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Tag Archive: 5 Days to a Better Morning

5 Days to a Better Morning Challenge (Day 5)

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Welcome to Day 5 of the 5 Days to a Better Morning Challenge! I’m so excited that so many of you committed to join me in this journey. If you missed the first posts in this series, read Day 1 hereDay 2 here, Day 3 here and Day 4 here.

It’s the final day of this 5-Day series! Thanks so much for joining me on this journey and sharing your encouraging comments along the way. You’ve blessed and inspired me through what you’ve shared.

I want to close out this series by sharing two final techniques for setting up your day for success — both which have made a major difference in my own life:

Lay Out Clothes

One of the habits I implemented a few years ago that has made a huge difference in my mornings is choosing clothes and laying them out the night before. Not only does this eliminate decision fatigue in the morning and make it so simple to get dressed, but it also guarantees I have clean clothes to wear. {Maybe you can relate to that panic moment when you realize you need to be out the door in 20 minutes and the shirt you were planning to wear is not in your closet but at the bottom of the dirty clothes pile??}

The other added benefit of laying out my clothes the night before is that it makes it much easier for me to dress for the day I want to have. I lay out my clothes all the way down to jewelry so that it makes it so easy in the morning to just grab the stack of clothes and get dressed. No decisions to make at all!

I’ve found that simplifying my wardrobe makes it much easier to quickly choose outfits that I love and that make me feel great. (Read more about how I keep my wardrobe simple and ways I’ve figured out what colors/styles work best for me here.)

If you need some encouragement to simplify your wardrobe, I highly recommend watching this video on the 10-item wardrobe. I also love these Rules for a Minimalist Wardrobe and Andrea’s post on her Mix & Match Wardrobe.

Organizing Young Kids' Clothes

If you want to really make your mornings easier, have your kids lay out their clothes at night, too. (When my girls were little, I used a Day of the Week Closet Organizer and just picked out all their outfits for the week when I put the laundry away. This made it so easy for them to get dressed in the mornings!)

Wind Down Earlier

I’ve found that it takes me about an hour to wind down and go to sleep, so if I want to go to bed by 9:30 p.m., I need to start winding down around 8:30 p.m. In the past, I would start thinking about going to bed right around the time I actually wanted to be in bed going to sleep… which meant that I almost always stayed up later than I should have!

I’ve been very intentional about making winding down earlier a priority this year and it’s made such a difference. One of my favorite things to do is to wind down with some sort of pampering (see below). This helps me relax and shut my brain off so I can fall into a deep sleep.

Some of My Favorite Before-Bed Pampering Rituals:

  • Sleepytime Tea — Drinking a cup of tea with a little honey and milk while reading a great book or flipping through a magazine really winds me down at night.
  • Badger Sleep Balm — I love to rub this on my feet at night and then put socks on. And I really do think it helps me sleep better!
  • Essential Oils — One of my favorite companies is Rocky Mountain Essential Oils. (You can read my completely honest review of their oils and company here.) I love diffusing essential oils (here’s an inexpensive diffuser) like Peace & Calming (there are some other knock-off brands here) or Lavender.
  • Bath Salts — Soaking in a warm bath with bath salts before bed is so relaxing to me — especially if its accompanied with a great book! I love the Dr. Teals Soothe & Sleep Salts. Or you can make your own homemade bath salts.

Peace & Calming Essential Oils

Another strategy that has been so helpful is for me take email off of my phone. I used to instinctively check my email right before bed and feel like I needed to deal with it right away, which always prevented me from winding down and relaxing because my brain wouldn’t shut down properly.

Now I try to shut down the computer mid to late afternoon and not turn it back on until the following day after breakfast. This not only helps my brain take a rest from business stuff for me to be offline for at least 12 to 15 hours each day, but it also makes it much easier for me to shut off my sometimes hyper-active brain at night so I can fall asleep!

