Make Mornings Matter

Living with intention takes focus and preparation. It doesn't really happen naturally for most of us. We are too busy and distracted which usually leads to days where we are "winging it" and hoping for the best. We certainly have good intentions. We have to-do lists, planners, and apps for getting organized. But the "fires" in our days seem to overtake our good intentions at times. One of the best ways to improve our day is to make a shatter-proof morning routine.

I have five kids. I know how crazy mornings can be. After many years of chaotic mornings turning into chaotic days, I finally decided to get focused and make my mornings matter. First, I decided to make my mornings mine. If you have children or other things/people you are in charge of, you know what I mean. Once the morning starts, the radar goes off and everyone immediately needs you. There is only one fix to this problem. Get up earlier than everyone else. Once I got over the grief of losing one hour of sleep, things began to fall into place.

Here is how my mornings unfold now. I choose to get up before anyone else that needs me. My phone and screens are securely in the "off" position. I go to my favorite room and sit on the floor for 15 minutes. This is by far the most difficult part of my morning. During this time, I sit cross-legged and do nothing. This is a perfect time to cognitively let everything go. I call it finding clarity. Then, I stretch on the floor for about 5 minutes. This allows all of my previous stress to release. I immediately head outside with my dog. We walk the property and this is where I pray. You can use this time to think, meditate or do some deep breathing. You can also add in some vigorous movement at this time such as running, jumping jacks, etc. This takes me up to about 45 minutes of my morning routine. With 15 minutes left, I head inside and take out my planning notes. I organize my daily priorities and write down the thoughts I came up with during my time outside. Lastly, I clean up any remaining items from the night before in my kitchen area which is the hub of my home.

I am now ready to properly greet my children when they get up. I greet them with "puddles of love" moments. When they were little, I played a morning game with each of them (which I called Puddles of Love) and now as they grow older, it is more of a focused, eye-to-eye good morning with hugs and kisses. After everyone is up, greeted and situated, I can make breakfast, get dressed and finally, check my screens. About a year ago, I decided to make my morning screen time about 10 minutes. I know this doesn't seem like a lot of time, but after you get used to it, it is plenty. It allows me to scan the news sites I like, scan my e-mails and social media accounts. I have narrowed down all of my sites and apps to make sure that they fit into my 10 minute time frame. Then, I close it all down until after lunch.

This is my routine and yours may look different. The main point is to make time in your morning for the things that make you shine. Finding clarity, being quiet and moving your body. After this, you will be more focused to take on your day with skill and patience. By demoting your screen time until later in your morning, it becomes less important and distracting. Sometimes all it takes is a tweak, other times it is an overhaul. Whichever it is for you, I hope this assists you in making your mornings matter!

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