I love the new year. All the hopes and possibilities, and goal setting is a common theme everywhere you look. I love that. But I also love the beginning of a new, fresh month, week, or even just a day–a new morning. Every day is full of the same possibilities, just on a smaller scale than a new year. For me, sometimes focusing on a successful morning routine is much more attainable than trying to set goals for a whole year.
A lot of us like to talk about our morning routines–what works, what doesn’t, what’s the main thing we need to have in our morning to make it a successful day. So I’ve compiled a list of eight things that I hear all the time–including things I say myself–to make it a great morning.
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Eight traits of a successful morning routine
1. Get enough sleep
We know this is what we need for a successful morning and a successful day. We can’t run this show if we’re running on empty! One of my goals for this month is to get more sleep (isn’t that my goal every month?). I’ve been using the Sleep Cycle app again to track my sleeping patterns. The average time I get into bed is 11:15pm. Then if you factor in reading for a good 30-45 minutes and trying to get up by 6am, that’s not enough sleep. I know I require more than that, and now that it’s winter and we’re not getting as much energy from the sun’s Vitamin D, we need to make up for that somewhere–sleep!
I’m aspiring to get between 8-9 hours of sleep every night, because I know that’s what my body needs right now. So basically, when the kids get settled for bed, I am starting to get myself ready for bed. It feels a little weird, but I know after consecutive nights of plenty of sleep, things will start to improve–moods, energy levels, all those good things.
2. Get up before the kids
I know, I know…we all say this. But for me, a good morning routine means I’m up before the kids. I love them, but they mess with my morning wake-up-and-transition-into-real-life-time. In fact, they tend to shock me into real life with their loud noises and general un-calmness. It’s not how I like to wake up. Ever.
3. Wake up your brain
It’s hard for me to just wake up and jump right into exercising or getting dressed right away. I need to wake up first. Waking up your brain can mean reading a devotional, journaling, or reading the newspaper. I like to read something like Simple Abundance
or A Gracious Space
(I’m reading the winder edition) and then read The Skimm
while my coffee brews.
*sidenote: coffee also helps greatly with waking up the brain 😉
4. Mark off little check boxes
Doesn’t it feel good to have things accomplished by 7am?! Mark off some of those little to-do’s for the day. Empty the dishwasher, start a load of laundry, empty a trash can. I find that even accomplishing something small like this helps me jump start my day.
5. Enjoy the calm
Call it a meditative state, staring into space, what have you–enjoy this little bit of time before your day really gets going. Flip on your fireplace and have your first cup of coffee, ready your mind for the day, think about the things you’re happy about right then, and sit and enjoy it. Chances are this is the last bit of calm you’re going to have for about 12 hours, so enjoy it while it lasts.
6. Move a little bit
I know it’s hard for a lot of us to squeeze a proper workout in during the early morning hours–or anytime for that matter. But working out for busy moms doesn’t have to look like a Bowflex infomercial. A 15 minute walk around the block, a short yoga routine, some push-ups or sit-ups–all these will help wake your body up and strengthen you for the day.
Check out my “health” board for a bunch of good, quick workouts…
Follow Investing Love blog’s board –Healthy– on Pinterest.
Get the 6 Secrets to a Simpler Mom Life
7. Plan your day
Having a plan for your day is definitely essential. I did a Periscope over the weekend
, showing a bunch of planning tools that I’m using this year to keep organized, but a simple pen and paper will do, too. Jot down just a few things–not too many, you’ll never finish 397 things today, so don’t even try. Aim for finishing 3-4 things and you’ll probably finish most of those. Pencil in some fun things too, like reading aloud to your kids. Also, decide what you’re making for dinner and pull anything out of the freezer you need to before your day gets going and you forget (like I do almost every day).
8. A morning pamper session
The great part about waking up before your kids is that you can get ready for your day without someone trying to put mascara on their cheeks or test how hot your curling iron is by flicking water at it. Use these few minutes to really care for yourself before the day starts. Moisturize your face, brush your hair, and put some make-up on. Get dressed in pants that aren’t for sleeping and feel good about yourself. You look good, mama!
If your mornings are a mess and you want to really change the way your mornings are working, I highly recommend this Makeover Your Mornings course.
It’ll only take about 15 minutes per day, but it will energize you to really MAKEOVER your mornings. I promise. And if it doesn’t, you can get your money back. Guaranteed.
It’s a new year, but we get a new beginning every single morning. Go get ’em, ladies!