A morning routine is great for morning people. But what if you’re a night owl? What if your work schedule or daily routines keep you up past midnight almost every day?
For years I resisted the good advice of getting up earlier. I argued that it’s not my style, it doesn’t work for me and frankly, I just don’t want to. But, in the last 6 months, I’ve been working really hard on changing that. Here’s why.
A Morning Routine is Hard When You’re A Night Owl.
I’ve got 2 children, who are currently both under the age of four, and by the time they go to bed, I have ZERO energy to do anything productive. I use to be able to put the kids to bed and then spend about three hours writting and working on my business, but these days I can’t.
Also, the evenings are when I really like to talk with my husband. He’s the smartest person I know and as much as possible I like to reserve that time for adult conversations. By adult, I’m not saying that they’re “adult” – I simply mean that I spend most of my day negotiating with two preschoolers. It’s nice to talk to someone who won’t start crying mid sentence.
Plus, we like to keep eachother on our toes. We debate issues like we’re in parliment. It’s fun, it’s iron sharpening iron. As a couple we never fight. But we love a good debate.
Great Mornings happen the night before
On a perfect night, we get the kids to bed then I spend about thirty minutes writing in my gratitude journal and reading a devotional. I also try to stay off my phone before bed, because this is probably the best way I know to ensure a good night sleep. Trust me, scrolling instagram is not an effective way to fall asleep. I know, I tried.
Afterwards, I read, usually by myself, but sometimes I will read a book outloud to my husband. I takes us forever to get through a book this way because we stop every three paragraphs to have a debate. But the last 30 minutes of the day, are spent just talking. Mostly about the kids, or the future. Then bed.
But perfect nights don’t always happen.
And a good evening routine is key to a great morning routine. Because if you don’t get to bed at a decent hour, it’s impossible to get up early.
The Late Night Solution
So here’s my solution;
My morning routine starts with at least 7 hours of sleep. I’d like 8, I know that’s the recommended amount, but for me, it’s not happening. But 7 is none negotiable.
Start The Day With 7 Hours of Sleep
Regardless of what time I go to bed, I get 7 hours of sleep. This usually allows me to still wake up at least 90 minutes before the rest of the family.
First thing I do in the morning is to check my temperature. We’re practicing hormone-free contraception, and I use an app to track everything. (let me know in the comments if you want to hear more about that.)
My Morning Routine Begins Before I Get Out Of Bed
I’m not the bounce out of bed, bright eyes and bushy tail gal I once was. Now I need a little help. And keto coffee is my new favorite thing. So I brew myself a cup (extra large hot tub sized). Our kettle takes forever, so I usually read a morning devotional while the water boils. I’ve been experimenting with bulletproof coffee and love it.
Then, I take my coffee upstairs to my little office (Aka spare room) and read my Bible for 30 minutes. This single act has been the most transformative change I’ve ever made in my life.
Reading the Bible is by far the most important part of my morning routine. Starting the day with 30 minutes in the word has helped me to really understand how we can renew our minds and live victoriously. Honestly, it makes such a difference in the way I talk, think, pray. It helps me show up as an excellent wife, mother, pastor, and friend. You can learn how to establish a daily Bible habit here.
I wish I could say that I read my Bible every single day, but I don’t. I think the longest unbroken streak is about 45 days. So far, I haven’t figured out how to take this habit on the road, so if we travel, or something throws me off balance, I miss a day or two.
But I’m always getting better.
Write The Day
Next, I write.
After reading for thirty minutes, I write in my journal. I like to do a total brain dump. I just write whatever’s on my mind. During this time, I force myself to fill 3 whole pages, which is an amazing practice I highly recommend. For more ideas on ways to practice self-care go here
I write about my dreams from the night before, my dreams for the future, what I’m worried about, or excited about. Then, I write about my goals and my fears. I write about anything and everything. Whatever comes to mind, I write it down. This allows me to clear my brain of all the cobwebs so that I can focus throughout the rest of the day.
Next, I look at my calendar.
It took me a long time to get used to using a calendar again. Once I finished school, I thought freedom looked like being able to spontaneously do whatever I want. Now I’ve learned that in order to do whatever I want, I need to get it down into my calendar. On days when I skip this part of my morning routine, I find I’m not as productive and it’s harder to appreciate the tasks I do.
Going from a To-Do list to a calendar is a process.
I’ve learned to say No to a lot of things, and intentionally schedule the things that matter. Like family outings, groceries, writing and reading. These are essentials that are easy to put off. And when I put them off it costs me in the form of time, money and/or joy. Neglect the groceries and end up spending too much on last-minute meals. Fail to provide enough intellectual stimulation for the kids, they start climbing the walls and I get nothing productive done and my joy goes out the window.
Next, I go for a run
Once I know what the day ahead is going to look like, I try to go outside and run. I’ll be honest, this is a huge challenge for me. I’m out of shape, and running feels like a waste of time. It feels awful, it takes too long, it creates additional laundry. I have to wear an ultra-deluxe supportive sports bra. Not fun!
But, I make the best of it.
I put on my favorite podcast and I run along a nice stretch of green grace close to the house. It’s not easy, but I believe it’s worth it. I’m worth it. I want to become better at it and I know I will as long as I keep harnessing myself into that sports bra each morning and taking my feet outside.
Morning Routine Essential
Finally, I slow down and spend time with my family.
Once I return, all gross and sweaty, I give my kids a BIG HUG. I check in with my husband to see what his plans are for the day. We move around the kitchen together in a weird sort of obstacle course over kids ballet. Once I’ve checked it, I hop into the shower and face the day.
Now I would love to hear from you!
- What’s the number one thing that makes your morning flow?
- Where do you hear the voice of the Lord encouraging you to focus in the morning?
Leave a comment below and let me know.
Share as much detail as you can. Your wisdom and insights will help and encourage readers from around the world. The ideas you share might be the inspiration someone else needs to get a breakthrough.
Important, please share your thoughts ideas and opinions directly in the comments below. This way everyone benefits and the community grows.
Thank you so much for reading and supporting this growing community with your voice. It matters and it makes a huge difference in the world.
I promise, even if your not a morning person, creating a morning routine is 100% doable. You don’t have to get up at 4 am. But, having a morning routine will make a world of difference in your life by freeing up time and energy.