Building a Morning Routine
Throughout my adult life, I’ve repeatedly come face to face with the necessity for a morning routine. Mornings can make or break your day, regardless of whether you have children or not. A good morning routine should prepare you for the day as well as propel you forward into it. Morning routines have a special degree of importance when you have children too. Not only are you responsible to self-prepare for the day’s work, but you are also responsible for the preparations of your children in some capacity.
If you know me, you probably know that building habits, routines, and productivity are some of my favorite things. I am all about finding a good routine and sticking with it. BUT life is always changing, and at least in my life, it seems like there is always one routine or another that needs to be re-evaluated. Today I’m going to share how I evaluate my morning routine and set the foundation for my day.
What are my main goals for morning?
I find that there are really three categories of goals for my mornings. I need to be ready for my day, the children need to be ready for their day, and our house needs to be ready to be a supportive environment. Within those categories things can and do change from season to season, but I start out questioning those specific categories.
What do I need to do to be physically ready for my day? How early do I need to get up to do this? Am I getting enough sleep at night for this to be practical? What do I need to do to be mentally ready for my day? What things need to happen in the morning–or else they just won’t happen? I’ve found that a few things always fall into the last category for me. In every season of life so far, if exercise doesn’t happen in the morning, there’s a 50-50 chance whether it will happen later in the day or not.
What do my kids need to do/have done to be ready for the day? Do I need to wake them up? What morning activities help them to wake up happy and be ready for the day? What do they dislike doing right away in the morning?
For the house…
What do we need to do in the house today? Is it tidy enough to facilitate learning? What books do we need pulled out? What activities do I want to steer children towards today? Are there any cleaning jobs I need to get done right away in the morning?
Put On Your Own Oxygen Mask First
You know how on airplanes they always say, ‘In an emergency situation, secure your own oxygen mask first’? I firmly believe this applies to all areas of life, whether there’s a literal oxygen mask involved or not. When I start building my morning routine, my first priority is fitting in the things that will make me feel the most calm and prepared for whatever happens once the day gets going.
My educational and bible reading, exercise, and violin practice are my go-tos right now, along with actually getting dressed and doing hair/makeup. I also check our school schedule for the day and make sure I’m prepared for whatever lessons or events we have coming up. When I’ve covered those bases: mental sustenance, physical exercise/preparation, and creative outlet, I am much more able to jump into a day of fulfilling other people’s needs. Getting to drink that first cup of coffee in the quiet dawn isn’t so bad either 😉
Steer the Ship
Once I am ready for the day personally, everything else I do is to facilitate the smooth working of the rest of the day. Our morning routine includes everything that happens right up until the start of work/school. I have a rotation of household chores that I do throughout the week–just one every morning–plus laundry if there is any (hahahahhahaha–there’s always laundry). Breakfast, table wiped off and ready for school, small children wiped down, dressed, ready for the day, beds made… and boom! Our morning is off and running.
Even as homeschoolers with, admittedly, a lot of freedom in our days, our days work best when I set my focus early on. The atmosphere of our home and learning life largely rests with me and my attitude. The old saying, “If Mama ain’t happy, nobody’s happy” is never more true then when you’re looking within the four walls of your own home.
And hey, lots of people don’t like to get up early. I get it! There are very few mornings that I bounce right out of bed like the energizer bunny, but the growth and perspective I gain with the quiet time is worth a lot more to me than an extra hour or so of sleep right now. Regardless of the time you get up, the principles for settling a morning routine remain mostly the same. The point is to find a routine that works for you in your life.
If you’re not satisfied with the way your mornings are going, reevaluate and change it up. Sometimes when I’m in these phases of changing routines, it helps me to write out what the ideal routine would look like in this season, and work at making that fit into my life. Alternatively, sometimes the best routines are the most natural ways in which your day unfolds. Ultimately, when you settle on your priorities, and fit them into your day in an intentional, thoughtful manner, they more easily become habit, and the habits we repeat out every day end up forming the foundation of our lives.
Do you have a morning routine?
What do you think is the most important part of getting your day off to a good start? Let me know! I love getting little pieces of other perspectives 🙂