Creating a morning routine is one of the best homeschool helps there is. You are probably thinking, “I barely function in the morning, why do I need a morning routine?” The reason is simple, a routine is a sequence of habits that you carry out, and a morning routine would be a sequence of habits you carry out in the morning. By setting up a morning routine, you are taking some decision fatigue away from your day. Once something becomes a habit, you don’t think about it.
I bet that you already have a morning routine – whether it is the one you want or not. There is a certain sequence of events that takes place each morning in your home. While a morning routine can reinstitute calm in your day, preparation for an amazing day ahead, your morning routine can also cause stress and a lot of other big feelings before you even finish your first cup of coffee.
What do you want your morning routine to look like?
This is a good starting place. What do you want your morning routine to look like? Do you want to have a lot of time in the morning for quiet and self-reflection? Do you really only need a chance to get a load of laundry in and one cup of the beverage of your choice? Are you somewhere in-between? What would your ideal morning routine look like?
When you write out your ideal morning routine, you have to realize that getting to a place of habit takes time, especially if you don’t have a reliable morning routine to begin with.
Creating a morning routine is something that I have worked on extensively over the years. In fact, I have written about it quite a lot. The interesting thing is that your morning routine will evolve over time based on how things are working, and what season of life you are in.
If you recently brought home a baby, your morning routine is going to be completely different than someone who has all teenagers. That’s OK, it is only a season. And if is the season you are in, I would encourage you to think about ways in which your morning routine would be returned back to normal. Of course, you will not want to get up at 5am if you are up with a little one several times each night, and that is OK. Don’t get discouraged because your morning routine is not exactly how you would like it right now. There are going to be adjustments along the way.
Why do you want your morning routine to look like this?
This is a big part of the change to creating a good morning routine. You thought I was going to tell you exactly when to wake up and the steps that you need to take to get there each morning, didn’t you? We will get to my morning routine in a couple minutes. First, you need to know why you want a morning routine at all. Then you also need to know why you want this specific morning routine, the one that you have written out as your ideal.
Often you can read a blog post, see a YouTube video, look at Instagram pictures and see an amazing morning routine in process. However, you don’t know everything behind the scenes, you don’t know exactly what life stage they are in. You are only getting what they are willing to show you. This means that you cannot copy someone else’s morning routine and think “this will work because it works for that person.” You need to create your own morning routine, based on what you want to get done each morning.
Do you want to have time in God’s word? Why? Do you want to exercise first thing in the morning? Do you really only want a cup of coffee and a quick check of the headlines before your kids get up? Why?
When creating any habit, you need to know the why, otherwise you are going to be forcing something that you may not even want. And what exactly would be the point of that? So that you can tell your friends you wake up super early, but you are miserable about it every morning?
If you don’t have a morning routine right now, and know that you need and want one, it might be miserable to implement at first!
You have the what and why, here is the how
This is probably what most of you would skip to, “how exactly do I create a good morning routine.” If you skipped the above steps, please go back and go through those. The how won’t matter unless you know the what and the why – for you specifically!
Once you have your list of what you want to get done during your morning routine, you need to give each item an amount of time. If you have a lot of detail in your list (brush teeth, use bathroom, get dressed), combine them into groups, and then give an amount of time.
For example, if you want to exercise in the morning, you can give that 30 minutes. If you want to have quiet time in God’s word, or with a devotional, give that 30 minutes, and so on. You also will need to write down if your morning routine needs to be completely done before your kids get up, or if there are items that you want to do with them, or that you can do while they are working on their own morning routine.
What is your time commitment?
Once you have your routine with all of the time listed out, add it up and find out how long your morning routine is going to be. Now, is that time amount realistic? If you have a 4-hour morning routine, that probably will not cut it, although more power to you if your kids sleep super late and you rise super early!
Are there somethings in your routine that are not really that important to you? Did you write some things down because you feel like you ought to do those things in the morning?
I used to think that I should exercise early every morning. My cousin would always get up at 4:30am and go to the gym, so when I was working at the same company she was working at, that is what I did as well – part of it was because I couldn’t get a parking spot at the T if I tried to go in at a normal hour. But, what I found is that I didn’t work out nearly as hard as I used to when I did my workout in the evening. Make sure that what you have on your list is what you need to make your morning routine the best for you.
