A few days ago I was sharing with my daughter the need for routines. She’s a creative and routines go against her internal wiring. In talking about the need for a morning routine to help with getting Danger off to school we figured out she had a morning routine without even realizing it!
Why do you need a morning routine?
Most of us have one – we just don’t recognize it as being a routine.
And right there you have the definition of routine: a customary or regular course of procedure.
Ah, Grasshopper. NOW you understand!
My morning routine is something I do unconsciously, as a force of habit.
Now, my daughter sees a routine in a different way. As a creative, a routine feels like a grave with the ends kicked out – a rut. Unimaginative, commonplace. Dull.
She has an elementary school-aged child, so she has a routine, like it or not.
They get up at a certain time, get ready for school, get in the car by a certain time for the drive to school, etc. Does this mean she is dressed for the day when all this happens? Not necessarily. She (my daughter) may still be in her pajamas for the drive to school but the point is that the drive to school ROUTINELY takes place.
She has an evening routine too – she fixes lunch for the next day while Danger is doing her homework. When homework is done, the bookbag goes by the shoes near the door. She does this all without thinking about it – it’s all muscle-memory – habits.
You already have a morning routine. You may just not realize it as a routine.
Do you wake up in the morning, with or without an alarm clock?
Do you shower? Dress? Workout? Make your bed?
Having an INTENTIONAL morning routine.
Ideally, you DO want your routine to become so habitual that you don’t need to think about it.
I don’t like to have to be reminded to put pants on. But it HAS happened.
Write down all the things – however minute – that you do or need to do and see where you can create simple habits to take the ‘thinking’ off your plate.
If you’ve ever had a child you know about the all-important schedule. Yep, that’s a routine too. From infants, we are taught that a routine is a GOOD thing! When Danger was a baby she was with us often and we took her schedule VERY seriously. She was happier and calmer – slept better – all of that. It made sense.
Even now we don’t keep her out past 6 – 6:30 on a school night because her bedtime is 8 PM and it’s more important to us that she be well prepared for school the following day. Bedtime may be a little different on the weekend and summertime, but her sleep is more important during the week for school.
Just because you’re a grown up now doesn’t mean a schedule is thrown out the door because you stopped taking naps!
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A great morning starts the night before!
Ever heard that? Here’s a post to explain How to Create a Simple Evening Routine.
Unless you’ve been under a rock, you sure have.
Are you sluggish in the morning? I know I am. I have to be sure I have prepared the night before – or earlier.
Before I go to bed I make sure I have the kitchen ready:
- Make sure hubby’s coffee pot only needs me to push a button
- I also make sure the electric kettle is full of water
- Super important: Make sure my teabag is ready in my cup and a packet of stevia is next to it
- Set out a spoon
I don’t do much beyond that if I’m staying home the next morning. If I’m out the door early I lay out my clothes and make sure I have everything ready that needs to go with me.
See, here’s the thing: when I’m ready to go to bed I don’t want to putter around the kitchen getting that stuff ready. I’m tired. Puttering will make me find more things that need to be done, further delaying my sleep. That’s just the way I’m wired so I don’t get those things ready at night. I just make sure they are ALREADY ready because I got them ready right after I finished my tea.
That’s right. I finish my tea, rinse our cups and get the coffee pot and kettle ready – 24 hours before my next morning. I guess you could say that my great morning starts the morning before!
But that’s so basic.
You bet it is. If it weren’t I couldn’t do it. And it’s still not perfect. (Case in point – I’m headed out to meet a friend for breakfast in an hour and left a load of clothes containing the jeans I planned to wear today in the dryer last night. On the bright side, my jeans are clean.)
I do what works for me (in the morning AFTER I’ve had my tea).
My daughter is in the drop-off line in her pajamas some days, but her routine is not compromised. She carries on.
Consider the objective, then prepare.
Is it to get your kid to school on time?
Or is it to get to an important meeting?
Is it to have lunch with a friend or client?
What can you do today (or tonight) that will contribute to your being on time or having a calmer start to your day tomorrow? PS – Don’t get trapped into thinking you have to do it the NIGHT before.
Tips for a good morning – or a good week:
Create your perfect evening routine.
Get your lunches prepped and packed on Sunday if that works best.
Assemble a week’s worth of clothes set out on Saturday or Sunday.
Meal plan on the weekend.
Get your coffee/tea ready the day before – when it feels right to you.
Have a household planner and/or a work/life planner. It doesn’t need to be expensive.
Review the week’s plans on Sunday so you don’t get caught unaware later in the week.
Review tomorrows plans TONIGHT.
Enlist the help of everyone in your family. It’s a group effort.
Get up a little earlier than the rest of the house so you can fix your coffee or tea and relax before being ‘on duty’.
That can’t be all!
Of course, it isn’t! But you have to start somewhere. If you batch tasks together – like a few of the above – you can take daily decisions out of the equation. If you get your morning beverage prepped the day before you have less to think about if you’re still a little foggy.
Do you have any tips for a morning routine? Comment below!