I cannot even begin to tell you how many times I’ve heard people talk about how important an evening and morning routine is.
But I’ve always thought to myself ‘No! That’s for kids or old people. I should be able to do whatever I want to! Be spontaneous!’
It’s embarrassing to admit that I never believed that having a routine was beneficial.
But as with a lot of things in life, sometimes you’ve got to experience the difference something can make before you believe it. And it wasn’t until I started to treat myself like a toddler with a solid nighttime and morning routine that I realized: ‘Wow–ok so this does make all the difference!’
I shouldn’t surprise me. I know I can be a bit stubborn like a toddler too and take convincing sometimes! But the fact was before I started to implement solid routines, I wasn’t falling asleep as easily as I would have liked at night. And then in the morning, well let’s just say I wasn’t exactly jumping out of bed excited to start my calm and organized day!
And so what I’ve discovered along the way is that your morning is only as good as what you get set up the night before.
The exact steps you take the night before will be different for everyone, and you should definitely find what works best for you, but I do know that starting the day on the right foot means you can get going in the morning with more clarity, calmer and be ready to go instead of sputtering like an old car that can barely start!
One of the simplest things you can do is to create an evening checklist for yourself. That could include things like: Set out your vitamins, get your office bag ready, pick out your clothes, or do the dishes.
And while these things aren’t as exciting as checking social media or watching another TV show, I promise you they WILL make all the difference to you in the morning - both from a mindset point of view AND a health perspective.
For me it’s things like homework, prepping backpacks, lunches and clothes for next day, the girls’ bedtime routine, bedtime cuddles, stories, and prayers. Then I like to review my schedule and to-do lists to get a handle on what I am waking up to, pick three doable must do’s for the next day, read and journal a little, meditate, and I’m out.
So what evening rituals could you create that would serve you and your family? Make it as relaxed and enjoyable as you can and remember that this routine feeds directly into designing the next day.
Speaking of which (and this is the most fun part in my opinion), you have to create a treat for yourself for the morning to look forward to launching yourself out of bed. Otherwise, it doesn’t go well! Maybe you love listening to podcasts, or stretching for 5 minutes, or reading a good book before everyone else gets up. Whatever a treat is for you, plan that in.
For me, I love to do some stretching, take some deep breaths, read and journal a little and get ready before everyone else gets up. That feels great to me so I try to do that as often as I can in the mornings. It gets my head in the right space, energizes me and connects me to what’s important.
So what morning rituals could YOU create that would serve you and your family?
And it’s important to say that if pain is an issue for you first thing in the morning, which can be super challenging, this is extra important. I want you to hit the snooze button on the alarm clock, hit the ‘on’ button on the heating pad or electric blanket to literally get you warmed up before you even get out of bed. Take that time to breathe, get your mind right, plan your top three to-do’s for the day and gently stretch (even starting while still in bed) and making sure you stretch from head to toe.
Make it enjoyable! Get things rolling on the right foot, literally!
Just do what feels good for YOU no matter what you’re dealing with.
I promise you, every good day starts with the night before. So take care of yourself. Don’t let yourself get away with being a stubborn toddler like I was! Have a bedtime routine and just do it.
Cheers to your day!