How to Create a Morning Routine

blog Mar 15, 2019

About 18 months ago, I was reading an article about high achieving people.  It mentioned that the one thing EVERY high achiever they talked to had in common was a sacred morning routine.  None of them were the same...but they ALL had one.

Well...I want to be a high achiever….so I set out to create a morning routine for myself.  I’m not gonna lie...it took a LOT of trial and error for me to find one that actually works for ME and my family.

Before I became a mom, my morning routine was awesome.  I didn’t even realize I had a “morning routine.” The only commitment I had was to get to my job on time.  The rest was up to me. I usually woke up, exercised, then got ready for work with either the news or music playing while drinking some coffee.  I could listen to my body and change things up. If the alarm went off for a workout class and I felt beyond exhausted, I could decide to sleep an extra hour or so and perhaps go for a run after work.  Mornings were calm…peaceful…a chance for me to mull around in my own head and slowly get mentally ready for the day ahead.

Then Grace was born.  

I won’t even go into those first several months with a newborn.  Every mom knows you are hanging on by a wing and a prayer…..and coffee.  Lots and lots of coffee. You have NO control over when your day starts. It starts when that sweet baby wakes up and tells you the day has started.  My “morning routine” was simply to feed that tiny human and get coffee…..ASAP.

But, eventually, Grace got older and things got more predictable again (well…for the most part).  My “morning routine” more or less consisted of the alarm going off, getting in the shower, and by the time I got out and dressed, I had people (aka kid and hubby) asking things of me.  Right away. I started to hate mornings.

Finally, about 18 months ago, I was reading an article about high achieving people.  It mentioned that the one thing EVERY high achiever they talked to had in common was a sacred morning routine.  None of them were the same…but they ALL had one.

Well…I want to be a high achiever….so I set out to create a morning routine for myself.  I’m not gonna lie…it took a LOT of trial and error for me to find one that actually works for ME and my family.

I read a bunch of articles where people shared their morning routines.  A LOT involved long stretches of meditation, quiet time journaling, yoga, etc.  That just isn’t me. Especialy yoga . I hate yoga. Yoga makes me angry.

PLUS…I really like my sleep.  I need a lot of it. 8 hours of sleep is my MINIMUM requirement.  I am not willing to get up at 4am to fit in some of this stuff. Hells to the no.  I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to find a routine that worked. The first several attempts failed.

First, I tried a routine that involved 5 minutes of meditation right when I woke up. That didn’t work.  My wheels are moving too much when I first wake up thinking of all the things I need to do. Meditation right away just didn’t work for me and actually made me stressed out.

Then, I went back to my old tried and true “exercise first” approach where I wake up, put on running shoes, and head out the door.  The problem there was when I got back,I felt like my family was literally waiting for me to walk in the door and pounce on me with their needs.  That didn’t work.

Then I started getting up just 30 minutes earlier and hopping in the shower.  That worked…sort of…but then I couldn’t fit in exercise later…that whole shower twice a day thing isn’t my jam.

Finally….I took a step back.  I realized I needed to figure out a system for this.  I started by writing a list (I LOVE a good list!). I made a list of all of the things I knew I wanted “done” by 9am each working morning to feel content, happy and low stress   Here is a look at my initial list..in no certain order:

  1. Exercise

  2. 1 cup of coffee that is hot the entire time I drink it

  3. 30 minutes without hearing the word ‘Mom’

  4. Update my number tracking spreadsheet for my business

  5. First pass of email inbox

  6. Respond to FB messages and texts that came in after 8:30PM last night

  7. Team recognition

  8. Showered and dressed for the day

  9. Lunch packed

  10. Beds made

  11. Breakfast served

  12. Drive Grace to school

  13. Voice messages from last night listened to

  14. Review my daily calendar and “to do” list

  15. Place necessary product orders

  16. Analytics review

  17. Overnight support issues resolved

  18. 10 minutes of meditation

At first pass, that looked like a LOT of stuff.  Again…I like sleep. I was NOT willing to get up at 4am.  And you know what, I finally figured out I don’t have to! I created a simple worksheet to help me sort through this list, prioritize it and create a “doable” morning routine (scroll to the end to download my worksheet!)

I am still tweaking it here and there.  But, here is what I have settled on….for now:

  • 6:00AM – wake-up.  Brush teeth; workout clothes on

  • 6:10AM – pack school lunch and make coffee

  • 6:15AM – Settle in at my computer with a hot cup of coffee for 30 minutes.  During that time, I can generally knock out all of the initial computer related stuff.  I am clear headed, the house is quiet, and I have established an order I follow easily.

  • 6:45 AM – put on running shoes and get the dog.  Go for 30 minute run. When I come home, Grace and Jeff are up and Jeff has gotten her breakfast (note: I had to ask for the help here!)

  • 7:15 AM – shower and get ready

  • 7:40 AM – micro manage Grace through her “get ready for school routine” (it takes a LOT to get her out the door)

  • 8:00 AM – Drive Grace to school

  • 8:35 AM – home

  • 8:40 – 8:50AM –  my version of “meditation” with the Calm app.  Make second cup of coffee

  • 9:00: officially start my work day

There are variations to this on days I don’t run due to weather, etc. but this is what I plan on every day….and it has made a HUGE difference in my sanity, stress, and overall “calmer” household in the mornings.  This routine brings comfort and predictability to my otherwise crazy looking life.

If you want to start establishing a daily morning routine (or even EVENING routine if you are a night owl), come check out my signature "Master Your Morning" mini-course and join the thousands of other women that have transformed their day!

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