Why Your Morning Routine Matters

“Life is worth waking up an hour early to live an hour more.”

I have a love-hate relationship with mornings.  I love the feeling of being up and p productive early enough that I can move at my own pace, have my quiet time, read a few blogs, and actually feel on top of things before I go barreling into my day.  However, I definitely do not enjoy that first 15 minutes of dragging myself out of bed and doing the zombie walk to the coffeemaker, hoping my roommates realize I am mentally or emotionally prepared to have people say words to med.

My feelings against those first few minutes served as a huge part of the reason that–for
the first couple of years of college–I took the approach of sleeping for as long as humanly possible.  I would stay in bed until half an hour before class.  Then, hop up, throw on some outfit, and dash out the door chaotically.  I always had things that I told myself I would do in the mornings, and they basically never happened.  The result was that I went into my day with adrenaline pumping and a discouraging weight of failure already taunting me.  Not exactly the ideal start to the day.

So, this year, I decided to switch it up and give my mornings a bit more of a priority.  Now, instead of darting out the door crazily, I make sure I’m up, on average 2-3 hours before I leave for class or work.  I sit down, have my coffee, read my Bible, write in my journal, catch up on the news, sort through emails (by the way, a ridiculous number of emails come in between midnight and 6 a.m.), listen to some music, and do a little reading just for fun.  It’s heavenly.

Does your morning routine need a refreshing?  Here are few things I’ve found helpful as I revamped the start of my days.

Have a plan.  Maybe you’re the type that wants to write your morning routine down on a pretty notecard, or maybe–like me–it’s just a mental checklist.  Either way, know what your morning goals are.  Maybe your list is coffee, news, and emails.  Great.  Maybe it is more extensive.  Fantastic.  Some days, you may want to fit in some extra morning items but put in the effort to establish a minimum  routine.  That provides stability when life catapults you into a more chaotic season.

Make it easy on yourself.  Choose your clothes the night before.  Have your backpack/briefcase packed.  Have the coffee etting out.  Do what you need to do to make the mornings as painless as possible.

Drink that coffee.  Okay, maybe this is just a personal thing, but the world looks sooo much brighter once I have a cute mug full of steaming caffeine in my hand.  So, I make sure that is the first thing I do every day.  If you know something will make the rest of your morning routine easier, do it first!  The goal is to make this easy and fun.

Make mornings fun.  I don’t plan the hard stuff for the mornings.  This is the time that is setting the tone for your whole day.  Do productive things, yes, but do productive things you enjoy.  Do not make it a frantic rat race.

Stop. Breathe. Pray.  Smell the roses.  It will be worth it.

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