Mornings are not my friend
I am not a morning person. My circadian rhythm is firmly stuck in night owl mode, so I struggle with mornings. I’m groggy, I’m sleepy-eyed, and I don’t move all that fast. It’s hard to get started first thing in the morning, and I often linger too long in bed, and over my morning drink.
However, mornings set the tone for the day, so reluctantly, I have made the effort to get myself ready for my day, before my day actually begins. Making it routine helps me wake up without having to remember everything right away.
Morning Routine Practices
There are five things I do every morning that help me get ready for my day. And no, social media and email checking isn’t one of them. I’m tempted to scroll through Facebook in the morning, but if I even begin, I can lose so much time there. So I don’t even go there (most of the time).
I’m usually up for the day between 5:30 and 6 am. Yes, for not being a morning person, I get up pretty early. My kids are up by 7, and this allows us to get everything done that we need to get done every day, while at the same time, making sure we don’t have to rush.
Start with getting grounded.
For me, this means getting a hot (in winter) or cold (in summer) drink and spending some time just savoring the flavor. My kitchen table sits next to my patio doors and looks out onto my back deck. In summer, I will go out onto the deck, and just enjoy the stillness of early morning nature. In winter, I am usually watching the snow sparkle or fall.
Getting grounded means taking that moment’s pause before the busy-ness of the day starts. I connect with my senses — tasting my drink, smelling the fresh air (or fragrances of my essential oil warmer), hearing the silence, watching nature and just finding my centre in my body.
Second, get inspired.
After a few moments, I start with my journal. I read through several non-fiction books in a year, every morning. I read a section — sometimes a chapter, sometimes just a paragraph — and I copy out sentences or phrases that jump out at me. Sometimes I will also write down my own thoughts or responses to what I’m reading.
This practice allows me to develop myself. I want to always be learning! The books I read can range from history texts to business techniques to motivational and self-help books. I’ve learned finance, the history of Chinese explorers, and the power of gratitude. Each selection I journal is inspiration I can draw from during the day. And writing it down helps me to remember and internalize what I’m learning.
Third, plan ahead.
With inspiration fresh in my mind, I turn to my calendars and agendas. I check on my meal plan and pull out what I need for both breakfast and lunch. I remind myself of which activities I have scheduled for that day. And I begin my to-do list for the day.
My to-do list has both my housekeeping chores, my appointments or activities on that day, and the specific steps I need to do to move my business and work projects forward. I note my top three priorities for both household management (my daily minimum maintenance) and the top two things I need to complete in my business.
Daily Minimum Maintenance?
Wait, what’s daily minimum maintenance? I can’t take credit for this idea. Rachel of Home Sanctuary is my inspiration for Daily Minimum Maintenance.While she has a specific list, I’ve broken it down to a question.
You know when you’re a busy mom you can feel like you’ve done so much in a day, and yet you have nothing to show for it. Daily Minimum Maintenance makes sure there’s three things that get done in a day, even if the rest of the day is spent putting out metaphorical fires.
For me, this is usually getting a load of laundry washed, dried, folded and put away, getting my dishes all done so the sinks are empty at the end of the day, and getting my floors swept. If I get those three things done in a day, I usually feel accomplished.
Fourth, feed it!
Now that my plans are in place, and I have an idea of what my day will look like, I move on to the food. I usually grab myself a breakfast shake and take my vitamins while I’m preparing my children’s breakfast. We rotate between 6-7 different meals for breakfast, and I try to include fruit or milk at each one. When I have their breakfast ready, I go and wake my girls.
While they are getting ready and doing their morning chores, I move on to clean up and lunch preparation.
Lunch is our biggest meal of the day! On the advice of a friend, I moved our big meal to lunch, to avoid meal prep and clean up when we need to head out the door in the evenings for the kids’ activities. It has been a game-changer! I love it!
So I do lunch prep in the morning as part of my morning routine.
Finally, move it!
Movement should be part of everyone’s day. But setting aside a focused time of movement has been a struggle for me. So this is my tweak for my morning routine.
I’m hoping to incorporate this into our morning routines this new year. I want a separate time for movement – whether that’s a walk down the street, a time of gardening in the yard, or getting some of the big chores in the house done, or even putting on an exercise video to work out to with the kids.
Morning Routines Start your Day Right
Start your day with a well-planned morning routine. Take the time to figure out what will help you wake up and get ready for your day. Maybe you need to leave the email checking till later, like me. Or maybe you do your best work first thing in the morning, so that’s what you should be doing when you wake up.
You can take these five practices: get grounded, get inspired, plan it, feed it and move it — and make them work for you. Make your mornings the best preparation for your day and wake up to win.