In our last post, we discussed the reasons for morning routines. Today, let’s take real action and work on creating a routine that will work for your family.
The last part is key. You need a morning routine that will work for your family because each family is different with its own unique set of challenges, goals, dreams, desires and of course, needs. It wouldn’t do any good for me to write you up a list of what you need to accomplish on any given morning, even though such lists are many and varied in the online world of organisational gurus. These might be fun for a day or two until you realise that they’re not that fun because you’re not getting done what actually matters for your family, but rather holding yourself to a stressful routine that has no bearing on your real life.
Here’s a better way:
Figure it out for yourself.
It’s a little harder in the beginning but ultimately so much better for you (and your family) long term.
Here are some ideas for getting started:
1. Schedule Bedtime for Everyone
Your morning routine actually starts the evening before. If you want to wake up earlier than usual, you need to work backwards so that you and the kids go to bed at the right time to get an adequate amount of sleep.
First, figure out how much sleep you need. This is crucial but often overlooked. We forget that if we need to get up earlier on a Wednesday we’ll likely have to go to bed earlier to achieve the right amount of sleep. Do not underestimate the importance of sleep! It can and will affect the entire course of your day.
Be honest with yourself about how much sleep your need. This isn’t about just surviving with a coffee-drip permanently attached. We’re aiming to thrive during this season of motherhood and sleep plays a key role.
2. Get a Head Start
Evening is a good time to prep for the next day so you can enter the morning relaxed and in control. Set clothes and uniforms out, breakfast bowls on the table, homework in the backpacks and by the front door, lunches prepped if possible, a meal plan in place for dinner so you don’t have to spend 5 minutes hovering over the open freezer when all the kids want breakfast.
3. Start Tiny
If you’re new to this routine gig, remember that you don’t have to start with the whole day planned out. Start tiny. Grab that first hour and figure out what you need to achieve in order for the second hour to go smoothly. Write all of those tasks down on a piece of paper and then number them in order of importance. Ask yourself: is it feasible to achieve all this in an hour? Is there something that can be shifted to later in the day? Or something that is a nice-to-do, but not thoroughly necessary? Tweak as necessary and then move on to the second hour.
4. Spend the First Few Minutes on Yourself
While ensuring your get enough sleep, try waking up a few minutes earlier than usual to ensure you get those first few minutes to yourself. Stretch, sip some lemon water, take a shower and get dressed, pray, meditate, journal or just gaze out of the window and light a diffuser with some essential oil.
Do something that nourishes and nurtures YOU. You’ll be amazed at how much calmer you are and how much more easily the rest of your morning routine flows.
5. Go Over Your Goals or To-Dos for the Day
As you sip your water or tea or coffee, go over the top 3 things you need to get done today. Review them calmly and plan when they’ll get done. Schedule the time in and then go to wake up the kids if you need to be somewhere by a certain time. If not: let them sleep!
6. Make Mornings Motivating and Magical
Moving your mornings from manic to magical may take a bit of time and getting used to, so don’t get discouraged. Instead, use some of my suggestions to infuse instant motivation into your routine:
- Play some fun music as you go about your morning chores
- Discuss the day that lies ahead. Ask the kids what they’re most excited about as they have their breakfast.
- Prepare for those who dilly-dally by factoring in extra time for them.
- Keep your weekends along the same lines so it isn’t a struggle every Monday.
- Remember to breathe… and smile.
Are you ready to create a morning routine that works for your family? What strategy will YOU be applying first?