Your routine can set you up for success.
It’s a new year, full of hope, promise and opportunities ahead. But in order to see the hope, claim the promises or jump on the opportunities that come your way, you need to be centered, or grounded, in who you are (or whose you are), what matters, and what you have been put on this planet to do. That is what a morning routine can do for you. Plus, it sets you up to succeed in the things that matter.
I find that a solid morning routine not only makes my days flow smoother, but also contributes to a better attitude, sense of well-being, and purpose in my life. Maybe this sounds like a bunch of hogwash, but I challenge you to give a morning routine a try to see if it makes a difference in your life.
Now, most likely, you already have some sort of morning routine. At the least, you get out of bed each day, get dressed, eat breakfast (I hope), teach school. You may incorporate a great deal more into your morning routine – things like chores, exercise, etc.
I am going to lay out my morning routine for you below. It’s far from perfect, but it’s getting better and better as the months go by. I am looking forward to adding a few more things to my AM routine in the coming months. You might see something here that you want to add to your mornings on a regular basis, but it’s important that you only add one thing at a time, or you might sabotage yourself. As humans, we are only wired to accept a certain amount of change in our lives.
Here is my morning ritual (AKA routine):
- To set myself up well for the next day, I go to bed by 10pm.
- I get up between 5am and 6am (usually 5:30am on the dot, weird). I do not need to set an alarm because my body has rested for 7 1/2 hours, which is all I seem to need at this time in my life. 🙂
- I drink a large glass of water as I am dehydrated after a good night’s rest.
- I pour myself a cup of coffee (which my husband made at 5am, when he naturally wakes up) and take my Bible off the shelf. I read a couple chapters in whatever book I happen to be in for my Bible read-through.
- I spend a few moments thinking about yesterday and what I loved about it. I think of 3 things that were wonderful about the day just passed.
- Then I think about 3 things that I am looking forward to today.
- Finally, I dwell on 3 things that I am thankful for and then I pray and I thank God for them. I also ask Him for help with any difficulties I see in the day ahead and any issues that my friends or family members are currently going though.
- Next, I write my to-do list. It is absolutely critical that I plan out my day BEFORE looking at my email or text messages. Frankly, I don’t want to just be pulled in the directions that other people have for me. I want to be mindful about what I want to accomplish that day. (In case you are wondering… I do not always complete everything on my to-do list for the day, and when that happens, the item gets transferred to the following day’s list. If this happens several times in a row, then I decide if it really needs to be done or if someone else can do it. Many times, I find that it’s unnecessary, but most of the time, I just need to buck up and do it. No more procrastination!)
- I take my vitamins and whip up a healthy protein fruit smoothie.
- Then, if it is still early enough and the kids are still sleeping, I will pull out my book and write or edit a couple pages.
- Lastly, I may or may not check my email before school. I used to be compulsive about checking my messages first thing in the morning. Now, I usually do not read them until afternoon. Here’s why… my mornings, from 8am until 1pm are dedicated to my kids and to our learning time together. Sometimes an email can derail that time. But moments with my family is an opportunity that I do not want to miss. Because being a mom who is present is one of the reasons I was put on the planet.
I have other routine tasks that occur throughout the day, such as reading a Psalm with my kids before school, taking a walk after lunch, enjoying a coffee break at 3pm, etc., but my morning routine is what sets me up for success in my day. I have particularly come to appreciate my time in the Word, in prayer, and in meditation for the day just passed and the day ahead. Thankfulness has made a huge impact in my life and attitude.
I hope to add stretching to my morning routine soon and reading to my evening routine, but I’m satisfied with what I am doing now and want to continue with it for a while before adding more layers.
How about you? Which of your morning routines are the most inspiring and life-giving for you? What would you like to add to your morning ritual that will set you up for a successful day?
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