Previously, my morning routine consisted of waking up after pressing snooze a couple of times (when my alarm was set for exactly enough time to get ready), realizing I was already running late, and shooting out of bed in a state of hurried stress. The rest of the day followed in constantly playing catch up. Sounds familiar? Hopefully, for your sake, it doesn’t.
In an effort to change my stress levels, I changed the way my morning started which changed the rest of my day. I wake up one hour earlier to have this time to myself and start the day with intention. I feel more productive and less stressed… so much better than previous.
Here are the steps to my morning routine. The first part (exercise, feed the dog, coffee, prayer/meditation) takes about 30 minutes total until I can start planning and working.
1 // EXERCISE
When I say exercise, I mean move. Currently, I do sit ups, push ups, and jumping jacks in the morning while the coffee is brewing and Franklin (the dog) is outside going potty. It gets the blood flowing especially when I’m dragging. I go up on the numbers as it gets easier. Just for reference, I started out with 10 of each.
Just that little bit of movement keeps my joints from hurting. Yes, I sound like an old person, but I am! LOL! Plus, I feel like anything is better than nothing. My next step is to add in an exercise class on the calendar. I’m excited to try The Bar Method when they open at The Shops at Clearfork.
Side note: Coffee is THE FIRST THING I do if it wasn’t set the night before. I add 2 scoops of Collagen Protein to my coffee which gives me an automatic 20grams of protein in my brew. I’m not sure if it’s the placebo effect, but the stubborn eczema on my forehead went away after doing that for 2 weeks.
2 // PRAYER, MEDITATION, or JOURNALING
This may sound silly, but I never REALLY knew how to pray until I found “The Prayer Process” from Dynamic Catholic. I just thought it was about talking to God, whatever that meant, but I didn’t have a consistent process. I modified it so that it works for me, and this is how I do it.
I do this after I’ve fed the dog, let him go potty, and made my coffee.
- GRATITUDE: Thank God for the day and events that happened the day before
- AWARENESS: Revisit times in the past 24 hours that I wasn’t the best version of myself and think about what I learned from these situations
- FORGIVENESS: Ask for forgiveness for any wrongs committed against God, myself, or others and ask for a deep abiding peace
- REQUESTS: This is where I ask for God’s help to become the best version of myself and lift others up on my prayer list.
- PRAYER OF ST TERESA OF AVILA: I really love this prayer and it so eloquently states what I hope to do.
Lord, grant that I may always allow myself to be guided by you, always follow your plans, and perfectly accomplish your holy will. Grant that in all things, great and small, today and all the days of my life, I may do whatever you may require of me. Help me to respond to the slightest prompting of your grace, so that I may be your trustworthy instrument, for your honor. May your will be done in time and eternity-by me, in me, and through me. Amen.
- PRAYER OF OUR FATHER: This is the last part of my praying and I end with an Amen.
- BREATHE: This is where I spend a little time with meditation. I really didn’t know how to meditate until my friend Angie shared her practice. Set the timer (ex. 3 minutes), close your eyes, and focus on your breathing.
- JOURNALING: Sometimes I will do journaling instead of Meditation. I use this 10/10/1 practice as shared by Rachel Hollis where I list 10 things that I am today. Ex. I am an exceptional mother.
3 // PLANNING
My best friend, Elizabeth, who isn’t Catholic shared a guide that helped her (“A Busy Catholic Women’s Daily Planning Routine”), and it literally changed my life! Like prayer, I never really knew how to plan until then, and now I use my planner very efficiently. Again, I modified steps so that they work for me.
Some quick notes:
- You don’t need a fancy planner to do this. You can grab a blank notebook or regular calendar. Figure out what works for you first, and then you can invest in something fun and pretty later!
- I’ve planned with the Erin Condren Lifeplanner for years now, but finally use the horizontal planner to its full potential. (Don’t be intimidated by the stickers – I don’t really use them unless I have time AFTER the planning.)
- Mr. S and I share an online Google Calendar so that we know about each other’s schedule. It is a general calendar with appointments, work, events, etc. The paper planner helps me execute the day-to-day and keep track of blog stuff.
You need about 15 minutes at the beginning of each week for a weekly planning session. I usually do it on Sunday morning or evening. It helps me focus on the week ahead and motivate me to get up early.
- To-Do List:
- What do you have to get done? List it all out! If you need, then you can separate it into categories. Mine is separated into Mom Life and Blog!
- I use the Snap-in To-Do Dashboard for a running To-Do List of errands/projects. The list can be carried over from week to week.
- You will use this list to pick your 3 tasks that need to get done daily.
- These are items that I schedule or do daily. In the pictures, I show you some examples of how it’s written in my Erin Condren Life Planner.
- Prayer/ Meditation: I don’t write it in. I just do it as mentioned above to start the day.
- Exercise: Write down something realistic that works for you at this season in your life even if it’s 10 minutes of dancing! Right now, mine is very simple and I do sits ups, push ups, and jumping jacks. I write “25 x 3” which stands for 25 of each.
- Household chores: Most of us just take care of whatever needs to be done. However, if there are things that you’ve “been meaning” to do and never do (like dusting the bookshelf), then write your tasks down. I run out of time when I don’t account for it, so I list 3 at the most. If you have a housekeeper that helps you, then HOORAY and more time for other stuff!
- Meals: I quickly jot what I’m planning on each day of the week which helps me with grocery shopping on Monday.
- Happy heart: This is something that I found so interesting in the Planning Routine, and I LOVE the idea of it. An example would be like calling your Mom or playing a game with the kids. I need to work on adding this to the calendar more often.
- Tasks: Pick your top 3 to be realistic. I use my running To-Do lists to pick my tasks.
- Blog: I use the sticky notes on the monthly calendar to plan my editorial calendar for the blog. This way they can be rearranged and moved around if needed. It gives me a good idea of what needs to be shot when I have an appointment with my photographer.
4 // GET READY
I usually try to get ready and make breakfast before waking up the kids so it’s more efficient (less interruptions) and they can get as much sleep as possible. During this time, I switch from coffee to water and try to listen to part of my favorite podcast.
THE STYLE Rx (aka Lazy Girl Glam Tip): When I’m short on time in the morning, my makeup routine is quick and done with my fingers. I put on concealer and then use an all-in-one for eyeshadow, blush, and lipstick. This gets color on my face so I look alive! I never leave home without mascara. (Right now, I have lash extensions but I am not going to redo after this last appointment.)
Alright beautiful friends, hope this was helpful for you! Getting a morning routine has changed my life for the better! If you have one, PLEASE SHARE WHAT YOU DO! I am always improving and changing things to make it work for me.
♥︎ ♥︎ STAY GLAM, DO GOOD ♥︎ ♥︎
Thank you so much for stopping by and supporting SOS! I truly appreciate it!