Set yourself up for success with your morning routine

Until three months ago, my morning routine went a bit like this:

  • Wake up. Check the alarm. Fall asleep
  • Wake up again 10 minutes. Breastfeed the baby. Wave my partner out of the house and off to work.
  • Assemble breakfast for the toddler. Glug down tea and wish I could have coffee
  • Wrestle both children into clothes, followed by tears in the bathroom because I insist on torturing them with toothbrushes, washcloths and hairbrushes.
  • Wash and dress myself. Ask the toddler where he has hidden his shoes. Change the baby’s nappy (again).
  • Finally locate the shoes. Munch on toast whilst doing pre-flight checks at the front door. Spare clothes, extra nappies, calpol and snacks? Check. Kids still dressed? Check.
  • Where are my shoes? Why is the baby trying to eat my purse?
  • Cue: more tears as baby gets strapped into buggy. I refuse to let the toddler take his bike to the playgroup as he will crash it. Yep – more tears.
  • Finally get to playgroup. Ask for more tea.

Nothing remarkable – I am sure every mother reading this does the same and probably does it better. What changed three months ago was reading this book: The Miracle Morning*.I really recommend going through the book as Hal is not a morning person (like most of us) and you get extra ideas on how to make it work. However, if you barely have time for a cup of tea, just watch the video at the top of this post.

Why the Miracle Morning works for me

Prior to kids, I always considered morning routines to be something done by high-achievers (presumably whilst ordering their personal assistant about and sipping coffee). However, becoming a mum also pushed me into the high-achievement bracket. I have never worked longer hours or held more responsibility than when I went on maternity leave. The reason we don’t associate motherhood with high status is simply because it’s unpaid.

I have refined Miracle Morning into fast, eight-step process that works around the kids and still gets us out of the house on time. It’s fantastic because I allow time for myself before the morning rush starts and life gets in the way. Mix it, match it and try it out for yourself.

  1. Wake up. Drink water from the bottle on my bedside table.
  2. Meditate for 5 – 15 minutes. I bounce between the Headspace app and OmHarmonics “wake up” music. Both are available as free apps in Android (Headspace does have paid options).
  3. Affirmations for 1 minute. This can be as simple as “I am worth it” or something longer, depending on your circumstances. If you have a critical inner voice, this helps reprogramme it.
  4. Visualisation for 1 minute. Think about where you want to be in a month’s time. See it, feel it, taste it. Then:
  5. Journalling. I use this time to look at the actions I need to take, to reach the goal I “saw” in visualisation. I also write down my thoughts for the day. As I am still in bed and my husband is awake at this point, I generally use Google Voice to write it and save my work online.
  6. Read. I usually enjoy the free book available on the Blinklist app or watch a quick three minute TED talk.
  7. Get up, get dressed in gym clothes. To challenge my brain, I usually brush my teeth with the “wrong” hand.
  8. Get the kids breakfast. Do a 7 minute fitness workout whilst they are eating.
  9. Get myself washed and dressed, get the kids dressed.

Thankfully, Captain Chaos can dress himself now, making the whole morning process easier. However, by the time we walk out the door, I feel more positive, productive and have a clear plan of what I want to do, instead of reacting to the latest emergency.

Give it a try. Even if you are stuck under a nursing child, you can still do the majority of the routine on your phone.

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