Wouldn’t it be great if every morning could be like Saturday? We’d spend our mornings on the couch in fuzzy slippers with a steaming mug of coffee, reading something we enjoy. No alarm clocks or schedules—just an easy, breezy start to the day with no stress.
But, alas, other days of the week require us to suit up and use our God-given gifts and talents, so there’s no time for cozying up. Those are the days we face the race against the clock to get out the door. Or in my case, get behind my desk and fire up my laptop.
And can I just tell you that I’ve had my share of crazy mornings? Like the time we really needed to be somewhere on time, and after a long, panicked search for my keys, they were found in the pantry. (I mean, what in the actual world?)
Mornings are not always good.
But there is a way to make them better. When we establish a morning routine, we set ourselves up to have a smooth morning. We can be at our best for our people for the rest of the day. Having a daily plan can make the difference between frantic, mad dashes out the door and a calm, semi-peaceful morning.
Sorry, I can’t promise 100% peace. For example, I can’t help you keep your teenage daughters from fighting over the bathroom or toddler boys from launching toys over the back of the couch. But knowing where your purse and keys are as you leave the house? That’s sanity, right there.
There are 3 elements of a good morning routine:
It’s written and posted.
You want to write all of the steps down and post them somewhere you’ll see them in the morning. If it takes a cup of coffee (or three) to get your brain functioning in the morning, you’ll be able to refer to it without having to remember which step is next.
To develop a morning routine, you’ll want to perform each of the steps to see how long they actually take. For us optimists, this is the hardest part. We want to believe we can apply our makeup and dry our hair in 15 minutes, but for most of us, this is unrealistic. When you’ve determined how long your routine takes, you’ll know what time to set your alarm clock.
You want to leave some margin time, for when the unexpected happens. We all hope the 3-yr-old doesn’t dump cereal on the floor, but that’s like hoping it won’t get hot and humid in the South in July. (Parenting hack: never pour more than you’re willing to clean up.)
What do you put on your morning routine list?
Short answer: everything you do in the morning. Also, everything you need to do in the morning, but you don’t have time because you haven’t planned for it.
Start a load of laundry.
Maybe “laundry day” is the highlight of your week (if you’re really, really weird), but if you’re like most people, having piles of clothes to wash, dry, fold and put away can suck the life out of you. Not to mention the panicked feeling if there’s nothing to wear when laundry day is preempted by an urgent interruption. You’ll want to make sure your evening routine includes finishing the load, so you don’t have to re-wash it 4 times. (More on the evening routine next month.)
Unload the Dishwasher.
The key to making an unpleasant task palatable is to make a game of doing it as quickly as possible. Can you beat yesterday’s time? When you invest a few minutes in the morning, it makes your whole day (and evening routine) much easier. It enables you to load dirty dishes immediately throughout the day, rather than piling them in the sink. Not only does it save time doing the dishes later, but a clean kitchen gives you a psychological boost. An empty sink just feels better.
Groom and dress yourself.
We’ve all had that dream where we showed up to work or school in our pajamas, but there’s a pretty good chance you won’t skip this step. Nevertheless, include it in your written plan for two reasons: 1) You’ll factor in the time with the rest of the list and 2) It will be an easy item to check off.
Water the garden.
For those who have a garden, this step is likely seasonal. Watering in the morning before the soil gets too hot will help conserve water and keep your plants healthy. I like to pull the weeds out each day too, before it becomes a big job. It’s easier to pull them when the soil is wet too.
Connect with God.
This is the one we’re so tempted to skip if we are rushing around. But it’s the step we also need the most if we’re rushing around. Even a few minutes of prayer can focus our thoughts and attitudes on what’s truly important for the day.
If you’re a parent or grandparent, sometimes it’s hard to know how to pray for your kids. Sally Burke and Cyndie Claypool De Neve have written a book called Raise Them Up: Praying God’s Word Over Your Kids. Sally and Cyndie understand the spiritual benefits of praying scripture over your kids. They say, “You may not realize this, but every atom is held together by an invisible force that scientists call gluon. If you split an atom, you get atomic power. And yet God’s Word is much more explosive and powerful than that.”
Thanks to our fabulous friends over at Harvest House, we are able to give a few of you a free copy of Raise Them Up!
And one Grand Prize Winner will receive:
- Copy of Raise Them Right
- Felt Letter Board
- Ladder Toss Game
Leave a comment below to be entered to win. What are you putting on your morning routine list for summer?
*Giveaway for US residents only.
She and her husband Roger are the parents of four young adults in San Jose, CA. When she’s not dating her husband or hanging out with her puggle Jake, Kathi is speaking at retreats, conferences and women’s events across the US.
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