I didn’t always care about my mornings, but now they can make or break my day

The morning time can be the busiest time of the day. I don’t know how true it is, but I read a quote that said your first hour awake determines your day. If this is true, then that explains some of the days I’ve had the past few months.

B.K. (before kids) my mornings looked pretty simple. I woke up, got ready for the gym, worked out for an hour, got ready for work and then left. With just me and my husband, it was nothing to meal prep on Sunday’s – so we could grab and go.

Once I had my son, the morning times became a blur. I didn’t know whether I was coming or going, didn’t even know if I was fully awake, and wasn’t sure what I was even wearing sometimes.

It took me a little while to come to terms with the fact that I needed a routine. I needed to adjust what I allowed myself to do in the mornings, and went through a variety of phases.

I tried thinking I would get up early to make lunch, get a breakfast together for my son to eat on the way to school, allow time for the gym, finish up getting my work stuff together, and literally leave everything for the morning – as you can imagine, this was a major bust. Usually, I would end up running late, forget something, or both.

Your first hour awake determines your day.

Quickly, I realized that this was not going to work for me. Then, I figured out what needed to be done in the evenings before bed so that my mornings were lighter.

Again, this took a few iterations to get to a place where it made sense. Now, I smoothly carry out things that have to be done each day. There was a point where I put too much in the evenings and got to bed too late. Times where I packed my weekend so I couldn’t enjoy it trying to free up my evenings. I came to a mixture of tasks for the weekends, tasks for the evenings, and tasks for the mornings.

I could share my current morning routine with you – but it might not work for you and your family. So I’m not going to. Instead, I will share what you do need to simplify your mornings. This way your first hour is productive, on time, peaceful, and a great start to your day.

1. Pick a reasonable time to wake up

Again, this is going to depend on you. One person’s best 5am thoughts might be another woman’s nightmare. I would suggest that you add about 30 extra minutes more than you think you need – this will allow you to become more comfortable with this new wake up time and give you some flexibility so that you’re not rushing.

2. Add is some alone or quiet time

Beginning the day by absorbing outside influences can impact you more than you might think. Internally, we’re all equipped with the tools to face whatever task is in front of us. If we’re constantly being influenced by social media all day or the negative news cycle and not spending some quiet or devotional time, we often find ourselves repeating what we see and hear instead of living in our own purpose and following our hearts and minds.

God wants to be the first one we turn to in the morning.

The time doesn’t have to be long – and it could be the only quiet moment you have, so take it.

3. Go to bed on time

You have to do this the night before, but it actually does influence the morning after. You know how you used to go to bed at any hour of the night and be ok the next day?

Well, that might not be the case when you’re answering to children, spouses, co-workers, bosses, clients, the world! Getting good rest is one of the most important ways to stay healthy, physically and mentally. You can’t be your best when you’re run down and tired. So, go to bed.

4. Pick 3 things that you can do each night or weekend to remove them from your morning routine

Simplifying your morning routine can be started by planning ahead. What can you do in the evenings instead of the morning so that they are ready to go when you wake up?

Planning can include going back to picking out your clothes like you might have done as a child, setting out your coffee so that you have something to look forward to when you get up, stocking your purse or car with your headphones, breakfast snacks, and work bag so that you can jump straight in the car to leave.

We tend to cram more into the mornings, so for a week start by writing down everything you do. When you get a real look at what all you do, figure out what can be delegated to the evening or weekend and watch how much more freely you can glide through the morning.

Mornings are not for everyone – but we all deal with them.

Our routines become habits that can be changed and affect our attitude for the day.

When I wake up and am not rushed, get through all of my tasks and get to work on time, looking good, feeling good, knowing I had a few minutes with my son, nothing during the day can take me down. At least not as easily as those days where I feel that I’ve had a full day by 9am.

What does your morning routine currently look like?