Define Your Perfect Morning
Have you thought about your morning routine? What’s most important to you? What is the one thing you really want to do on a daily basis that would make a big difference, but you just can’t seem to find the time for?
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In short, what good habits do you want to cultivate that would make a real impact on your life? Think about this for a moment.
It could be in any area of your life from exercise and healthy eating to self-improvement or getting ahead in business or at your job. It could be working on your relationship with your kids, finding time for creative pursuits, or getting in the habit of reading every morning.
Need a book to help get your morning in order?
Once you’ve figured out what you want to work on, what you want to improve, and what’s important to you, we’ll think about how you can make it part of your morning routine.
Sit back and imagine your perfect morning. It isn’t stressed or rushed. Most importantly it’s a day when you have time for everything on your list. Maybe it means having time for a long shower. Or it could mean going for a run before breakfast. Maybe it’s having a few minutes to connect with your spouse over coffee or maybe it’s carving out time in the morning to work on your side-business.
That’s a lot of “maybes” but the key is to start with what’s most important to you and think about how you could fit it into your morning routine. I simply want you to paint a vivid picture of what your new morning could look like.
Imagine it in as much detail as you possibly can. Write it down in a journal or on a piece of paper that you can refer back to as needed. In short, define your perfect morning.
Why is this so important? Because you can’t start to make any meaningful changes until you know what your goals are.
Finding Time In Your Busy Morning
Mornings are busy and they can be quite chaotic. If you have a young family and plenty of people to get ready and out the door, you know this first hand. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way, no matter how busy you think you are first thing in the day.
Do you want that to be rushed, frantic, and feeling like you’re constantly running and trying to catch up? Or do you want it to be calm, collected, productive, and with a feeling that you’re in control? It’s up to you and it’s all about embracing two simple concepts.
Get Up Early Enough
It’s tempting to hit the snooze button and catch a few more minutes of sleep, isn’t it? (This is what I have worked on the most) It’s even hard to set the alarm early enough that you have plenty of time for everything you want and need to get done. I get it. If you’re not a morning person, moving up the alarm by 30 minutes to carve out a little extra time can be tough. Trust me though, after the first few mornings it’s not nearly as hard as you think and something you’ll quickly get used to.
Here’s the problem with cutting time too short, or worse hitting the snooze button a few times. It gets you behind from the very start. You have to rush to make it out the door in time and any little problem or speed bump along the way turns into a huge problem. Not being able to find the car keys is suddenly a major crisis because it could cause you to be late for work and the kids to be tardy at school. Remember, your morning sets the tone for the rest of your day. If you start it chasing down time and things, that’s likely how you’ll spend the rest of your time. When I cut my time short and find we are rushed my attitude is completely different and not in a good way.
Getting up early enough on the other hand puts you ahead of the game. You’re in control. You can take care of everything that needs doing in a calm manner and still have time for the important things you want to work on. In short, getting up early enough sets you up for an amazing, productive day.
Restructure Your Routine
Spend a little time thinking about your current morning routine and where you’re spending time. Look for things you can change and tweak to find more time for the things you really want to do.
For example, if you want an extra 20 minutes in the morning to meditate, look at what you could take care ahead of time, eliminate, or delegate to make that time. If you spend a lot of time getting breakfast for everyone, get in the habit of setting the breakfast table the night before. Get your coffee ready the night before, so all you have to do in the morning is push a button. Teach the kids to make their own breakfast and take the dirty dishes to the sink, rinse them, and put them in the dishwasher. Make sure clothes are set out the night before (including yours). Put book bags, purses, briefcases, and car keys in a designated spot before you turn in for the night.
Small changes like this to your morning routine can make a big difference. I challenge you to come up with a few small tweaks that will save you at least 30 minutes in the morning.
Come Up With A New Morning Game Plan
Now that you have a pretty good idea of what you want to do in the morning, what you don’t want to or need to do, and where to find the extra time needed, it’s time to put it all together in a new morning game plan.
The best place to start is with the new set of tasks that are most important to you. Figure out a preliminary time during which you want to get them accomplished.
If your goal is to go for a run in the morning, you do that first before having breakfast. Do you want to meditate each morning, you may decide it would work best after you’ve had coffee. Presuming your goal is to find some time for reading or your favorite hobby in the morning, you could carve out some time before everyone else gets up.
The same goes for wanting time in the morning to work on your business or learn something new. Then work the rest of your morning chores around these new plans. It may take some shuffling around and mixing up of your current routine. With a little creative thinking and a bit of flexibility, I’m sure you can come up with a working plan.
Making over your morning and turning it into a new routine isn’t something that comes natural to most of us.
Write it down
It takes a little while to get into the groove of things. My suggestion is that you write your new morning game plan down. It’s easy to forget what you’re planning to do. Writing it down will not only give you a reference to refer back to, but also solidify your new plan in your mind.
Put your new written plan on your night table or somewhere you’ll see it first thing in the morning. It will serve as a reminder of what you’re intending to do and do differently in the morning now.
Even though you’ve written your plan down, it’s important to realize it’s not written in stone. The well-laid out plans don’t always work when put into action. Make changes as needed until you come up with a new morning routine that works for you and your family.
I would love to know if you already have a morning routine or if plan to make a new one. How does your morning look?
Just to share here is mine. I get school and work bags ready and by the door the night before and all shoes. I wake up about 10 minutes before I start waking the kids up. After I wake them up, while they are getting ready I let the dog out. I then start the coffee pot and feed the dog. Once the kids are off to school I have my breakfast and coffee. After breakfast but usually while still finishing my coffee I grab my computer and start my work for the day. I pull out my notebook and planner, go over my day or write a to do list and get started.
I hope you have a morning routine that sets your day up for success.
Want some extra help with your day? Check out my tips on productivity.