Are you a morning person? Or do your mornings feel stressed and chaotic as you run around from here to there, trying to get everyone out the door? I'm not a morning person! {Are you surprised?} I mean, I used to be… I remember waking up at 5 AM every morning to head to the gym throughout most of my 20's. But somewhere along the way, my early morning routine turned into a late-night routine, and then my mornings got hectic!

Did you know that there are countless studies and statistics that evidence the importance of a morning routine? The majority of successful people wake up early. When I read this I knew that things had to change. And to be honest, I'd just plain had it with feeling stressed in the morning – trying to find our shoes and pack our lunches and make it out the door without someone {usually me} losing it!

It's no secret that these days, I have systems and processes for pretty much everything in my life. Whether it's brain dumping or meal prepping or grocery shopping or almost anything, I've probably written down a process or “system” for it. So why in the world hadn't I done this for my morning routine? Simple. Because I like to sleep! {And because I wasn't sure if I could really do it.} Well good news… I can! And I still get plenty of sleep. But now, I have much more peaceful mornings, too.

Before I share my secret recipe for a great morning routine, let me just be candid… this is my ideal morning routine. But as a Type A planner, I have to constantly remind myself that this world does not revolve around me and that my plans are not always the Lord's plans. So while this is my best-case scenario every day, it's not always my reality. And I'm truly ok with that! Now let's get started…

An Ideal Morning Routine Starts with A Great Evening Routine #getorganized

An Ideal Morning Routine Starts with A Great Evening Routine

(1) Pick a Bedtime. A great morning routine starts the night before because, let's face it – if we don't get to bed early, we're much more likely to hit snooze when the alarm goes off at 5:30 am {or whatever time you choose}! Which means the first step to a great morning routine is figuring out what time you need to go to bed. Now, I'm the kind of girl who functions optimally with 7-8 hours of sleep. Anything less than that, and it's a 3-cups-of-coffee, pray-for-lots-of-grace kind of day! So if I want to get up at 5:30 AM, I need to be asleep by 10:30 PM at the absolute latest!

(2) Make a list of 5 “to-do's” before bedtime. Now I know that there may really be 150 different things that need to get done before you go to bed, but the fact of the matter is that when it comes to routines, simpler is better. Routines aren't meant to be rigid, they are meant to be attainable. In the printable at the end of the page, I've given you several examples of night-time activities. The ones I make sure happen every night are:

  • Load dishwasher and start it

  • Quick 10-minute pickup/straighten around the house

  • Pack lunches for the next day

  • Make to-do list for the next day

  • Get ready for bed

(3) Determine what time you need to start your evening routine. Work backwards from the time you would ideally be asleep, and make sure to give yourself a time-buffer! In order to make sure these get done, I start my bedtime routine no later than 9:00 pm. Sticking with a consistent bedtime will likely be the thing that makes or breaks your morning routine.

Start Your Morning Off Right By Being Intentional

(1) Pick a Wake-Up Time. Ideally, I try and wake up about an hour and a half before my daughter. This gives me time to read, workout, and shower before her sweet little toes hit the floor. I've found that when I've filled my cup this way, I have much more to pour out throughout the day. I like to use this analogy with my clients: you know on the airplane, how they tell you to put on your oxygen mask first and then help those around you? It's the same way in life. If we aren't getting enough oxygen {taking care of ourselves} we won't be fully equipped to serve others well. I know when I'm tired or overwhelmed, I tend to be less patient, less kind, and less self-controlled. And that's why my early morning routine makes such much of a difference, not just for me but for my family!

(2) Make a list of 5 “to-do's” for the morning. Ideally, these are things that you would like to get done during the first 1-2 hours of the morning. I truly believe that at least one of these needs to be a way that you take care of yourself {e.g. quite time, workout, etc.}. I mean it! You are that important! I've given you several examples of morning activities in the printable, but the one's I try and accomplish every morning are:

  • Quiet time

  • Workout

  • Shower & get ready

  • Unload the dishwasher

  • Start a load of laundry

Ideally, I'll also make the bed {a task that until just a few months ago, I truly didn't value}. I didn't include breakfast on this list because these are the things I try to get done before breakfast, but your routine may look different and may need to include breakfast in your list.

Give Yourself Grace

A morning routine is just that – a routine. It's not a rigid doctrine. It's not a mandatory get-this-done-or-you're-a-failure list. In fact, it's quite the opposite. For our family, a morning routine is what allows me to be calmer and more collected throughout the day. It's my happy-place. My safe haven. A way for me to quickly feel like I've accomplished a lot before my baby girl even opens her eyes. And yes, there are days that I still hit snooze. There are days when I don't get in bed early enough, and I just can't pry my eyes open at 5:30 AM. And there are weeks like this past week when my baby girl is sick and I'm sleeping on the couch next to her so she can find some relief from these crazy allergies we all have right now. And so my morning routine gets put on hold. But I have to tell you – I wouldn't trade these precious moments with her!

I also need you to understand that what works for me may not work for you. You may prefer an even more flexible routine. I have friends who wake up at 4 AM to start their day, and know others who sleep in much later. They do what works for them. And that's what I want you to do. Below, I've attached a printable that you can use to determine the best routine that works for you. And remember – it's just a routine!

You can download my printable worksheet for Designing Your Ideal Morning Routine here.

Do you have a morning routine? What time do you wake up each morning? What is essential to your morning routine?