Continuing a Successful Day with a Morning Routine & a FREE Worksheet
We’ve already set up our day for success the previous evening (click to read). It feels good to have our morning step forward in the right direction. Now, to continue our day heading down this enjoyable path, it is vital to have a morning routine in place. You wouldn’t want a well-prepared wakeup to go down the drain because you don’t have a plan for what happens after waking up, right?
Right! That would be insane. I mean, it happens, of course. No one truly has the perfect life, remember (click to read)? There are mornings that haven’t been prepared for. There are mornings where you wake up more tired than when you went to bed. And because families are made of people, there are mornings where someone has awoken harboring the spirit of contentiousness.
Though we may have those trips to the land of “where did I wake up at?”, those visits aren’t often nor necessary. Because we have (or are getting) a morning routine in place. We establish a plan, we start following it, and, after some time, it becomes habit. And, when that happens, it is like putting the morning on rails - it's smooth and easy and arrives at the same place expectedly. Click To Tweet
We have lost sight of the fact that habit is to life what rails are to [trains]. – Charlotte Mason
When your family knows, through a routine, what they are supposed to do, when their supposed to do it, and they have been formed with the discipline to carry out, it produces the fruits of peace and joy. Then, when “life” happens to your morning (and it will), it doesn’t have to disturb the rhythm of the morning. You can take comfort in knowing that the habit of your routine will carry everyone through.
Thus, you can attend to that sick child whilst the others dutifully knock out their chores. You can take that unplanned phone call from grandma, while the others head to brush their teeth and get prepared for school. Ahhh, ease.
Customize and Personalize a Morning Routine (and use the free Worksheet)
And, so, let me share our morning routine with you and then I will give you 5 steps to help personalize a morning routine for your family.
When it is time to awaken the household, I have already done my own personal morning routine. So, I am ready to give myself to the work of my family. I begin by putting on music: the composer we’re studying or other uplifting music. Then we, together and individually, step through the following:
- Good morning greetings & Hit your knees
- Gather for morning prayer, led stretching, the day’s plan & weather, and reading from Cloud of Witness
- Room Routine: Make Bed, Get Dressed, Curtains/Windows Open, Room Tidy & Electricity Off
- Morning Chore(s): Animals, Laundry, Dishes, Cleaning
- Gather back together for Breakfast, Bible & Discussion
When we are functioning well in our routine, it glides along easily on its rails. When we have something popup that hijacks time, I make adjustments; and I do so without behaving as our day has been ruined or now has to be rushed through. This exercises my prudence and discipline (which always needs work).
One of the most humbling and intimidating realizations is that we are being watched and emulated – All. The. Time. It is one of our ultimate responsibilities to lead by the example we’re trying to foster. So, if you find your day getting off-track, or there is a plethora of bickering, it matters how you react to that stress. Your example of how to manage difficulties is being caught by those watching. Do your best to see the lessons that need to be taught in that moment, and to get back on track by remaining firm, pleasant & flexible.
This is very hard, and I fail a whole bunch at it! Since my family sounds and acts a lot like how I behave, it is very apparent when I have not been leading the way I ought. Sometimes the first thing I need to adjust is myself!”
5 Steps in Creating Your Morning Routine (plus Free Worksheet)
1. Know Your Self, Know Your Family
Every family is different, and has different patterns and personalities. Some prefer to stay up late, some to rise early. Some prefer all chores to be done first thing, some leave them for after school. You may prefer to get specific work done before you feel you can sit down and focus. You may struggle with getting up in the morning. There may be a child that needs snuggles before they are loved enough to take on the day.
– What specific attributes about you and your family’s personality do you know you must be sensitive to?
– What is important to you and your family that you would like to work into your family’s routine?
2. Connection Time
In today’s busy world, there is a severe lack of attachment in families. People, especially the younger generations, have not been rooted in their family heritage. Young ones are not given the time to bond with what home means, nor the people in the home. And, if their bonds of belonging aren’t nurtured within the family, they will seek attachment without. This connection time, and further throughout the day, is vital to the relationships in your family, their world view, and the family legacy they will carry on.
– What memories and beliefs of “home” do you want to be instilled in your family?
– What do you want your family to take with them through their day?
– What do you want your kids to take with them into their adulthood, and into their own families?
3. Get the Day Rolling
Once everyone has been gently awoken, it is important that the day (meaning the people) get rolling. We know firsthand how tempting it is to hit snooze, or to not get up and get that task done that we left yesterday for today. Procrastination is tenacious! So, the more consistent we can be in encouraging our family (and ourselves) to get feet on the ground and rolling in the morning, the better chance we have at executing what we aim to do. This is an important virtue in cultivating a good work ethic.
– How do you need to prepare to lead by example in this area?
– What specific expectation will you present to your family regarding getting the day underway after wakeup?
– How do you plan to come alongside someone who might need some encouragement or training?
– How will you respond to someone who is consistently sluggish (is this a heart issue or are they ill)?
4. List and Arrange Your Schedule
List out the elements of your morning routine. Order them in a way that will set the tone for your day, and will serve your family well. It is important that you be vigilant in not cramming too much into a blessed time.
– What time will you wake up? Everyone else?
– What is most important, for you and for the others, as soon as everyone’s rubbed the sleep from their eyes (keep in mind individual needs)?
– What rhythm and atmosphere are you creating?
– What needs to be done (and done well) before coming to the breakfast table?
– What would you like to foster while all are gathered for breakfast?
5. Leave Margin
This is a rule of life really. Leave margin in your schedule to be flexible, to have silence, to review and adjust, to have rest, to have spontaneity and relationship. It’s simply some unscheduled minutes that pad your morning (and day). Sensibly, this happens by learning to say ‘no’ to so many good and worthy things, so you can make sure you are doing the best things well. Practically it means don’t overschedule. Margin in your and your family’s life will compound much worth!
– What time have you left in your morning routine for adjustments and the unplanned?
– If, and when, you find extra time in the morning, be intentional; what do you plan to do with it (make it something worthy – don’t clean out your closet)?
The morning routine, is a tool to help you and your family form smooth and easy days. It is not your master. If something isn’t working, give it time and your discipline. If it still isn’t working, adjust.
Remember, however, we do not measure success in how much we can check off our list; but, how did we treat others, were relationships and virtue nurtured, did we do our able best with the life that happened today? Examine your conscience; if you feel good about you and your family’s efforts and atmosphere – that’s a successful morning.
I’m truly excited for you, and praying for your Equipped Morning Routine!