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Morning Routines

I get asked all the time about my morning routine. What exactly I do to start the day off on the right foot. Here's the thing, a morning routine is not one size fits all. I like to approach a morning routine much in the same way I would a budget. It's a plan that holds you accountable so that you reach your goals. A routine is nothing more than a culmination of habits that you dedicate yourself to. Routines change with the different seasons of life. Mine even changes with summer versus the school year.

When I approach the task of creating a morning routine, I like to back into it. If you work outside the home then you most likely have a time that you must leave the house by in order to get to work on time. Start with that time and back into the rest of the morning and what you want to accomplish. If you are self employed or work from home you are actually going to have to be more self-disciplined because you are the boss holding yourself accountable. Once you have your "time" set, then make a list of everything you need to do each morning: shower and get ready, make breakfast, pack lunch boxes, devotional time, workout, etc. A morning routine can greatly reduce the stress of getting out the door which in turn leads to a better mindset for the day. And make sure your morning routine includes making the bed! (Read my blog, Top 5 Daily Habits)

When my son was little, I worked outside the home. I needed to be out the door no later than 7:40 to get him to school on time and get myself to work on time (I had an hour commute once I dropped him off). I started with that time and backed into my routine. My schedule looked like this:

5:00 Get up and throw workout clothes on and walk out the door

5:15-6:10 Workout class and drive home

6:10-6:45 Shower and get ready

6:45 Wake up my son and get him ready

7:00-7:30 Make breakfast and pack lunch boxes

7:30 Load up and head out

This routine gave us time each morning as a family over breakfast while I packed lunches. Mornings were calm and not hurried. I am not a morning person and I did not enjoy getting up at 5:00 am but it made for a more joyful day.

Now my son is a junior in high school, drives himself to school, and I am self employed and work from home. The routine looks different now but it is what works for this season of my life. There are plenty of people out there saying you should always get up at 5 am. I am not one of those people. I got up at 5 am when it was what worked for me. Here is what my routine looks like now:

6:15 Get up and go on a short walk with the dogs and coffee

6:40-7:10 Make breakfast and pack lunch box (my son has to leave by 7:10)

7:10-8:00 Devotional time, journal, work on blog ideas

8:00-9:00 Workout: 2-3 mile power walk and weight session

9:00-9:30 Shower and get ready

As you can see, my morning routine looks a lot different now. I greatly enjoy my mornings. We live on about 15 acres now so the walk with the dogs is just a stroll around the yard but they love all the new sniffs each morning from wildlife and it is such a peaceful way to start the day.

I gained two hours to my day when my commute went away and that makes a huge difference for being able to workout at a time other than 5:00 am. I do a pilates or yoga class about once a week as my workout mainly just to get out and do something other than a walk and weights.

Side note: if you have a long commute to work, find some podcasts and e-books to listen to. I wish podcasts had been a thing when I was commuting. Just another way to be productive and learn rather than zoning out to Journey or Dave Matthews.

My weekend routines revolve around recharging and refocusing. I would like to say I sleep in on Saturdays but Trout doesn't really allow much sleeping in. He's happily a member of the 5 am club. So, I am up by 7:00-7:30. I enjoy multiple cups of coffee sitting on the porch. I journal, sit with my thoughts, and often do some blog or podcast writing. My mind is refreshed yet relaxed. I usually spend a couple hours doing this on Saturdays before I make a big breakfast. On Sundays, we tend to go to early church so it's a get up about 7:00 and get ready. We almost always go out for breakfast after church and just have good quality family time.

Routines often get a bad wrap of being boring but I think they are anything but that. Routines give comfort. Routines prioritize what is important to you. Routines help you accomplish your daily goals while reducing stress and hecticness (is that a word?). A routine that works often takes discipline to establish but it is worth it.


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