When our kids were still living at home and in school, our mornings were a bit crazy. And if you have a family and trying to get all the things done before school or work, this may be true for you too. I mean let’s be honest, trying to get three boys and one girl up and out the door is no small feat at times. And something that we (my partner and I) have done really well, is to communicate but also tag team the kids as needed. My main focus or attention had been on the youngest due to the medical needs at the time, while my partner focused on the other kids.
Here’s the thing, it doesn’t have to be crazy because if you have defined your morning routine, then you are already on your way to have calmer mornings. If you have kids and/or work outside of the home, you already know what time the kids need to be out the door and when you have to leave.
Right here, right now, I am going to ask you to make a choice.
Do you want that to be rushed, frantic, and feeling like you’re constantly running and trying to catch up?
Do you want it to be calm, collected, productive, and with a feeling that you’re in control?
It’s up to you and it’s all about embracing two simple concepts.
Get Up Early Enough
It’s tempting to hit the snooze button and catch a few more minutes of sleep, isn’t it? It’s even hard to set the alarm early enough that you have plenty of time for everything you want and need to get done. I get it. If you’re not a morning person, moving up the alarm by 30 minutes to carve out a little extra time can be tough. Trust me though, after the first few mornings it’s not nearly as hard as you think and something you’ll quickly get used to.
Getting up early enough and avoiding the snooze button at all costs is the key to an unrushed morning. Here’s the problem with cutting time too short, or worse hitting the snooze button a few times. It gets you behind from the very start. You have to rush to make it out the door in time and any little problem or speed bump along the way turns into a huge problem. Not being able to find the car keys is suddenly a major crisis because it could cause you to be late for work and the kids to be tardy at school. Remember, your morning sets the tone for the rest of your day. If you start it chasing downtime and things, that’s likely how you’ll spend the rest of your time.
Getting up early enough, on the other hand, puts you ahead of the game. You’re in control. You can take care of everything that needs doing in a calm manner and still have time for the important things you want to work on. In short, getting up early enough sets you up for an amazing, productive day.
If you are struggling with this, then the 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins is an amazing resource to help you stop hitting that snooze button.
My key point here is that you either allow the mornings to control you or you control them. There is no other way around it. Which leads me to the next point!
Restructure Your Routine
Spend a little time thinking about your current morning routine and where you’re spending time. Look for things you can change and tweak to find more time for the things you really want to do. For example, if you want an extra 20 minutes in the morning to meditate, look at what you could take care ahead of time, eliminate, or delegate to make that time.
But more importantly, what do you want your mornings to feel and be like. The more clear you are on this, the easier it will be to plan ahead and implement a new morning routine.
And let’s talk about delegating for a moment. As a mom, I know that we love to do for our kids and that’s cool when they are little and they need the help and support. But as they get older, kids can do for themselves. They can pour the cereal and the milk. Sure it may be a little messy but it’s not the end of the world. Because if you spend a lot of time getting breakfast for everyone there won’t be time for you!
Teach the kids to make their own breakfast and take the dirty dishes to the sink, rinse them, and put them in the dishwasher. This is so important not just for your own sanity, but for them to become independent beings.
And maybe making sure clothes are set out the night before (including yours), and that book bags, purses, briefcases, and car keys have a designated spot will help you spend 30 minutes figuring out what to wear and losing your mind because you don’t know where the keys are.
Small changes like this to your morning routine can make a big difference. I challenge you to come up with a few small tweaks that will save you at least 30 minutes in the morning.
Share with me the small changes you are going to make to set yourself up for calmer mornings.
Let’s kick it off some questions for you:
What’s most important to you? What is the one thing you really want to do on a daily basis that would make a big difference, but you just can’t seem to find the time for?
Now be more clear, what habits do you want to cultivate that could really create a positive impact on your life?
And maybe you need to start writing about your current mornings and define what you don’t like about them, so you can create the clarity on what would make all the difference in your world!
Maybe you want to eat a better breakfast and have for time to sit down rather than grab your food and run. Or maybe you want to spend some time writing, exercising or reading.
For me, it’s quality time in the mornings with my partner. Those 5-10 minutes I get to hang out with him before he heads out the door are what makes me feel good and loved in the mornings.
Now that you know what you want your mornings to look and feel like, you have something you can work towards.
Take some time to visualize what your perfect morning feels like and looks like in every single detail and how it will help you have the most amazing day, every day!
Imagine not being stressed or feeling rushed.
Maybe you get some time to take a longer shower, go for a run, spent time with your partner or just have some solid time that you get to be with yourself.
And while this may look like a lot of maybe’s, you get to decide what to include in your morning routine and how it will happen every day.
And please for all that is good in the world, don’t try to make all the changes right now in one fell swoop. For now, simply just imagine what your perfect morning feels and looks like.
I want you to become very clear on what you want that perfect morning to look like. Imagine it in as much detail as you possibly can. Write it down in a journal or on a piece of paper that you can refer back to as needed.
Why is this so important?
Because you can’t start to make any meaningful changes until you know what your goals are.
You need to know your destination before you can start to pick a route and figure out how you’ll get there. That’s what today’s task is all about. It’s figuring out where you want to get to. Don’t stop until you have it figured out and firmly pictured in your mind.
In a previous post, I shared some of the benefits of facing change and moving through a transition. Any time you face a challenge, there are lessons to be learned along the way or when you are on the other side of it.
I’ve heard it all my life: What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger!
And if that’s the case then by all accounts, I think you are a superhero.
But I also know that when you are in the middle of chaos, you don’t really feel like a superhero. If anything, you are struggling to see the light of day and hang onto the glimmer of hope. And yet, when you come out on the other side, there are a few things to reflect on.
When you are going through hard times, you learn that the only person you can sometimes count on is only yourself. It’s not ideal because support can mean everything and when you’re asking for help, you also have to decide who that person is you are going to reach out to! In the end, you are the one going through the motion and figure out the next step! Whatever challenge you are facing is a catalyst for change.
When you are in the middle of chaos is tough seeing all the goodness in your life. When your spirit is crushed from a break-up or a job loss and your identity is stripped down, gratitude may be the last thing on your mind. But at the same time, it can show you what’s important in your life, who your true friends are and learn to appreciate what is rather than focusing on what you don’t have. Some things that once had value may no longer hold the same as you are rebuilding your life through each challenge.
You’re human with flaws – yep – and you are bound to make a mistake. If you get fired maybe it’s because you are too outspoken (that’s me!) or you didn’t do the work up to your bosses standards. While initially bad news, it can also be amazing news. Maybe it wasn’t the “right” job in the first place but it can also help you recognize what can use a bit of improving so that at your next job you don’t run into the same problem! It’s humbling to face your own faults, but again they can also be one of the most amazing catalysts for you.
For me, it was what I needed to start my business. Sure it sucked donkey balls but as I look back at it now, it was the best thing ever and I was able to use it as an opportunity to go after what I really wanted in life and well being my own boss, has improved my life in many ways.
Your attitude about any given situation is what will help you move forward. Of course, feel your emotions. Be angry, feel resentful but don’t stay there. But if you don’t feel your emotions, how will you be able to move forward? But it’s also imperative that you develop an “I can” attitude that is fueled by determination, optimism and a dose of stubbornness. This will help you move forward and is definitely an asset you can start building before the crisis happens.
Here’s the thing, challenges are going to happen but how you handle them is the thing that matters. Face them like a superhero, and even they have days where they feel all the emotions, and yet, in the end, you will come out stronger, more resilient and more empowered!