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A regular evening routine never seemed particularly vital UNTIL I was striving for a consistent morning routine. It turns out, what’s completed (or not) in the evening has a tremendous impact on my morning! I don’t know about you, but I have almost no energy left in the evening.
It’s for that reason that I’ve had to choose simple tasks that don’t require much brainpower, but smooth the way for a solid morning routine. By taking care of the mindless, but essential tasks that the mombie version of me can handle as part of my evening routine, I’m able to dive straight into my morning routine the next day with the bright, energetic version of myself.
I spent a long time looking at different evening routine ideas before finding the routine that was right for me. For me, the best evening routine is one that is super simple, but gets things done.
After I’ve put the kids to bed, I take about 30 minutes to complete the following five tasks. I have organized them into a handy acronym I use as an evening routine checklist to make remembering each task easier – PEACE!
Note: This does require a consistent bedtime for kiddos, so that’s the first step to make a consistent evening routine for moms possible!
1. Pack stuff
Nothin’ sets my mornings back more than trying to remember everything that we all need for the day and get it packed up. I go into a reactive tailspin where I’m trying to think of what to pack the kids for lunch while brushing my teeth. Then as I’m making sandwiches, I somehow ALWAYS get peanut butter on my outfit and have to change. After we leave the house, I inevitably remember that I forgot our son’s soccer jersey or something of the like. That is not the kind of morning routine for moms we all dream about.
Now, I do everything that I possibly can the night before as part of my evening routine. I prepare and pack lunches in lunch boxes. In the morning, I grab the lunchbox and ice pack and head out the door. If it’s not a daycare day, but we’ll be running errands, I still pack a snack bag because the kids ALWAYS want snacks. It’s inconvenient and expensive to buy them while we’re out and about.
If you need an evening routine for working moms, this first step of my PEACE process is key, because it helps ensure you don’t forget anything you – or your kids – need the next day.
I have a large bag that sits in the entryway, and I fill it with all the required items for the following day. Will the kids be going to daycare? Their backpacks are in the bag, and their snow gear, or clean, spare outfit, and whatever else needs to go to daycare is in there, too. Our son has soccer tomorrow? His uniform, cleats, etc. go in the bag. Do I need some more k-cups at work? In the bag.
This bag is literally by the door to catch items as I remember them, AND it’s impossible to forget because I’d trip over it on my way out the door. (This is what I use, big enough to fit everything, but not bigger than necessary.)
2. Empty sink & wipe counters
I try to empty the sink and clear the counters as part of cleaning the kitchen before the kids go to bed, but sometimes it doesn’t happen. I have this placeholder task to ensure it’s done.
This is one of the most important parts of my evening routine checklist because the first place I go when I wake is the kitchen to get my coffee, (okay, after I pee TMI). If it’s a mess, I’m immediately distracted, and it nags at me to clean it up (and totally disrupts my morning routine!). A clean and organized environment is essential for my brain to focus.
If you’re looking for evening routine ideas this is an important one, because when yesterday’s mess follows us into today, it’s symbolic of everything else that we didn’t finish the previous day. We have to keep our thoughts positive to launch us into a successful day!
Bonus Tip: Prepare for your coffee the next morning! Set up the coffee pot and timer. If you’re into bulletproof coffee like I am, have the blender out and the butter/coconut oil in it.
3. Assemble your outfit
Select and lay out your workout outfit and outfit for the day as part of your evening routine. Decision fatigue is a REAL thing! We have a limited amount of willpower for the day, and decisions tax it. Yes, even small decisions like choosing what to wear. To save our willpower for what matters, eliminate as many choices as you can as part of your evening routine! This is especially helpful as part of an evening routine for working moms who may need to wear specific clothing to the office.
There is a chance that you won’t be in the mood for what you chose by morning, but if you have a closet full of items that you love, hopefully, that’s a rare occurrence!
4. Calendar & task review
As part of my evening routine I fill in my daily planner for tomorrow with tasks from my electronic calendar. I look at the scheduled commitments and evaluate my top priorities for the day. (After years of fighting it, I’ve learned that a paper planner for the day makes a world of difference. I like electronic for everything else because it changes frequently. However, writing my daily plan with a pen and paper helps me remember and helps me stay on task with DOING tasks instead of wasting time reorganizing my list.)
After I’ve filled out my daily planner, I mentally walk through the day. When I visualize, I notice things I’d forgotten, “Oh, our son is going on a field trip tomorrow; I need to put $5 in his backpack.” Or I notice efficiencies I can make like the best order of stops for errands. Doing this as part of my evening routine checklist is SO much easier than doing it in the morning when we’re rushing to get out the door.
Planning is necessary, but can also be procrastination instead of getting real work done. When I’m fresh in the morning, I don’t want to waste precious time and energy planning. I’d much rather dive into my morning ritual and then take action to be productive. Planning is easy to do when I’m a mombie, so the evening is the perfect time to do it.
5. Enough sleep
People need different amounts of sleep to feel rested. If you don’t know what your optimal sleep is, 8 hours is a good starting point. What time do you need to go to bed to get 8 hours of sleep and still get up for your morning routine? Plan accordingly and know when you need to be in bed and shut down. If it takes you awhile to drift off, plan for that time. If time tends to get away from you after finishing your evening routine, try setting a bedtime alarm in addition to your morning alarm!
Most days I wake up at the same time, but sometimes it shifts for some reason. I always like to know sooner rather than later if I’ll need to go to bed a touch earlier OR if I can indulge in an extra episode of Grey’s Anatomy 😉
Bonus Tip: If you’re planning to start a new morning routine for moms, start small. Set your alarm for just 15 minutes before the kids wake.
An evening routine makes for better tomorrows!
A simple PEACE evening routine does wonders for starting tomorrow off in the best way possible! A morning and evening routine work together to transform your days.
Packing all the things means not scrambling for them in the morning. With an empty sink and clear counters you can easily navigate to your morning coffee without distractions. A preselected outfit saves you time and a decision. A clear daily plan enables you to go after top priorities before anything else, and waking after 8 hours of sleep helps you start the day well-rested and fresh!
There’s no doubt about it – a simple evening routine for moms is KEY to a successful morning, a successful day, and living a life you love!
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