And finally, one of my most effective techniques for winding down at night is to take few minutes to write down everything I need to do that day or feel like I need to do. Getting it all out of my head onto paper is such a helpful exercise. (Read this post here for all the details on how I do this and how I create a prioritized to-do list for the next day.)

Note: If you struggle with sleep, be sure to read my post on How to Get More Sleep and my post on How to Sleep Restfully for lots of practical ideas and tips.

Day 5 Project

1. Follow your Morning Routine and check in with your accountability partner to let them know how it’s going. Leave a comment to let us know how you’re doing. (And if you’ve not created your Morning Routine yet, be sure to go here and follow the steps and then leave a comment on this post letting us know your plan!)

2. Lay out your clothes for tomorrow and pick one idea to implement to wind down earlier or help you go to bed more relaxed. Tell us in the comments what idea you chose and how it went for you!

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Looking for some more practical help?

5 Days to a Better Morning Challenge (Day 4)

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Welcome to Day 4 of the 5 Days to a Better Morning Challenge! I’m so excited that so many of you committed to join me in this journey. If you missed the first posts in this series, read Day 1 hereDay 2 here, and Day 3 here

I’m a firm believer that a successful morning begins the night before. When you go to bed at a decent hour, with a plan for the next day, and with everything that you can prepped for the next day, you’re giving yourself a huge jumpstart on the next day. Plus, you’ll likely wake up feeling organized, calm, and focused.

Here are two things you can do to prep for a great tomorrow:

Plan Your Breakfast

If you wake up in the morning and have breakfast all planned and prepped ahead of time, it makes mornings SO much easier. Often, it truly only takes 5 or 10 minutes of planning and prep work the night before, but can make a huge difference in the morning!

We’ve done different things at different seasons and I think it’s important to figure out what works for you and your family. I’m really spoiled right now in that Jesse makes breakfast for us every morning. He loves it and it allows me to read aloud to the kids while he’s cooking breakfast.

Instead of making breakfast the night before, we rotate through three different breakfast options that can all be made in 15 minutes or less: bacon & eggs, oatmeal, or Cream of Wheat. Each of these are filling and we all like them. Plus, they don’t make much of a mess to make.

5 Days to a Better Morning

Baked Oatmeal is one of staple Make Ahead breakfasts. We all love it, , you can whip up a batch in under 10 minutes and stick it in the refrigerator overnight and then just stick it in the oven to bake in the morning.

A few years ago, when we were in a different season of life, we had oatmeal every single morning for breakfast. The kids learned how to make it and I’d just oversee while they’d each make their own bowl. It was cheap, simple, and clean up was a breeze.

When the kids were younger and Jesse had already left for work by breakfast time, I relied on Make Ahead Breakfasts — like Baked Oatmeal, Pancakes or Waffles from the Freezer, or sometimes cereal.

My encouragement to you is to figure out what you think will work for you and your family and then make a plan accordingly. Try it for a few weeks. If it doesn’t work, go back to the drawing board and try again!

Prep the Lunches

If you need to go somewhere the next day and you’ll be gone during lunch time, go ahead and pack lunches the night before. You can do this while you’re making dinner or right after dinner (before you clean up the kitchen). If you weave it right into your dinner or post-dinner efforts, it probably won’t feel like much extra effort, but it could really save you a lot of stress the next day.

An added benefit is that you won’t be tempted to hit up the drive-thru the next day or be pulling your hair out trying to concoct a lunch out of thin air two minutes before you have to be pulling out of the driveway.

Screen Shot 2016-06-30 at 11.52.14 AM

Need some ideas? Here are a few of our favorite make-ahead lunch options:

Looking for more make-ahead sack lunch ideas? Check out my Lunchbox Freezer Cooking series.

What are YOUR favorite quick & easy breakfast and lunch ideas? I’d love to hear!

Day 4 Project

1. Follow your Morning Routine and check in with your accountability partner to let them know how it’s going. Leave a comment to let us know how you’re doing. (And if you’ve not created your Morning Routine yet, be sure to go here and follow the steps and then leave a comment on this post letting us know your plan!)

