There are days when I start feeling completely overwhelmed with life, like time is just passing me by and I’m accomplishing very little to climb out of the never-ending hole that is my to do list. Those are the days I know it’s time to get back to my early morning routines.
There’s something magical about having a morning routine on autopilot that fuels your energy and ability to GET. CRAP. DONE.
“Lose an hour in the morning, and you will be all day hunting for it.”
There are definitely days I sleep in until the very last second before I need to be out the door and its my kids who end up getting me up. However, when I make my mornings a priority, I feel so much more inspired and ready to take on the day the right way.
I haven’t always been this way though. Like a lot of people, I used to stay up late and wake up too late to get much done in the morning.
After I had my son, I wanted to pick up running. Because of our somewhat unique situation, I had to exercise in the morning and I realized that if I wanted to run, it would have to be at 5am.
Let me tell you, this was sooooo hard for me. I remember grunting every time my alarm went off and wanting, more than anything, to hit the snooze button. After I while, my body adjusted and I actually looked forward to getting up early. It was the only time I didn’t have to be responsible for anyone but myself. I could trust that my husband was keeping my son safe and I could actually be ALONE! It’s not that I didn’t love spending time with my son but I really missed my “alone time” to just be me and not have to worry, constantly, about anyone else. It was therapeutic.
Then I got pregnant again and after the birth of my daughter, I was in survival mode. Like most postpartum moms I would sleep in until the absolute last second that I had to get up and out of the house. That was fine for a while, until I started getting postpartum depression. I contribute a lot of that to not getting any exercise and completely losing myself in trying to take care of two kids and my disabled brother all at the same time. Once my daughter was a little older and sleeping a little better at night, I made myself pick up my early morning schedule again. It has saved my life!
I am still working out the kinks and trying to decide exactly WHAT I want to spend this precious time doing. Although I’m still working on solidifying my morning routine, I thought it might be helpful to share some ideas for how you can create your own morning routine.
1. Write down the most important things you should (or want to) do in a day
Decide which of these items would best be accomplished in the morning, when your willpower is at its strongest and distractions are at a minimum.
2. Plan out your ideal morning
Write out what your ideal morning would look like. For me, I love mornings. I don’t necessarily enjoy getting out of bed, but I love the time I have to myself once I’m up. For me, ideally, I would go for a run, read my scriptures and pray, write for at least an hour or two without interruptions, make and eat a big breakfast with my family, and get ready for the day. Plan it out and see where your priorities are.
3. Decide how long it will take to accomplish
This one’s easy, do the math to figure out what time you will need to get up in order to accomplish those things in the morning.
My ideal morning is, unfortunately, totally unrealistic. For one thing, my kids are usually up at 6. That would mean, in order for me to enjoy all the things I want to before my kids get up, I would have to get up at like 2am. Yeah, not gonna happen. So…I can decide how else I can order my mornings and take out something I feel like I could do later in the day if I had to. I have to take a long, hard look at my priorities and see that something will have to be done at a less idealistic time. This is where I’m struggling right now…but I have faith I’ll work it out.
5. Get up at your predetermined time
Just do it guys. If you need to get up at 5 and you’re currently getting up at 8 or 9, don’t think that tomorrow you’ll be up before sunrise. Try 15 minutes earlier than your current time for a few days. Gradually increase your mornings in 15 minute intervals until you’re up at your desired time. It’s really that simple. If you have to put your alarm clock on the opposite side of the room, do it. If you want to use a really cool sleep app/alarm clock download this one, it’s seriously the best!
6. Get enough sleep
If you’re going to be getting up earlier, you need to be going to bed earlier too. You have to decide how many hours of sleep you need to work at your optimum level. I know, for me, I need a full 8 hours of sleep. This means that if I’m up at 5, I need to go to bed at 9. Most days this feels unrealistic which means I need to make some changes. Part of what I know will help me with my morning routine is establishing a well-oiled evening routine. More on that another day…
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Making every hour of your day count is a difficult process. It won’t stay the same all the time. It’s continually evolving and changing with the different seasons in your life. However, you won’t believe the difference it will make in your mood, progress toward your goals, and your ability to take care of the little people in your life.