How To Start A Great Morning Routine

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Are your mornings a wreck? Read here to discover how to set up a Great Morning Routine to start your day right. Download the Free Checklist ...

Ohhh, mornings… they can be so stressful!  There’s so much to accomplish in such a short window of time.

“Come on, it’s time to get up!”

“Hurry and eat!”

“You can’t find your shoes?”

“Where’s your homework?”

“Ohhh, where are my car keys?”

“Has anyone seen my purse?”

Does any of that sound familiar?  Do you find your mornings as stressful as I do?

For me, I wake up feeling like I’ve got plenty of time to get ready and head out the door on time, or start our homeschool on time.  But, then I look at the clock and see we’ve got 10 minutes til “Go-Time”.  Then the panic begins … that’s when it’s rush, rush, rush, hurry, hurry, hurry.  I start to fret and fret about making it on time.

My kids never seem to be as interested as I am about being on time, so I start getting on their case.  The volume of my voice increases and our glorious morning goes to crap!

I don’t like to start my days off this way, I don’t like to always be rushing my kids, but it’s a cycle that’s hard to get out of.  So, I’ve come up with a system to help start a great Morning Routine.  

Your Morning Routine Starts the Night Before

A Great Morning Routine, Really Does Start The Night Before!

If you do a little prep the evening before, you will wake up to so much less stress … so much more peace.  And, we all want a little more peace, don’t we?  Wouldn’t you like to head out the door feeling relaxed?  Wouldn’t you like your kids to be ready to go without raising your voice at them, or rushing them?  Following these steps can help.  I’ve created a free checklist for you and a specific checklist for the kids, too.  

What to do the night before:

  • Set up coffee. If you have a traditional coffee pot get it all ready to hit start, or set the timer.  If you use a Keurig (there are so many to choose from now), like me, make sure the pods are ready to go.  Set out your cup (travel cup if needed), and make sure the sugar bowl is full.
  • Set breakfast out.  If it’s cereal, you can get the bowls and spoons out and set the cereal on the table, heck, you can even pour the cereal.  If you want something hot, make instant oatmeal.  Pour the packet in the bowl and set it near the microwave, ready to go.
  • Pack any bags.  Pack your purse, diaper bag, gym bag, backpacks, lunch.  Anything that needs to be ready to go with you in the morning.
  • Look at your calendar.  Check your calendar for tomorrow and see what’s ahead, see if there are things you need to be prepared for or remember.
  • Put reminders on your purse.  Do you need to take a project with you? A receipt to make a return? Your lunch from the fridge?  Anything you need to remember to grab or do, put a cute sticky-note on your purse.
  • Plan your outfit.  Get your clothes out tonight, so you won’t spend 15 minutes staring at your closet in the morning, wondering what to wear.  This goes for the kids, too, making sure all shoes have been found.  Tell me my kids aren’t the only ones that can never find their shoes when it’s time to go.
  • Set your alarm 20 minutes earlier than you think you need to.  I know, we all want to sleep just as long as possible, but believe me, getting up just a little earlier will add so much more peace to your mornings.  This little bit of time gives you margin for the little things that could go wrong.  It gives you some breathing space.

Alright, so that squares away the evening preparation.  Keep in mind, you may have more that you need to add to this list that is specific to your family.  Is there sports gear to get ready?  How about musical instruments?  Be sure to consider all those things.  Maybe you need more than 20 minutes extra time in the morning.

If your family always eats oatmeal for breakfast, consider setting it up in the crockpot.  Or, are you paleo and need some egg dishes?  This is a great recipe you can make ahead and keep on hand in the fridge.

Use this list as an evaluation tool and modify it as needed for your family.

Now, What To Do In The Morning:

  • Wake up with your alarm.  Don’t hit snooze 6 times.  It is sooo tempting, I understand, I do it too.  But, don’t do it today!  Remember, you’re trying to start your day right. If your kids can be independent, wake them and have them start on their morning routines.
  • Do 5 minutes of stretching and breathing.  This really helps you start your day in the right mindset.
  • Drink a full glass of water.  

     Get hydrated after a long night of rest.  You can even add some lemon juice for a night metabolism kick-start.

  • Shower and do your full hygiene routine.  Get it all done and over, don’t leave parts of it to do later, like putting on your makeup.  And, don’t do it at a snail’s pace, remember, you’re trying to get out the door on time.  If you have babies and toddlers wake them now, after you’re ready.
  • Make sure the kids are ready.  Review their morning lists.  You can even set a countdown timer to help them manage their time.
  • Eat your breakfast.  Please, please, don’t forget to eat breakfast.  And grab that coffee, too.
  • Review your reminders.  Look at any reminders you put on your purse.  Don’t wait until you’re walking out the door to do this.  Do it when you have a few minutes to actually do what it’s reminding you to do.
  • Lastly, leave the house 10 minutes early.  Does this seem impossible?  If you’ve set up your morning well, you can totally do this!

Practice Your Morning Routine

Doing these things may take a little practice.  It won’t be easy to fully change your routine all at once, so add these steps gradually if you need.  Post the checklists somewhere easy to see.  You can laminate them and use a dry erase marker to check things off as you go.

Depending on the ages of your children, they can take responsibility for their tasks, too.  If they are school-age, let them manage their own checklist and provide as little supervision as needed.  This empowers them and prepares them for a lifetime of time management as well.

Give Grace

Remember to give yourself some grace.  You’re still going to have rough mornings.  There are still things that will go haywire and make you late.  Your kids will even keep losing their shoes … it’s just a thing kids do.  In those moments, hit the reset button, figure out where the misstep was and make whatever change is necessary for tomorrow.

Are there any of these steps that are particularly hard?  Is there something that needs to be added to the list?  Leave a comment and tell me if I missed something.  And, leave me a comment after you’ve implemented these steps.  I love getting your comments and I’ll reply to each one, I want to hear about your results.

Don’t forget to download your Morning Routine Checklists below.

Are your mornings a wreck? Read here to discover how to set up a Great Morning Routine to start your day right. Download the Free Checklist ...

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      Thanks, Roli. And, it’s always easier said than done. I did fine until I had my babies (12 years ago), I think I’m still figuring out how not to get side-railed.


      I’m so glad I can be helpful. It is the perfect time of year to start new routines. I especially think we need to get things going while our motivation is high.

  1. I think morning rituals are vital to success. It’s like creating a “no fail” environment. Great post. I appreciate it. My youngest is 16 now, so less potential for chaos. I remember the scramble for keys until I bought a handbag with a key strap sewn inside, so when I get in the door, I clip my keys to that- and they are always in my bag and easy to find.


      Hi Sheri- Having systems like that is the smartest way to do things. I’m really trying to instill in my kids the efficiency of doing things the same way over and over. Like, hanging up your jacket as soon as walking in the door, putting shoes in the same spot, putting laundry in the basket as soon as you take them off. Building all these little habits is slowly, slowly working. Yay for consistency.

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