2. Prep your breakfast and lunch for tomorrow. Tell us in the comments your simple plan for how you’re going to follow through with it (Such as, “I’m going to prep breakfast before bed. I’m going to make a pan of Baked Oatmeal to stick in the fridge overnight.”)

pancakes

Make Ahead Pancake Batter is one of our favorite quick & easy “fancy” breakfasts.

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Looking for some more practical help?

  • Check out Jessica’s post for a comprehensive list of Make Ahead Breakfast ideas. She also has a fantastic Breakfast Freezer Cooking Plan.
  • Read my post on 3 Strategies to Simplify Brown Bag Lunches. And check out Jessica’s Easy Lunches Freezer Cooking Plan and Laura’s Healthy, Inexpensive Lunches Printable List.
  • Download Day 1 of Make Over Your Mornings (it’s FREE!) — my 14-day course to help you jumpstart a successful day.

5 Days to a Better Morning Challenge (Day 3)

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Welcome to Day 3 of the 5 Days to a Better Morning Challenge! I’m so excited that so many of you committed to join me in this journey. If you missed the first posts in this series, read Day 1 here and Day 2 here.

For years, I ran myself ragged. I burned the candle at both ends. I thought that the best way to be more productive was to be as organized as possible, work as efficiently as possible, and get up really early.

Being organized, working efficiently, and getting up early can all be great things, but in my case, I forgot one very important truth: if I get up really early only to go throughout my day completely exhausted, I won’t be able to work anywhere near as efficiently and I won’t be able to stay at all as organized and focused.

Not only that, but not getting enough sleep for days and days and days on end is a surefire way to hurt your health and to probably also go through life feeling frazzled and irritable.

Today we’re going to talk about the importance of getting a great night’s sleep. I truly believe that this one of the keys to a better morning. When you wake up feeling refreshed, rested, and energetic, you’ve given yourself a huge head start for a fantastic day.

Ever since I first started blogging, I’ve known and preached the importance of good sleep. For years, it was something I really wanted to make happen and did try to make a priority, but between babies and toddlers and a business and life, it was hard for it to ever really consistently happen.

I love the quote that says, “If it’s important to you, you’ll find the time. If it’s not important to you, you’ll find an excuse.” This was true for me with sleep.

Even though I preached all about sleep and had amazing intentions to get good sleep, it was rare that I actually got a good night’s rest more than a few days in a row. And there were a number of periods of time where I ran on fumes for days on end and had to just keep pushing through in order to meet the deadlines and goals I had, follow through with my commitments, and still have time for my family.

I had bought into the lie that, “I had no other choice.” That I needed to say “yes” to these things in order to be a good businesswoman, a good friend, a strategic author, a good wife, a good mom.

Go to Bed Early Challenge: Want to join me?

In reality, I had brought almost all the stress, the to-do’s, and the tasks on myself. I had said “yes”, I had chosen to feel obligated, I had set those goals. I was the problem, but I was also the solution! I could choose to say “no”, I could choose to not feel obligated, and I could set fewer goals.

This Year of Rest has been bursting with lessons and a-ha moments. One of the greatest lessons for me has been that saying “no” to a bunch of things hasn’t ruined my life or my business. If anything, it’s made things so much better because I’m only doing a few things which means I can do those few things really, really well. And not just that, but I can also fully enjoy those few things instead of feeling stressed over what else I still have to do and what’s coming up right around the corner.

This breathing room in my life has giving me the space to start actually getting good sleep. Not just one good night’s rest here and there. No, it’s becoming very rare that I get less than six hours of sleep in a night and it’s becoming very normal for me to wake up before my alarm clock — something I basically never, ever did before.

2 Strategies for Better Sleep

If you’re struggling to get enough sleep at night, I want to challenge you to try these two strategies:

1. Learn Your Triggers

Are there specific things that are keeping you from getting a good night’s rest? Things that are either keeping you up at night or keeping you from going to bed at a decent hour or waking you up early in the morning?

