I’m sure you’ve likely heard the saying, “Success leaves clues.” Well, regardless of whether you desire growth and success in your faith, your fitness, your family, or elsewhere, there is no more obvious of a clue left behind for us than the importance of establishing a morning routine.
Does this following situation sound familiar?
You wake up to the sound of your kids and when your feet hit the floor, you hardly have enough time to use the bathroom and brush your teeth before you are sucked into the chaos of the day.
It’s Monday and you start making a mental list of all the things that life is demanding of you today:
- Start your new diet (you promised yourself all weekend that today would be day one)
- Workout tonight after work
- Do your daily devotional (check out my favorite Bible Studies for women)
- Get groceries
- Help the kids with homework before their soccer game this evening
- Drop the mortgage check in the mail
Your deep sigh interrupts your agenda. Feelings of overwhelm begin to consume you. You just wish there were more hours in the day. You need more time.
Hold up, girl!
What if I told you that you actually just need a really solid morning routine? Would you be willing to give it a try?
A well-planned morning routine will:
- Give you time to pursue the dreams God has placed on your heart before everyone around you starts requiring your attention and energy
- Allow you to start your day in peace and clarity rather than stress and chaos.
- Create the space and the mindset necessary to get ahead of that to-do list rather than always feeling like your drowning under the weight of it
- Set the tone for your whole day (and with consistency, this becomes your whole month, and then your whole year, and ultimately, your whole life)
And most importantly, this will open a door for you to draw closer to the heart of Christ. It’s worth losing a little sleep for, I promise you.
But I see you over there…rolling your eyes on the other side of this screen. You’re not an early bird. You treasure your sleep and you’d rather find time in other parts of your day to fit this “routine” into, right? I know. That was me, too.
Trust me, I was a skeptic turned all-in fanatic. There’s something so powerful that happens when we intentionally channel our very first moments, minutes, or hours towards our priorities.
The chaos is lifted when we consume Jesus before we consume the world.
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matt. 11:28-30 (MSG)
I want these unforced rhythms of grace and I know you do, too. Today we are going to implement a holy and healthy approach to kickstart our days, are you ready?
Let’s break it down!
4 Steps to Creating Your Morning Routine:
Step 1: Determine what elements make up your routine
Identify the things in your life that are most important to who you are and the life you want to live (ex. God, family, health, etc). It’s important to have a clear understanding of this before you setup your morning routine because the elements you include in it will be based on these priorities.
For example, with my limited morning minutes, you’ll never find me cleaning my bathroom sink or unloading the dishwasher. While important, these things are not at the top of my personal priority list nor foundational to the lifestyle I want to create for myself and my family. Do I want a clean house? Absolutely! But it’s not paramount to achieving my biggest goals.
Now, make a list of tasks that fit within your priorities. As a woman pursuing Christ, two non-negotiable parts of your morning routine should be consuming God’s Word and spending some time in prayer. But aside from that, it’s okay if your list looks nothing like the typical morning checklists you’ve seen blasted here on the internet. I want you to think about the things that would be most important for you.
Your list might include:
- Gratitude journaling
- Working on a hobby
- Working out
- Making your bed
- Listening to a podcast
- Doing a devotional
- Making a healthy breakfast
- Going for a walk
- Taking a bath
Step 2: Determine how much time you’ll spend
Your morning routine can literally be 15 minutes or it can be 3 hours. The important thing here is not the amount of time spent, but the consistency in the actions you are choosing to take.
Because remember, the morning routine will set the stage for your whole day. And when done consistently, with time your days become your weeks, and your weeks turn into months, and your months into years, and your years create your life. Your mornings are truly that important.
So take a look at your list of activities that you wrote down in step 1. Determine how long you want to spend on each task and then decide what time you need to set your alarm for each day to fit it in. If your list was long, you may need to narrow it down or simply cut down the amount of time you assign to each activity. For example, if I say that I want to read my Bible for 30 minutes each morning, but doing so would mean I might not have time in prayer before my kids wake up, perhaps I decide to talk to God for 10 minutes and then dive into the Word for 20.
You get to organize your time however you deem is best suited for you. But here’s the important thing, write it down! Make yourself a schedule of what’s going to happen at what time, because your consistency is crucial here.
Step 3: Do the prep work
What needs to be done to make this morning routine successful for you?
Maybe you need to clean out the garage so you have a space to workout where you won’t wake the kids.
Maybe you need to move your Bible and your study materials to the office so you have everything you want to work on in one place.
One thing you’ll definitely need to do is get your mindset ready for success. If you’ve never done early mornings before, or if you’ve tried an A.M. routine unsuccessfully, or if you simply dread rolling out of bed in the morning, there’s a few things you should do to ensure that this works for you.
- Hop on Amazon right now and order this book. It changed my life.
- Recognize that every attempt you make to spend more time with the Lord and to walk in his will for your life will be met with opposition from the enemy. Those excuses you are tempted to make about why you should just stay in bed under your warm covers and those thoughts that come to mind about how you deserve that extra hour of sleep…satan is sneaky in his strategies to keep us distant from Christ.
- Go to bed with a positive attitude about waking up the next morning. Rather than telling yourself you’re already dreading the alarm clock, think about what you’re excited to spend your time doing first thing in the morning!
Step 4: Set that alarm
You want to make waking up as pleasant (and successfully) as possible. Try these tips:
- Download your favorite song and replace that annoying BEEP BEEP BEEP with something that wakes you up in a good mood
- Set your phone (or alarm clock) across the room. This makes you physically get out of bed to turn it off. And once you’re up, resist the urge to hit the snooze and crawl back in bed.
- Give your alarm a new name. Remind yourself why you’re sacrificing some zzzz’s and give yourself some instant inspiration.
- Set the timer on your coffee pot or put out the essentials so that your hot cup of java is ready in no time. Knowing it’s there waiting for you might just give you the extra little boost you need to get going.
Whether you actually knock off some of your daily workload with the extra time you give yourself in the mornings, or if you simply prepare your heart and mind to tackle your life with more energy, grace, and wisdom, having a morning routine is a winning strategy for a more peaceful, productive, and Christ-centered life.
Snap a picture of your new morning schedule and tag me in it on IG @aleena_rooyakker_ for some added social accountability!
Cheers to your new morning routine! May blessings abound in these first moments of your day!