Our structured morning routine has certainly changed everything for my family. We no longer spend our mornings rushing to get out the door, and I am not grumpy to start the day. The kids start their day in a better mood, and I’ve even managed to squeeze a little me time into my mornings. This morning routine has completely changed our family dynamic in the before school. No more frustrated kids (and mom😉) getting their day started on the wrong foot. It has genuinely been the most immediately life-changing change I’ve ever made.
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Before we started our morning routine
We were late a lot. Things never went as planned. When we were on time or early, something always went off the rails. A missing sock, spilled milk, or some other complication, would turn our mornings into mayhem. I’d end up with the inevitable mom-shame of the school office and the tardy-slip.
Our Mornings Were Chaos
Our morning mayhem would make me frustrated and grumpy. I’ve never really been a morning person despite the stress. The kids would get upset because they thought I was mad at them. Many mornings ended with tears, and quite often, they were my own. We’d all start the morning fighting an uphill battle.
Waking Up Earlier Didn’t Help
No matter what time I woke up, we still had to rush. My extra time would disappear, and we’d end up back in the same old rut. Some mornings, I would wake up at 4 am, and we’d still be late. I’d wonder, “How did that even happen? Where did the time go?”
Finally, We Began a Very Structured Morning Routine
First, I started waking up a little early in the morning, to have some time for myself. I’d spend about thirty minutes drinking coffee, and journaling. I use this time to get my mind right before anyone else wakes up.
Eventually, I set specific times for the things I need to do in the morning to help me be more productive and start my day off feeling great.
I even set timers on my phone for these things to make sure I stay on track, so the time doesn’t disappear.
Keep scrolling to see my exact morning routine here, and get a free video tutorial on how exactly I set up my morning timers in google calendar here.
Now, I start my mornings Calm, Peaceful and with Intention
Morning journaling is the first thing I do every morning (after making my coffee, that is). It helps me to start my day with intention. I begin by reminding myself precisely who I am. Then, I set my purpose and decide what I need to do that day. You can read more about what exactly I put in my morning journal next week.
The best part of my morning journaling routine is that I get my mindset right before anyone else gets up. This is especially important for me since I especially hate mornings.
Having some time to start my day peacefully helps me to get the grumps out before I have to talk to the people that I love.
I Feel Grounded Throughout the Day
You know the feeling when you sleep late, and you start your day off running? Running late leads to a series of misadventures, and you’re behind all day.
You never have the time to get yourself centered and grounded for the day. This morning routine gives me that time, and I stay that calm throughout the day.
I start my day with intention and peace instead of stress and chaos. It makes everything better all day.
There are no tears in the morning. Well, usually.
Since I’m in a better mood, my children are also in a better mood. They start their day happy and without tears (for the most part.) We still have the occasional glass of spilled milk or lost sock, but it is not such a big deal anymore. My structured morning routine allows us to stay calm, even when the chaos to slips in now and then.
My Specific Morning Routine
4:00 am–Wake Up, Coffee, Journal
I wake up super early in the morning, but I didn’t when I first started this routine. As our mornings began to calm down. I added more and more to them to get me off to a better start.
My alarm goes off at 4:00, but, sadly, I’m not one of those people that jumps out of bed in the morning, ready to tackle the day. It takes a few minutes for me to get up and get into the kitchen to brew my coffee.
Once I get my coffee, I sit down with my journal and go through my morning journaling routine. I start by writing the same thing in my journal every morning, then go into setting my intentions for the day.
This step grounds me and helps me stay focused on who I am and my most meaningful goals throughout the day. You can read more about my morning journal routine next week.
4:30-5:30: On Task for Me
This task has been my most recent addition, and I treasure this part of my morning routine. I added an extra hour to do all the things that I never get around to, but genuinely want to do.
If waking up at 4 am is just too early for you, I understand, I was right there with you. I used to hate all those motivational speakers that would say, “Just get up earlier in the morning.” 🙄
If it’s too much, leave this step out and pick it up when you’re ready. I am the most un-morning person ever, but I’ve learned to love the quiet time in the mornings for working on my projects.
The key is to make it something you WANT to do. If you want to start working out in the morning, do it during this time. If you want to start reading your bible, writing, painting, or sewing, do it during these early morning hours.
Do something you are passionate about for one hour before anyone else gets up. It will fill you up in a way that it cant later in the day when it’s competing for everything else’s attention.
This time is NOT for laundry, dishes, or any task that you don’t want to do. It must be something you are excited about doing. If you’re waking up at 4 am to fold laundry, you will never stick to it, and that’s not the point anyway. The point is to do something just for you first thing in the morning, so you set your day off to a fabulous start.
Many productivity experts will tell you to “eat that frog” (do your most challenging task) first thing in the morning. I believe the opposite. If I have something awful planned to start my day, especially if it doesn’t have to be done right then, like laundry, I will stay in bed and not do it.
I have to reward my brain with a pleasant activity to stick with waking up early in the mornings.
5:30-6:30 Get Myself Ready
In my structured morning schedule, I allow a whole hour for myself to get ready. It usually doesn’t take me that long to get ready for a typical day, but I like to allow extra time for several reasons.
- When I take time to look better in the morning, I feel better all day.
- It allows for extra padding, in case I can’t find something or something goes awry.
- It allows me a few extra minutes on my passion project that morning if I need to go over. (This is most often the case)
- I like to allot spare time for every task to keep the morning mayhem away.
I need to have this time for myself to get ready BEFORE the children get up. There’s nothing more frustrating than being stopped in the middle of blow-drying your hair to handle a morning crisis.
I dress myself to shoes before I get the kids up. This way, once they are awake, I can focus on them.
6:30-7:30 Get Kids Ready
The very last thing I do, once I am fully dressed, is to wake my children and start them on their morning. I have plenty of time to wake up, and I know that I’m giving the most important (my children) part of my morning my best most intentional self.
Once I’m dressed, I can help them with any catastrophes and our morning doesn’t go spiraling out of control.
My kids still hate mornings and argue getting out of bed, but there are rarely tears anymore. We all get on much better in the morning with this structured routine.
The Power Behind the Structured Morning Routine
The Power of this routine is that I worry about ONE THING at a time, and I give myself timers to keep me on task.
Before, I did it all at once, and chaos always ensued. When I let the dog out when I was trying to get Cason up and dressed, drama always unfolded. If I was trying to finish my makeup while trying to brush Lyla’s hair, it usually ended in yelling and tears. This way, my attention stays on only one thing at a time. I stay less stressed and get more done.
Let me know how this super structured morning routine works for you. How do you tweak it to make it fit your household? I’m most curious about what you do during your whole hour of me-time. Send me a DM on social media or comment below.