Now obviously, those things might not be a thing; they might be a baby or a toddler who is waking up at night! I get that because that was my life for about six years. My nights were full of interruptions and crying babies needing to be fed.

But in that season, I also had other triggers: I was addicted to busyness and productivity. I felt worth from what I did. And I had bought into the lie of chasing after “more”.

So instead of getting up with the babies and then letting myself sleep in or take a nap to compensate, I got up early and worked through the baby’s naps. Because there was always so much to do… almost all of which I had put on myself.

As I’ve talked about before, I struggle with being a performer and a people-pleaser and this fed into how I short-changed my sleep.

I have been so challenged by Emily Freeman’s quote in Simply Tuesday“When I’m performing for my own acceptance, burnout is always the result.”

If you’re feeling worn down and worn out, take a step back and examine if any of the exhaustion is a result of trying to earn someone else’s acceptance. Are you only saying “yes” to that opportunity because you want someone to like you? Are you only volunteering or sending that email or showing up for that event just so someone else will be impressed with you?

5 Days to a Better Morning Challenge

2. Track Your Sleep

One of the most helpful things I’ve done in the past two years is to start tracking my sleep. I always had a general idea of how much sleep I was getting, but actually tracking it really opened up my eyes in big ways.

I started out by tracking my sleep with the Sleep Cycle App. This is an app that you download and run on your phone during the night. You choose a 30-minute window of time when you’d like to wake up and then it tracks your sleep patterns (based upon your movements) and wakes you up when it’s the most optimum time during that window.

The Sleep Cycle app also tracks your sleep and gives you a report each day on your sleep cycles and how deep and restful your sleep was. You can read more how it works here.

While I found this to be a really great start, I felt like the tracking wasn’t as accurate or in-depth as I wanted. Sometimes when it would say I got great sleep, I didn’t feel like I had.

So I started researching other options. Though I had resisted getting a fitness tracker for a long time as they felt like such a “fad”, I finally caved and bought myself a Jawbone UP3 at the beginning of this year. I’m SO glad that I did as it truly made such a difference for me.

Not only have I found myself much, much more motivated to be active and get in more steps, I’ve found that the sleep tracking has been incredibly enlightening.

For instance, I’ve learned that when I go to bed hungry, I don’t sleep as well. I’ve also learned that it takes me a lot longer to actually go to sleep than I realized. So I’ve made adjustments to my schedule so that I’m in bed for at least 7 1/2 hours in order to get close to 7+ good hours of sleep.

I’ve also determined that stress and certain other factors result in a lot lighter sleep. So I’ve worked on eliminating as many of those things from my life — or at least around bedtime! — so that I’ll sleep more restfully.

In not only making sleep a priority, but also in making deep sleep a priority, I’ve discovered that I have much better focus, I feel a lot calmer, I’m a lot less irritable, and I’m a lot happier! And all of those things definitely help make for better mornings!

Day 3 Project

1. Think through what your triggers are that are keeping you from getting a great night’s sleep. Are there things you could avoid, remove, or eliminate from your life in order to cut down on hindrances to a good night’s sleep?

2. Start tracking your sleep and see what you learn from it. I recommend tracking it for at least two weeks so you can notice trends and see what’s working and what’s not working.

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Looking for some more practical help?

5 Days to a Better Morning Challenge (Day 2)

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Welcome to Day 2 of the 5 Days to a Better Morning Challenge! I’m so excited that so many of you committed to join me in this journey. If you missed my first post for Day 1 you can read it here.

Today, I want you to take your answers to the three questions I had you ask yourself yesterday and we’re going to use those as the basis for creating a Realistic Routine.

3 Steps to a Successful Routine

Step 1: Start Out Small

The biggest mistake people make when trying to create a routine is that they bite off more than they can chew. If you’ve never had a routine before, please don’t decide that you’re now going to have your whole family on an every-15-minutes regimented schedule. That’s setting yourself up for failure and frustration from the get-go.