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Some other questions you will need to ask about this morning routine is when do your kids get up? Do you wake them at a specific time? Do they wake up on their own? Are there some items in your morning routine that are must-do’s whether or not the kids are awake early?
Now that you have pared down your morning routine to what you would like it to be, and an abbreviated version of must-do’s for those mornings that don’t go as planned, you can figure out when you need to wake up in the morning.
Morning Routine not always done well
Over the years I have learned that I need a lot of time in the morning for quiet. I was not always a morning person. In fact, if my husband is up at when I wake up, I usually walk right past him without talking. I need silence in the morning. It may sound silly, but I know myself enough now to know to just go with it.
I also know that I often get interrupted in the middle of the night while I am trying to sleep. Yes, for the most part my kids sleep through the night. There is one caveat, they are all sleep walkers and sleep talkers (or yellers, depending on the night). There will often be times when I am jumping out of bed at night because I hear a child running around. Not quite the same as waking for a baby every couple of hours, but still, that adrenaline can get you!
I hesitate to share this next part, even though I have shared my early wake up time before, but I know that people laugh and think how unrealistic it is for themselves to wake up so early. Just know that I didn’t always wake up this early. I used to wake up after my kids would come bounding into my bedroom. But, at some point I pulled on my big girl panties and made it a priority to get up before them, and as time has gone on, that wake-up time has gotten earlier and earlier. It’s because I like all the quiet and productive time I have in the early morning hours.
Morning Routine Tip
My morning routine begins by 4:45am every day. I get up this early on the weekends as well as the week. I set my alarm for 4:45am. Most days I wake up earlier than that on my own. I attribute it to many years of 5am wake up calls from my little ones. One of the best tips I have is to just get up when your body naturally wakes up. If you naturally wake up at 5, just get up, don’t roll over and go back to sleep. You will end up more tired if you let your body start to fall back into a deep sleep just to get woken up by your alarm.
That is probably the hardest part to this entire morning routine. Hitting the snooze button. Can you imagine jumping out of bed when you first wake up? I know it sounds silly, and it also sounds incredibly difficult, but just do it, just get out of bed, start your day.
A Sample Morning Routine
My morning routine is the same pretty much every morning. Because it is the same, I don’t even think about it, I just move through it. Personal care first thing for about 15 minutes. Then I grab my coffee and sit down at my desk where I have my quiet time. I currently use the Write the Word Journals from Cultivate What Matters, and I love them. Sometimes I add in more Bible reading, sometimes I spend more time journaling. It depends on the how the morning is going, and what we have planned for the day.
After I have done my quiet time I move to my planning time. I look through my lesson planner and write out what the kids need to do on their weekly sheets. I write out my to-do list for the day in my planner. I also make any notes of specific things going on.
After this, I am officially done with the “stuff” that I need to do in the morning. I let the dog out, and then I sit down to write or work.
I do not wake my kids up in the morning unless we need to be somewhere. This is holdover from when the kids would be up at 5::15am every day. When my list is complete I then have self-care items that I like to do as well. Things such as reading, or writing for pleasure. I will also start morning chores or do baking if I have extra time. Surprisingly this happens. It never used to happen (I have very early risers), but now it does once in a while.
The List Form Morning Routine
There aren’t a whole lot of things on my morning routine list. I also have an exceptional amount of time to complete those things since I get up so early.
Don’t put so many things on your list. You want to incorporate margin in your morning routine as well. You will be disappointed if you put too much on your list. The purpose of a great morning routine is to prepare and center you as you go into your day. If you can’t complete your morning routine you have to pare it down further.
In list form mine is:
Personal – 15 minutes
Quiet time – 30 minutes
Planning time – 15 minutes
Writing/work time – as much time as I can take
This means that I need to wake up at least one hour before my kids wake up. That is if I want to get the most out of my morning routine. Add up all the times for your list. Then figure out what time you need to wake up to reasonably accomplish those items. If you have a super long list (I started with a super long list), you may need to pare it down. That doesn’t mean you can never do all of those things. However, when you start you need to be able to win. You want it to become a habit, so work on the bare minimum first (if you have no morning routine).
Your morning routine doesn’t have to be some long list of items to check off before the sun comes up. It is to get you ready for a day full of teaching your children, training your children, and being a homeschool mom.
What is the one thing you have to do each morning to feel ready for the day?