One of the best ways I have found to get my day off to a good start is to follow my morning routine. It is such a blessing to know that I can go to my planner and read my morning routine and follow it and I don't have to think about what I need to do next. It is all there for me. Much of it has become habit over time, but I tweak it here and there every little while, so I usually check it a number of times in the morning to make sure I haven't missed anything like feeding the dog - which is what I forgot this morning - or transferring the laundry.
Here's my list...
My morning routine has grown over the years as I've added and taken away things depending on my season of life. When I was homeschooling it looked completely different than it does now, as it did when I was helping to take care of my husband after his surgery. In fact, even now it changes if I am sick or have a busy day planned - but that is a subject for another day.
Right now let's talk about how to make a morning routine that will fit YOU.
1. Gather your supplies.
You will need paper and a pencil or pen to get started. I'm using a Household Organizer page here for my final draft, (in fact this one is from the Outlet), but to start with you will probably want to use plain notepaper while we think together...:)
2. Think through your morning.
Ask yourself these questions...
What do I do every morning?
What do I want to have accomplished before lunch time every day?
What habit would I like to work on?
3. Begin by writing down the things you do by habit (most) every morning.
You get up, you may take a shower, you get dressed. You eat breakfast, you make lunches for the kids to take to school, or maybe you correct yesterday's homeschool assignments. Whatever you do every morning should go on the list. Don't feel like you need to plan out your entire morning as I have done above. To begin with just list those things you do every morning that get your day started in an orderly and peaceful manner.
4. Next, write down things that you would like to do every morning.
Make this list as long as your heart desires and don't worry at this point as to whether you could possibly fit them all in. We will narrow down your list later. Think of things like meal prep, gathering items for work or school, having a quiet time with the Lord, feeding the dog, working on your plan for the day, writing a letter, etc.
5. Now make your first Morning Routine draft.
Look at the list we made in #3. Do you do those things every day?? If so, write them down on your paper in the order that you would do them.
(Just to clarify - I am thinking of a "normal" day - your weekends might look a little different...).
Need an example?
Here's the morning routine from the Beautiful Life Management pages ...
Have your Quiet Time
Gather for Today's Events
Check your Planner
Pick up your Catch Spots
What's for Lunch / Supper?
Declutter for 9 minutes
6. Add in one to three morning routine goals.
Now look at the list we made in #4. These are habits that we would like to add to our morning routine. Pick out one or two - three at the most - and add them to your list, and, using a different color pen if possible, fit them into your morning routine where you would like to do them. Don't add all of them in at once - you'll just get frustrated. My list is long, but it has grown for about 20 years now and most of the things I have listed are habits that I just need to be reminded of, not new habits that I am creating. I still only add one or two of them at a time!
On my list you can see "refill water bottle" written in blue. My husband takes medicine in the morning, and I need to remember to have a water bottle available for him. Since this is a new task, I am adding it to my sheet to help me remember it, and the blue helps it to stand out. Another thing I want to add is DRINK WATER. I keep forgetting and I need it there as a reminder.
7. Now recopy your routine and put it somewhere you can easily refer to it!
For the first few days at least, I would encourage you to add "Complete Morning Routine" to your daily task list. Using your routine needs to become a habit, too!
8. Update and recopy as necessary.
Remember the Beautiful Life Management Morning Routine above? I followed this list for years and found it to be a great place to start, but the part about "Declutter for 9 minutes" ALWAYS threw me. It just didn't fit in my morning - it was more of an afternoon task for me so I avoided it. If you find that you are avoiding something on your list take a good look at it. Is it a necessary morning task? Then star it and pray for help to complete it with a good attitude. If not, see if it can be moved to another part of your day, or perhaps dispensed with altogether. Never be afraid to change your routine around if you find that things just aren't working.
I'll be back tomorrow to talk about my evening routine - or lack of it. It's an area I really want to work on this year!
Do you have a Morning Routine? Does it help you stay on track??
I'd love to hear from you!