Instead, start out small. Choose your start time, your out-the-door time, and your Big Rocks. Then, flesh this out into a simple routine.

Sample Routines

Example #1: Let’s say you’re a single woman who works full-time and your start time is 6:30 a.m., your out-the-door time is 7:45 a.m., and your Big Rocks are to eat a healthy breakfast and get in 15 minutes of exercise, your routine could look like this:

  • 6:30 a.m. — Get up and get on workout clothes
  • 6:40 a.m. — 15 minute workout
  • 7:00 a.m. — Make scrambled eggs and cut up fruit for breakfast
  • 7:10 a.m. — Eat breakfast
  • 7:20 a.m. — Shower/dress
  • 7:40 am. — Ready to go

If you’ll notice, I padded the routine with a little extra time. You probably don’t need 10 minutes to get your workout clothes on. But maybe you move slow in the morning, so this will give you a little extra time to slowly wake up and get on your workout clothes.

I also added in 5 extra minutes between when the workout ends and when you’d start making breakfast, just to give a little extra buffer. And then it probably won’t take you 20 minutes to make and eat breakfast, but this gives you a little extra time so you can check email or catch the news or listen to a podcast or read a little. I’m all about giving a little margin and breathing room!

My Morning Routine

Example #2: Let’s say you’re a working mom with two kids who are 5 and 8 and your start time is 6:00 a.m., your out-the-door time is 7:30 a.m., and your Big Rocks are to get 15 minutes of quiet time and to read to your kids at breakfast. Your routine could look something like this:

  • 6:00 a.m. — Get up, wash face, make coffee
  • 6:10 a.m. — 15 minutes of quiet time
  • 6:30 a.m. — Get kids up & started on their morning routine, shower/dress
  • 6:50 a.m. — Help the 5-year-old finish getting dressed/ready
  • 7:00 a.m. — Breakfast
  • 7:10 a.m. — Read to kids while they are finishing breakfast
  • 7:20 a.m. — Ready to head out the door.

If the thought of having specific times for each part of your routine freaks you out or you’re in a season of life where you’re just trying to survive and when you get up is constantly changing based upon how many times your baby or toddler wakes up at night, you might consider creating a routine that isn’t time-based… but is just a list of items you plan to do in the same order when you get up every morning. As always, do what works for you and your family!

Do you see how this works? It’s really quite simple. Even if you’ve never had a routine before, you can do this!

The trick is to not bite off more than you can chew. If you only have an hour and a half or two hours and you choose 3 30-minute Big Rocks to tackle, you’re likely going to have an issue. But if you choose two Big Rocks that take 10 to 15 minutes each, you can fit them in and still have time to get ready and out the door in time!

Note: Not a morning person? Here’s a post on How a Non-Morning Person Can Have an Effective Routine.

Step 2: Set Up Accountability

If you want to be successful at anything, you can’t go it alone. You need other people on the journey with you! That’s one reason why I love blogging about things I’m working through/challenging myself with — because I get the benefit of having the public accountability that you all provide for me! 🙂

{Yes, did you know you are my accountability partner? Yup. You may not have known it, but you totally are! 🙂 Thank you!}

Yesterday, I encouraged you to not only leave a comment on the post to say you were participating in this challenge, but I also asked you to tell someone offline.

Why did I ask you to do this? Because I knew that the very act of saying, “I’m doing this” and then telling someone else that you are would encourage you to not just think this is a good idea, but to actually be motivated to follow through with it.

Hello Mornings!

What kind of accountability would motivate you to actually follow through with your morning routine? I recommend that you choose at least two forms of accountability and that one is a person and one is a product.

Accountability Partners — It’s great to have online accountability, but real-life people are the best forms of accountability. They can even show up at your front door if you don’t answer the texts, emails, or phone calls. 😉

Not sure where to find an accountability partner? Check out this post for some ideas. The Hello Mornings site is a great way to plug into morning accountability groups if you can’t find anyone in your area.

