My worst case scenario to start a morning is being woken up by chatting kids, when I am peacefully asleep, having a wonderful dream. Or, even better, arise my eyes to fighting kids. Once my kids get started they don’t stop… wonder where they got it from ;-). Not having to wake up with this chaos was my biggest motivator to start an early morning routine and has become a powerful habit that makes my day!
Since we started homeschooling last year, I have literally no time for myself. No quiet. No time to think. As an introvert and hyper sensitive person, I need that quiet to survive. I used to enjoy my quiet evenings, with all our kids in bed at 7pm – Yep! I know! – but our girls are growing up which means my quiet evenings are passé.
Every Morning Routine starts at night
I’m not a morning person by nature, but desperately want to be one ;-). I’ll be honest, I’m really jealous of those that wake naturally at 5am, jump out and start living. For me it’s still a struggle. But I’ve found that the trick is to go to bed early the night before. That’s were the power is.
I set my alarm on my desk, so I need to get out of bed to turn it off, before it wakes the whole family. For me the saying ‘you snooze, you loose’ is so true. As soon as I snooze my alarm it’s over. With my habit tracker I’m able to check my early mornings, which makes it easy to see how I’m doing in the long run.
I hop in the shower quickly. It’s a good time to meditate and be intentionally grateful for a new day!
Stringing tasks in the kitchen makes my morning routine easy
In the kitchen I make lemon tea. I squeeze a lemon, cut an piece of ginger, add mint leaves and honey. I love to start my day with lemon tea. Lemon tea boosts the metabolism and alkalises the body, which makes it super healthy.
While the water for my tea is boiling I throw in my first laundry load – or, if I’ve been really good, take out the laundry that just finished, because I set the timer on the washing machine yesterday evening. So that way it will be the second load, yay! (By the way, I only wash Mondays and Thursdays! With our family of six I hate laundry laying around all week. Thanx for the example Mom!).
Our family eats natural non-GM rolled oats every weekday for breakfast. We decided to get rid of our kids’ entitling attitude about food, and go simple. No more discussions and grumpiness about food in the morning. Rolled oats needs to cook longer than the quick oats, but has way more healthy goodies in, so we go for slow. To shorten the cooking time I let it soak for about an hour or two until I’m done with my Morning Routine.
When I made my tea, I move from the kitchen to the living room.
My morning routine helps me to check in with myself
I start with reading my Bible. This past year I have color-coded the words ‘pure’, ‘heart’ and ‘soul’ red with a pencil. Every year I pray for a word to meditate on, and meditating on the word PURE has been an amazing journey.
Journaling is a wonderful practice to make sense of life. I need to get the words out of my head on paper, to process life. I’ve done different things over the years. I used to do Julia Cameron’s Morning Pages. Three pages, preferably written with long hand, to unwind your brain. Whatever comes to mind you write. It’s a serious brain dump. I loved the principle, the idea, but it was too random for me. And I ended up writing so many pages, but not processing that what I really wanted.
When I found Michael Hyatt’s blog on journaling I was sold. It is a very focused way of journaling, excluding all the blabla and very to the point. I’ve been using his template that for a few years now. It’s awesome!
❤︎ I start with a very short paragraph about yesterday. What comes to mind for me!
❤︎ Then I write my HIGH and LOW, generally one or two things that stand out for me. I find the LOW’s a bit more challenging. Somehow I either forget them, or deny them. Every now and then, when I catch a good dip, it’s easy ;-).
❤︎ Then I write about what i’ve LEARNED from an experience. I’m intentionally going back over my experiences. The learner in me loves this part, but it took me some time to start seeing them.
❤︎ To LIVE GRATITUDE, you need to name what you are thankful for. Be specific. Ann Voskamp writes in her book One Thousand Gifts “to name a thing is to manifest the meaning and value God gave it, to know it comes from God: that it is a gift.”
I write down at least three things. Recently I have started to write 3 things about the same topic. So if I’m thankful for my hubby – which I am always of course 😉 – I choose three things that relate to him. What happens otherwise is that I stay in the global lines. Thankful for a new day, for the dog and the flowers. The tough part is to find gifts I’m thankful for in hurting situations. Challenging, but good!
❤︎ Writing down FEELINGS has been a way to check in with myself. Where am I at? Is something bothering me? Am I anxious, frustrated, excited, loved? In our marriage workshops we hand out a list with 200 feelings and it is an interesting experience to go over it and feel what I feel! For the last couple of months I’ve been writing down the word ‘determined’. I wonder why? ;-).
❤︎ It’s fun to capture what I’ve READ. I discovered through writing it down, how much input I get. It also is my daily reminder to keep learning and be conscious of that what comes in. They say show me your bookshelf and I will tell you about your personality. It’s true!
❤︎ After that I work out a PLAN for the day. It mostly consists of a list of all things I want or need to do. I keep my planner in my Life Journal, which makes it easy to have a quick look at the big projects and see what I can move forward that day. And write down other things that must really happen today!
❤︎ I pick out ONE THING that I need to do that day. Just one thing! To make sure I finish it!
Eat the frog before breakfast
When I’ve done my journaling, I open the laptop and write my 500 words. Yes! It’s a new habit forming. I’m counting my 21 days without fail. I spend an hour writing, depending on the kids’ wakeup time and how well they manage themselves. It’s a work in progress, but it will come!
I enjoy having produced something before breakfast. When the kids are up and running and we’re having breakfast I can sit back, relax and think ‘well done’. And truth be told, as soon as I start running with the kids it will be late afternoon before I can get back to the rest of my work.
I’m trying to get my running back into the routine. I used to run 3 mornings a week, but with our horse riding and karate practice I couldn’t keep up with the schedule :(. Somehow I need to implement it again. There’s nothing better than starting the morning with a run! With the summer coming up it will be easier.
Creating a morning routine has been a complete game changer for me. Instead of waking up to chaos, I wake in peace, have some quiet time to process, think and plan ahead. I even get time to write. I’ve accomplished something before the crowd wakes up. I feel on top of my things, ready to face the daily challenges ahead.
My morning routine ends with a hot bowl of oats with my family, knowing I’m okay, and completely present with my family ;-).
That’s my morning.
Now I’m curious.
What does your morning look like?
Let me know in the comments below.
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