched, but I really do believe that a good morning routine can have one of the most positive impacts on your life.
Get the Ball Rolling
One of the most consistent habits of successful people is that they make their bed first thing in the morning. What on earth does making your bed have to do with being successful? Technically, nothing… but it is an action that gets the ball rolling – completing one thing off your list makes the next more likely to be accomplished.Going through your morning routine can give you just the momentum you need to give you the confidence to get through your day and be not only super productive but also super engaged in everything you do.
First Things First
A morning routine also allows you to make first things first. When you have a priority that you want to focus on, throwing it into your morning routine can ensure that it happens. It’s so easy to let the important, yet not urgent tasks of the day slip by when there are so many fires to put out through the day. Making sure they happen first is making sure they happen.
Prepare for Your Day in Peace
As an added bonus, your morning routine can give you a little extra time to yourself before the kids get up and all the day’s craziness begins. Peace and quiet for at least a few moments of the day are one of the keys to a busy mom’s sanity.
To create a morning routine that works the best for you:
Step 1 – Consider how much time you have available.
Do you need to re-work your day a little to make some time dedicated to yourself and your morning? This should not include getting up earlier than what you already are unless you also plan to go to bed earlier
Step 2 – Think of what you want to include in your morning routine…
Some things to consider include:
- Bible Reading
- Bible Study
- Review your goals
- Review your plan for the day (or make plan if not done night before)
- Connect with hubby
- Exercise (workout, running, walking, stretching, yoga, etc.)
- Make your bed
- Brush teeth, use bathroom, shower, etc.
- Hydrate (water, tea, etc.)
- Protein Smoothie
- Take vitamins or supplements
- Prep food for the day
- Working time block
- Study or learn something new
- Listen to a podcast or audiobook
- Read a book
- Prepare for your homeschool day
- Write a letter
- Spend a few minutes doing something you love
Step 3 – Prioritize.
Decide how long you want to spend on each activity and then decide which items are the most important. Add up the total time and figure out what time you would need to wake up (count backward from the time you will allow your kids to come out of their bedroom). How does this look compared to what you decided in step 1?
If this time is realistic, great – move onto the next step.
If not, consider if some of the items should be dropped from your routine all together, or if some should only be assigned to specific days. Play around with the schedule till you come up with something that is realistic and works well for you.
Step 4 – Child training.
If your kids are not yet in the good habit of respecting your time in the mornings, it is best to start with them first. It is also good to always take into account what stage of life your kids are in. My babies are always a top priority and I try to make sure that this is reflected throughout my day… mornings included. If you have babies or sick kids, give yourself and them a break when your routine doesn’t work out.
Dependent on ages, how you train your kids to stay in their bed or bedroom until a time you decide may differ. For younger kids that can’t read yet, there are clocks that show a green light when they are allowed to leave their bed/bedroom.
You may also want to plan for a week or two to dedicate to training them before you start working on yourself. I know how frustrating it can be to make an attempt to do something without interruption, only to be interrupted a dozen times (in the first five minutes). As everyone is working on figuring things out, plan on spending all your morning time training them.
Step 5 – Finalize your routine.
Now that you have your time carved out and protected, it’s time to finalize your routine. Write it down and keep it somewhere that you will see it. Tape it to your bathroom mirror or write out each item in your day planner the night before. You can also write out each item individually to your to-do list so that you can go through and check off each item daily.
Step 6 – Scale it back if necessary…
It’s a good idea to not try and do too much to start. Try starting with one to three items and don’t add anything else till you establish a good track record with those first.
Step 7 – Make it happen.
Pick a day to get started and tell your husband or a good friend. Ask them to hold you accountable (in a loving and encouraging manner, of course). Start by setting your alarm, but work towards waking up without it eventually.
Step 8 – You can do it!
Don’t get discouraged if you wake up late or are not able to finish everything. Work on your plan for a week or so and then re-assess if you need to change the number of things you are trying to accomplish and/or the time you are waking up. Do what works best for you and don’t try and kill yourself.
Step 9 – Set yourself up for success.
Be sure to get to bed early enough to get enough sleep and wake up by the time you have chosen. It’s a good idea to try and plan to get to bed somewhere between 7-9 hours prior to your wake up time… maybe even more if it takes you longer to fall asleep. Consider setting an evening routine in order to keep yourself and your family on track and make sure things go smoothly and that you actually do get into bed at a decent hour.
Step 10 – Stay on track.
Set boundaries for yourself and don’t get stuck completing yesterday’s unfinished to-do’s during this special time that you have established. Guard this time as you would a ticketed event on your calendar and don’t let something else take it’s place unless it is absolutely necessary.
Step 11 – Keep cool.
There will inevitably be mornings that something comes up and steals your time… maybe one of your kiddos wakes up sick, or your dog decides that he can’t wait to go outside to use the bathroom. Whatever it is, just be sure to remember that things like this happen and can not be avoided. Once you get into a good groove, you will have many more mornings that go well and as planned and these few occurrences will not seem like such a huge deal.
Step 12 – Assess and revise.
There is not a right or wrong time to get up in the morning or any specific activity that should be done. Your morning routine may also change drastically over time and through different seasons of your life. Regularly review your routine and look for ways to improve upon how you use this time.
Right now, as I am working at recovering from Adrenal Fatigue, my mornings look a little like this:
X:00am – wake up when I do and work through the following plan, doing what I am able to before the kids are up around 7:00am
A – read my bible
B – spend some time in prayer
C – journal if I have time, even just writing a few words if possible
D – 30 minute meeting with hubby to discuss whatever we would like to in peace
E – breakfast at 7:00am
My goal right now is to sleep as much as I am able to (supposed to be around 10 hours), but I often find myself waking up around 4am since it is what my body is used to. I have found that my best bet to get back to sleep is to read for a bit, but sometimes this still results in me being up for two hours and finally falling back to sleep around 6am. In efforts to get back to sleep, I won’t start my morning routine till at least 6am.
Back when we were farming full time and I was able to function a bit better, my mornings looked like this:
4:00am – bible reading & prayer
4:30am – journal and/or write
5:00am – milking
6:00am – email and/or work
7:00am – strain and bottle milk
7:30am – breakfast
Pre-farm, my mornings looked just a little different:
4:30am – bible reading & prayer
5:00am – journal and/or write
6:00am – work out
7:00am – email
7:30am – breakfast
Get Started Now
Commit to starting or revamping your morning routine today in order to accomplish more tomorrow.
You can download the Morning Routine Builder worksheet to help get you started.
Please share what you include in your routine and what common challenges you face at the start of your day.