Does the term morning routine frighten you? It seems to be the bane of most people’s existence. Why is that? Why is a morning routine so difficult to create and then, more importantly, implement? Today we are going to explore that a little further.
Are you still working on your time inventory? This is going to be the key to what we work on next week, so make sure that you start if you haven’t already!
What is a Morning Routine?
Let’s start with something a bit easier, shall we! What is a morning routine? And why do you need one? The easy answer? A morning routine is something that you do every morning. It is what you do to get ready for your day. It is the time that you spend on getting ready for your day ahead.
A morning routine is something that will help set the tone for your day. I mentioned earlier in this series about active and passive decisions, and your morning routine is central to this. Each morning you wake up and do a set of things. It can be very measured, or it can be chaotic, or it can be a bit of both depending on what you have going on for the day.
Whether you actively or passively make the choices that you do in the morning, they are still happening. You still need to get ready for the day in whatever way that looks like for you.
My Morning Routine
I am going to start with my own routine because I want to show you something pared way down, and something long and drawn out. Every morning can be different. You may have a ton of stuff going on and you need to quickly get ready and get everyone out the door. Or, you may have a lot of time in the morning to ease into your day. You may be a morning person, or have visceral hatred towards your alarm clock.
My very basic morning routine is as follows:
- Wake up
- Use bathroom & brush teeth (yes, I brush my teeth before I even come downstairs)
- Make Coffee
- Read Bible
- Plan my Day
How long or how short this rhythm is doesn’t really matter to me. I do these same five things every morning, regardless of how much time I have. But, it can be incredibly drawn out if I have the time for it.
There will never be a day that I do not make coffee as soon as I come down the stairs (unless we are out of coffee, in which case I will make tea – this doesn’t happen often). Because this is a guaranteed aspect of my days, I combine it with reading my Bible. This is called habit stacking, adding something to what you already are guaranteed to do.
Now, I have to be honest and let you know that I have struggled with Bible reading the past couple of years. I had a good 5-7 year run where I would consistently do either a Write the Word journal, or I would be reading through the Bible with a Bible plan. I read through the Bible three times chronologically, once straight through, and twice in 90 days. But, after my second time through in 90 days, I fell out of reading the Bible regularly. This was around the April of 2020, and also when I came down with shingles closely followed by my kids having chicken pox. Is this an excuse? Not really, but it was the catalyst that ruined my morning Bible reading (and my entire morning routine in general).
It was so easy to fall out of my morning routine. I didn’t have the energy to do much, and generally didn’t feel well enough to care about changing my thinking. But, by the end of 2020, I knew I needed to make some changes. I started being better about getting up again, and started reading my Bible again, and started planning my days again. But, it takes time to build that routine into your life, or back into your life, whatever the case may be.
If you are looking for more help as you start to consider your morning routine, make sure to pre-register for my workshop on Creating Margin HERE! On sale until 10/28. We start Monday October 31st.
Why is a morning routine important?
This routine is going to set up your days for success. When you feel like you have a good morning, when you aren’t rushed, you will have a better day overall. I know the days that we are rushed in the morning are not great. I always joke that the reason my kids aren’t in public school is because I would never be able to get them there on time.
A routine also can help with things that you need to get done. You know they need to get done, but you push them off for whatever reason. I want you to set yourself up for success. It is important to put the time in to implement something that works for you. But, how do you know what you should do with your mornings?
What should be part of my mornings?
Choosing what you want to do for your morning routine can be a challenge. What exactly are the most important things for you? My morning routine is pretty basic, but when I have a lot of time, it becomes much more involved. Instead of reading the verse of the day on my Bible app, I will read several chapters and journal about what I am reading. Instead of just writing a quick brain dump to-do list, I will time-block my days and make sure that I have all of my times accounted for. I still always drink 2 cups of coffee in the morning. That is a given!
What do you need to do in the morning to set yourself up for a great day ahead?
Some people will have a really in depth morning routine, some will have something that is a lot simpler. Either is absolutely fine. It is going to be completely dependent on your individual needs, and yes, also whether or not you are a morning person or not.
I would call myself a morning person because I easily get up early in the morning. However, I can guarantee you that I have NEVER liked to talk to people in the morning. I want complete quiet and my own time to wake up and do what I need to. Hence a very early morning routine. Before I had kids, I never woke up early to plan my day. I would get up, drink my coffee, and get ready for work. But, kids changed all of that for me. They were early risers, so I had to be earlier than that, or the days would slip away.
Now I know what I need to get done in the morning, and how long it takes for me to do those things. But, it took me a while, a long while, to get to a place where I feel comfortable. And honestly, it can change seasonally. There are some seasons where I spend a lot of time in the mornings on my routine, there are other seasons where I get the bare minimum done so that I still feel good.
The Bottom Line
You need to figure out what is best for you to do in the morning. Take into account how much time you have and if you are a morning person or not. It IS possible to become a morning person, but it takes time, and it won’t always be perfect.
When my kids were very small, I dreaded waking up early – I was exhausted and just couldn’t figure out how to make it work. But, little by little progress added up and I was able to create a morning routine that works for me.
What are your most important tasks to complete in the morning? Is there something that you do every day already? Can you attach a new habit to that? Use the thing you do every day regardless as an anchor for the new habit you want to cultivate.