{31 Days} Three Tips for an Evening Routine that Works

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I have heard it said before that a great evening routine
ensures a productive morning.  And I will
admit that I am not very good about an evening routine.  My main goal is to get my kids in bed before
9pm, and we usually do get them in bed by 9pm. 
But, three kids that really go to bed at different times, that makes
doing anything else in the evening complicated.

However, this month is not about excuses, it is about
overcoming overwhelm, and one way that I think I can do that is to revamp our
evening routine.

I would love to be able to tell you that I have it all
figured out with my kids and evening routines, but that is not accurate.  So I am going to focus on some other little
things that I can do in the evening to make my mornings go as smooth as

First step – Make the coffee.  
I know this seems like such a silly
thing.  It doesn’t take any time at all,
but I often won’t set the coffee the night before, and inevitably I am
irritated the next morning that the coffee fairies didn’t pick up my
slack.  I don’t even necessarily need to
have the coffee brewed in the morning, (sometimes my lofty expectations of
waking at 4:30am are not met and the coffee shuts off before I get up), as long
as it is in the coffee pot ready for me to press start.
For all of you non-coffee drinkers, you can obviously ignore
this part.  But, perhaps you could share
with me your secrets of not drinking coffee in the morning?
Let’s stop here, shall we. 
If I do nothing else in the evening but this one little thing, my mood
is improved in the morning.  Remember yesterday
when I said that I wasn’t always a morning person?  Even now while I can easily wake up super
early, I prefer not to be spoken to…or engaged…at all.  I still need to wake up!  If the coffee is made, I don’t grumble to
myself and start off on the wrong foot. 
It really is the little things.

Now for a few other items that make life a little bit

Look at the calendar before I go to bed. 

I am pretty good at remembering appointments
and commitments that we have, and I use my *planner constantly.  But, it is good to look at our family
calendar to make sure I am prepared for the next day, if I have a meeting that
I need to be at in the evening and need to make sure Matt is around so I don’t
need to bring the kids out with me, or if Matt is going to be late from work
for some reason.  As the season goes on
we will add more sports to our calendar, and that gets busy as well.
I also like to take this time to jot down a couple of items
that I know I need to complete the next day.
I will talk more about how I plan later this month, but I
will give you a hint, it involves a lot of lists.
Lists are a funny thing, in the morning, they are a
completely blank slate, and I, being extremely optimistic in my abilities
during the day, tend to make them very very long first thing in the
morning.  “How can I not accomplish all
of these tasks?!” I exclaim to myself. 
How indeed?
I have found that making my to-do list the night before adds
a bit more clarity to the situation. 
Especially if the day has been challenging, and I would say most are
challenging.  Instead of putting down
“clean all floors,” I am more likely to write “sweep and mop kitchen.”  Much more manageable.  And, if I am able to do more than that one
floor, I will add it to my list the next day.
It is much easier to add tasks and appointments than it is
to take them away.

Three Tips for an Evening Routine that Works

If I can accomplish these three items before I go to bed, I
will be in a much better place first thing in the morning.  I am less likely to be thinking about what
needs to be done the next day (causing me to be up half the night), and instead
have already written it down so there is no need to dwell on it. 
Now, of course there are many other items that can be done
in the evening to make your mornings easier, but seeing as how I am trying to
overcome overwhelm this month, I realize that the fewer things on my to-do
list, the better. 
Some other options are to set out your Bible, or other
reading material and a journal if you prioritize quiet time in the
morning.  If you want to exercise, make
sure you set out your work-out clothes, socks and shoes so you are ready to get
a jump on it as soon as you wake up.  Set
your planner out, if you use a paper planner, and any other materials you may
be using first thing in the morning.  If
you are a homeschool mom, set the books out the night before, so you aren’t searching
for them in the morning.  If you are a
mom with kids who school outside of the home, make sure their backpacks are
ready to go and pack lunches the night before so you have one less step in the
These are some additional ideas to help your evening routine
create a better morning for you!
Do you have a stellar
evening routine to set you up for your mornings?  What is one thing that you try to do every
evening before bed?

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  1. I don't have any evening or morning routines, since I work from home, but if I have something to do or somewhere to be the following day, I try to get as much done as I can beforehand (ex. find my clothes that I'm going to wear, etc)

  2. This isn't perfect!!! I struggle to get up in the morning and take time for myself. I'm usually rushed, and this routine would help refocus my mind right before bed. Plus you said the magic word: coffee! ?

  3. Great tips! I agree routines are the best! Tough to get started but once you do = lifechanging! I love to make my to-do list for the next day as part of my evening routine

  4. I hate having to face tons of things to do in the morning so I make sure that I do some prep at night as well. I set up a schedule of things to do and a list of which ones I need to finish first. It's overwhelming when you don't have a good schedule.

  5. I have a pretty straight forward routine at night and have sometimes a hard time sticking to it. These were super helpful tips to read this morning as I am being a slacker at home.

  6. Great tips! Things that help us see havibg "quiet time" before bed, ideally an hour before – either reading or quietly coloring and chatting about the day. Oh and laying out clothes the night before makes it MUCH easier when we need to leave the house at 6:45 AM! Smooth evenings make for smoother mornings!

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