Looking to create a morning routine that actually works? Oftentimes our mornings fall flat because we don’t actually develop a morning routine, and we all know that a failure to plan is planning to fail, right?!
Your routine doesn’t have to look the same thing as mine does, but developing a plan that works for you, tweaking it as needed, is key.
I have been following the same basic template for my mornings for years, and I find that when I give myself a free pass from following this routine, I spend the entire day feeling distracted, lost, and simply floundering.
Although there are the occasional times when I oversleep, I try to avoid getting up later than I had planned. When this happens, I forever feel like I am trying to catch up with my day, which I never can quite do. Remember when I talked about getting up late in For Those Days When Mama Blows It? That was not my best performance as a mom.
Here is the template I use for my morning routine, and it can get your day off to a great start, too.
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1. Plan your day the night before
I find that if I wake up knowing the plan, I am more able to just get up and get started. If I have not laid out my day the night before, the thought of getting out of bed can be too overwhelming since I have no idea where to start. When I do get up, thinking about planning the day takes too much effort, so I generally don’t, which means that I’m flying by the seat of my pants that day. This pretty much guarantees a crash and burn on some level. Plan the night before, and write it down, even if you know that your plan is most likely going to change.
2. Set your alarm for 15 minutes earlier than you think you need to get up
If you are prone to snoozing the morning away because you hit the snooze button repeatedly, put your alarm device across the room. Don’t give yourself the option of hitting snooze. For me, I know that if I hit snooze once, I’m done for. I will keep hitting it, and hitting it, and hitting it. My husband has mastered the art of “the snooze,” which rarely works out well for him. He has yet to heed my advice on this one and move his phone to the other side of the room. Maybe I’ll need to be married to him for another 20 years before he listens to me on this one 😉
3. Get your head in the game, and then get moving right away
I find that being too leisurely in the morning is not beneficial for me. If I get up, get dressed, drink some water, and then get working on my morning routine, I am focused and ready to go. If I lounge around and maybe watch the news or browse around on social media, this passive activity first thing just leaves me more inclined to loaf around rather than being productive in the morning. You can read more about how I start my day in Five Ways to Have a Great Morning.
4. Spend a few moments grounding yourself. I have recommended this in various places before, but it can’t be left off the list here
For me, this is Bible reading, devotions, journaling, and prayer. Maybe this is it for you, too, but I highly suggest journaling and counting even just three blessings in your life each morning. I have been doing this for years after reading One Thousand Gifts. It was life changing for me. You can find it here One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are
5. Do the thing you dread the most, first
There is nothing like getting that one thing out of the way. Knowing that I have to do something I am dreading makes me feel like I’m carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders. Likewise, getting that off your plate right away will make you eager to attack the rest of your day, if you are like me anyway.
6. Filter out what is urgent, and only attack that while scheduling a time later in the day for everything else
I am generally referring to emails, phone calls, or messages of any kind. If it doesn’t have to be handled first thing, let it slide. I find that dealing with these kinds of things always takes longer than I would like for some reason, and if I am setting myself behind right away in the morning, this does not bode well for the rest of my day. Therefore, only tackling what is urgent lessens the opportunity to get behind.
7. Prioritize three things
This can be done the night before, but since things have a way of changing overnight, this should be revisited in the morning as well. Prioritizing three things means identifying three things that must get done that day. Appointments, paying bills, errands, whatever it is, highlight three – and only three. Schedule them at the appropriate times in your day right away as part of your morning routine.
8. Stay on task with your routine
Avoid getting sidetracked at all costs. If something pops into your mind that needs to be taken care of, schedule it to be taken care of rather than taking it on right away. Of course there will be exceptions, but for the most part when we remember something that we need to take care of, it is not an urgent matter. Getting sidetracked and interrupting yourself with things that, although important, keep us from completing our morning routine, is rarely a good thing. This will again cause that lost or floundering sort of feeling for me.
If you have been looking for a morning routine that works, following these eight steps may be just what you’ve been looking for. Give it a try, and then keep trying, especially if a structured morning is a new concept for you. Some people find it effective to exercise first thing to get the juices flowing.
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Do you find yourself challenged to find an alarm clock that works? You can also try the one we had to get for my husband. We laughed at it at first, but it has been the key to him hearing his alarm and getting pulled out of his sleepiness, which were huge problems for him. If finding the right alarm clock has been a challenge, this one is impossible to sleep through LOL! Sonic Boom SBB500ss Sonic Bomb Loud Plus Vibrating Alarm Clock