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These morning routine tips will ensure your success, even if you’ve tried and failed before. There’s a lot of great advice about different things to try for an awesome morning routine, but there’s a lot less information about how to actually apply it to real-life, especially for us moms. Starting small is tremendously important and planning ahead so that you know how much time to schedule in will enable you to become consistent. It sounds like a lot of work at first, but cultivating the right environment ensures success. If there are too many speedbumps, it’s too difficult to make it through and we likely give up. Even if we muscle through a few times, it won’t last long enough to become a habit. Avoiding these 10 mistakes will smooth the way for any consistent morning routine!
1. All or nothing approach
It’s tempting to overhaul our whole routine
You must know how much time you’ll need in the morning and then determine what time you’ll need to wake up. If you don’t currently have a morning ritual that you’re striving for, I highly recommend this morning ritual post with a checklist.
Start small and don’t set your alarm for earlier than 30 minutes before you currently wake up, and indeed 15 minutes earlier is a good place to start. After doing that for a week, you can bump it back another 15 minutes until you achieve the desired wake up time. (If you wake 2 hours earlier than usual and try to do everything you’ll likely burn out since you’re changing too much too fast.) If you only start with three small things, get up 15 minutes earlier without touching your snooze button and drink at least 8 ounces of water.
Of all the morning routine tips, starting small is the BEST and most important advice!!!!
2. Not predefining an amount of time
Set a predefined time for your morning ritual. As this proverb advises “work expands to fill the time available for its completion.” If you let your morning ritual become too lengthy, you’ll be less motivated to complete it and/or interruptions, like waking family members will seep in. Assign an amount of time to each task you plan to complete and then add the total plus a little buffer. It may mean going to bed a little earlier, but at least you know what time you need to go to bed in order to get 8 hours of sleep. Knowing how much time you have helps you visualize what your morning will look like so that you know exactly what to expect.
Here’s a fantastic FREE checklist of ideas to get you started on a morning routine!
Making your morning routine a DAILY habit is easiest because you don’t grapple with the decision to do or not do. You know the decision is made to DO IT. Plus, you want every day to be awesome! If you feel like you need more sleep, select in advance one morning each week to sleep in. Additionally, science says to wake up at the same time every day because then your brain knows when to expect to start coming out of a sleep cycle. This will give you more of those mornings when it’s easier to hop out of bed!
As far as morning routine tips go, consistency will do the MOST for helping you create the HABIT!
4. Saving tasks for later
If any element of your morning ritual isn’t completed by the predefined
5. Not preparing the night before
Prepare as much as you can the night before so that your morning goes smoothly. It’s helpful to have minimal distractions so you can focus and move through your morning ritual in a decent amount of time. If you’re rummaging around collecting what you need you’re wasting precious time (not to mention possibly waking others) when you could be focused on projects that require your fresh mind. I make sure my laptop, planner, and to-do list are set out on my desk. On that note, creating a consistent location for your morning routine is a great idea. When you’re in that location, your brain will take that as a cue that you’re ready to dive in. Ideally, this would be a location that you don’t use for anything else, but I understand that’s not always possible.
6. Reaching for your phone first
Reaching for your phone first thing after you wake is TEMPTING! Studies show that many people not only check their phones first thing when they wake, but even check it during the night if they wake up at all! Unfortunately, there are a plethora of distractions waiting for you there and in addition to wasting your time with what doesn’t serve you, it’s easy to fall victim to reactivity and negativity. If someone wants something from you, you’re tempted to make their priority higher than yours and complete it first. This throws you into a reactive pattern and your whole day will likely follow in the same way. Additionally, reading something negative either in the news or from someone you know, tends to set a pessimistic way of thinking for the day.
The other morning routine tips aren’t going to help you unless you make sure this BIG MISTAKE doesn’t throw you off course.
Protect your mornings FIERCELY because you can control a lot of factors that will launch you into the best day ever, unless you let other crap in via your smartphone.
7. Not having a tidy kitchen
It’s essential to start each day fresh and organized! The environment around you has an impact on how you feel. Don’t let yesterday’s mess become today’s mess and DISTRACTION. If your environment isn’t tidy, it creates an instant feeling of overwhelm. It also opens any unwanted loops and suddenly you’re thinking about how you need to add washing pots and pans to your morning instead of meditating on how you’re going to make a positive impact on the world.
8. Drinking alcohol
You’ll need to do a personal assessment, but I found that alcohol makes me tired and irritable and I’m not my best self the next day either. It’s also more difficult to roll out of bed when I wake. I can set myself up for success the following day by not consuming a dehydrating and poisoning depressant the night before. (I love those darn White Claw drinks, so sometimes I absolutely do indulge!)
9. Letting kids get up as soon as their awake
Our toddler seems to randomly go through bouts of waking super early for no apparent reason. It can be frustrating when I’m trying to have a few moments to myself or accomplish something. We found that the “Okay to Wake” alarm clock works great! It’s set for a specific time and instead of sounding an alarm, like a typical alarm clock, it turns green. You teach your child that they need to play quietly in their room until the clock turns green, and then they may come out. It may take a bit to get the hang of it, but it has worked well for us. It’s nice that while there’s an alarm setting, it doesn’t go off automatically, so if he’s still sleeping then mama gets a little extra time 😉
10. Nursing baby when he/she wakes
Having to nurse a baby in the middle of your morning ritual can be inconvenient, but there’s a way to nurse baby when you first wake so he’ll sleep longer! Dream feeding is when you nurse your baby – without fully waking him – to feed. Gently pick up the baby and place a nipple at his lips (breast or bottle) and they’ll nurse instinctively, without waking. Babies typically wake out of hunger and when you fill his belly when it’s convenient for you, then it buys you a little extra time before baby needs to be fed again. I didn’t know about this incredible strategy until our second babe, but it works wonderfully!
Building a morning routine can be especially challenging if it’s a brand new habit. Avoiding these top 10 mistakes will set you up for success! Implement these morning routine tips: start small, predefine an amount of time, be consistent, if you miss a task in the morning let it go, prepare the night before, do NOT reach for your phone, tidy the kitchen every night, don’t drink alcohol, have an “okay to wake” alarm clock for your older kiddos, and dream nurse your baby. The most important advice is to start small, you’ve got this mama!!!
What are your best tips for a successful morning routine?