Accountability Products — I also am a big fan of accountability products such as apps, printables, or other kinds of trackers. These are great for everyone, but are especially valuable for those of us who love to check things off a list!

At the bottom of today’s post and yesterday’s post, I’ve put together a list of resources that might be great starting points. You can also check out this post for some great ideas on other accountability sources.

Step 3: Stick With It

You’ve got your routine set up. You have your accountability in place. Now you just need to follow through and do it!

A plan only works if you actually follow it. So jump in with both feet and stick with this. You can do this! I’m cheering for you!

Need some encouragement to get your mornings in better shape?

Need some accountability and step-by-step help for transforming your mornings? I’d love to help you!

Day 2 Project

1. Create your routine based upon your start time, out-the-door time, and Big Rocks. Leave a comment letting us know what your routine is. We’d love to hear and be inspired!

2. Put at least two forms of accountability in place. I’d recommend that one is a person and one is a product (a printable, an app, etc.). You decide what would work best for you. Leave a comment and let us know that you put the accountability in place, as well.

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Looking for some more practical help?

  • Read my post on What To Do When You Get Thrown Off Your Routine.
  • Need more step-by-step help? Follow the steps in this post on How to Create Your Perfect Morning Routine. 
  • Download Day 1 of Make Over Your Mornings (it’s FREE!) — my 14-day course to help you jumpstart a successful day.
  • Grab a copy of Eat That Frog! for inspiration to start your day well.
  • Have young kids? Check out this long list of Visual Routines for Kids — a great round-up of cards/checklists for young kids that you can print for free.

5 Days to a Better Morning Challenge (Day 1)

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This week, we’re going to be talking about mornings. Maybe you’re in the middle of summer and the last thing you want to think about is a routine. If so, you go right ahead and skip this series, okay?

But if you’re anything like me, you’re already thinking ahead to the upcoming school year or you’re wanting to get into a better routine this summer in preparation for the upcoming school year. Our kids are going to a 4-Day Classical School this coming year, so it will be our first year of having to get lunches packed, backpacks ready, everyone dressed and out the door early in the morning four days per week.

Our kids aren’t so little any more, so they are able to be a lot more helpful and independent, but I still need to be the one to create the overall routine and make sure things run smoothly. To help our kids gear up for this (and to help our summer run more smoothly because our girls are spending a lot of time at skating and swimming practices), we decided to have a pretty strict Morning Routine as a family.

Here’s what our current Morning Routine looks like:

5:45 am — Jesse and I up and ready to workout.
6:00 amWorkout in the garage with our friend, Brian. (Read more about my workout plan here.)
6:30 am — Run in and wake the kids up (if they aren’t already up) and get them started on their morning chores and then head back to finish the workout.
7:15 am — Finish our workout. Kids are expected to be at the kitchen table completely dressed/hair fixed, with their morning chores all done. I read a chapter from our current read aloud while Jesse makes breakfast.
7:30 am — We eat breakfast while Jesse leads our family Bible Time. (Read more about our family Bible Time here.)
7:45 am — Jesse eats and oversees the kids’ Summer School workbooks/helps Silas with reading while I clean up the kitchen and take a quick shower and get ready for the day.
8:15 am — Girls make their lunches/dinners if they’ll be at swimming/skating. Bags packed for heading out the door. I make sure everything is in order for the day, do my She Reads Truth study, and be ready to start my online work at 8:45 am.

5 Days to a Better Morning

And that’s that! Here’s the thing I love about this Morning Routine: if we don’t get much else done after 9 am, we still accomplished some of the most important things — like working out and family time around the table!

{My goal is to work back to getting up at 5 am so I can read my Bible and have some quiet before the workout, but I’m not there yet. Baby steps, right? :)}

Our hope is to just tweak this a little so we can have almost the same time blocks and then just head out the door at 7:45 a.m. for school (gratefully, they don’t have to be at school until 8 a.m. and it’s close to our house!)

There’s No One-Size-Fits-All Plan!

If you read our routine and felt overwhelmed, please remember this: My husband and I are both home full-time and both share in the household/kid responsibilities. I know that this makes things so much easier for me and allows me to have a lot more flexibility in my schedule than many of you have.

In addition, as I mentioned above, our kids are at a stage where they are much more independent than they used to be. Plus, our business is at the place where I have a great team in place and I don’t have to get on and check social media or emails until later in the morning.

And finally, we’ve been fine-tuning routines for a long time. This is not something new to us. Practice doesn’t make it perfect (trust me on that!), but it does make it easier. 

Here are some examples of previous routines — to give you an idea of how things have changed for us over the years:

5 Days to a Better Morning

3 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Creating a Routine

If you don’t already have a great morning routine and you’d like to develop one, I want to challenge you to ask yourself three questions:

A. What is a realistic start time? What time can you realistically commit to getting out of bed in the morning? Please remember this is not the time you would ideally love to get up in the morning. Or the time you think sounds impressive. Or the time your Type A, super organized friend gets up in the morning. 🙂

I want you to think through what is actually feasible for you right now in this season of your life. Make sure it will allow you to get enough sleep. Trying to operate well while exhausted is like trying to run your car on fumes. You just aren’t going to get very far without being stalled on the side of the road.

Note: Maybe you don’t even want to choose a realistic start time and instead choose to start your routine when you wake up — whenever that is. I think this is an especially good option if you have a baby and/or a toddler who is waking up in the night and you’re in a season of life where you don’t have to be out the door at a certain time each morning.

B. When do you need to be out the door? What time does everyone need to be dressed, ready for the day, bags, packed, lunches packed, and in the car? This will help you determine what a realistic start time is and what you can realistically accomplish during the hour or hours you have from the time you get up to the time you need to be out the door.

If you don’t have to be out the door by a certain time, then ask yourself what time would you like to have accomplished your morning routine? Would you love to be ready to walk out the door if a friend called you for a play date or to easily be able to run an errand mid-morning because you are dressed, look presentable, and your ducks are in a pretty good row? That time could be 9 a.m. (like us) or noon or whatever time you decide! This challenge is not about following a formula, but about figuring out what works best for you and your family in your current season of life.

C. What are your Big Rocks? What would you really, really love to have done first thing in the morning? What few things would set your day up for success? What are those tasks or to-do’s or projects that you always hope to get to but that often get pushed to the back burner because you spend so much of your day putting out fires?

For my husband and me, working out and family time around the table are two big priorities. By making them something that happens very early in the day, we not only start our day off on a great foot, but we also ensure that they actually happen! It feels SO good to have accomplished these very important things right off the bat in our day!

My Top Favorite Time Management Books

Day 1 Project

1. Decide that you’re going to participate in this challenge. Committing to something is the first step to success! Leave a comment letting us know that you’re committed to joining me on this 5-day journey to a better morning this week.

2. Determine your answers to the three questions above. Write these out or type them out or leave a comment on this post answering them. We’ll use these as a guide for setting up a Realistic Routine tomorrow.

3. Tell someone offline that you’re participating in this challenge. In addition to leaving a comment on this post, I encourage you to text, call, or personally tell a friend, family member, neighbor, or co-worker about this challenge and that you are committing to it this week. The more accountability you set up from the get-go, the more apt you are to actually follow through on what you’re committing to!

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Looking for some more practical help?

  • Check out this page on Pinterest with lots of Morning Routine posts, ideas, and printables.
  • Follow my Make Over Your Mornings Pinterest board.
  • Download Day 1 of Make Over Your Mornings (it’s FREE!) — my 14-day course to help you jumpstart a successful day.
  • Pick up a copy of The 5 A.M. Miracle for inspiration to get up earlier.
  • Download the What The Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast ebook.
  • See if your library has any of my 10 Top Favorite Books on Productivity & Time Management.