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Over the last few months, I developed a really bad habit.
I stayed up too late, woke up too late, and felt like I was running behind the moment my feet hit the floor. What happened to my 5am mojo? I was superwoman, remember?
Except, I couldn't sustain it.
And because my bad morning was destroying my entire day, something had to change. So I turned to the system I implemented last year—Make Over Your Mornings by Crystal Paine—to find some answers.
Going through this short, but effective class reminded me why mornings are so important, and gave me a huge perspective-shift too!
Instead of feeling hopelessly tired, I finally had more energy to get stuff done. Instead of feeling frustrated with my to-do list, I was getting the important things crossed off.
It was the reset I needed to get back on track again, and turned me back into the insanely productive girl I had left behind.
Are you itching for a change too? While I can't guarantee you'll wake up ready to face the day every day, I do have a few “aha moments” that helped this non-morning-person finally get her act together.
1. Prepare the Night Before
Make waking up a lot easier by removing every obstacle you can think of. Do this before you crawl under those covers, and you'll be greatly rewarded come morning!
For instance, if clutter is a huge frustration, waking up to scattered toys and dirty dishes will most definitely give you a yucky start. And if you hate feeling dragged down throughout the day, mindlessly scrolling through Facebook until 12am is a sure way to repeat the same feeling.
You must pinpoint which obstacles are the biggest threat to a productive morning, then take action to remove them as much as you possibly can.
Here's what I do every evening and why:
- A 15-minute pickup around the house (because clutter stifles my creativity!)
- Write out a manageable to-do list (so I know what to tackle first thing)
- Lay out my workout clothes (because extra effort come morning means exercise won't get done)
- Get to bed at a decent time (so I'm fully alert and not cranky!)
A great morning starts the night before.
2. Listen to Your Body
I'll be honest, I thought productive mornings were only meant for those who got up between 5-6am. I even tried it…for about three weeks while I was writing my book, 31 Days to Radically Reduce Your Expenses.
Oh, I felt productive alright, but it just about killed me too!
I realized that my body is not meant for 5am wakeup times long-term. Yes, I can do it for a short season with a very specific project in mind, but overall, it doesn't give me the adequate amount of sleep I need to get stuff done.
Right now, I turn the lights out around 10:30pm (I can usually fall asleep within an hour) and wake up at 7:30am, which allows me my 8 required hours of sleep. Ever since I stopped fighting my internal clock, and learned how to work with it, I've seen massive results!
Okay, Kalyn, that's nice and all, but what if you're in a stage of life when it's hard to get the sleep you need?
I totally get it. Maybe you have a newborn who isn't sleeping through the night, a job that doesn't get you home until well into the evening, or a partner who snores the night away. Or maybe, you just can't fall asleep!
I still encourage you to prioritize rest whenever you can. Don't find what you can ‘get by' on, find out the amount of sleep you need to thrive on, and then do everything you can to get there. Even if it means joining your little one during nap time.
3. Have a Solid Plan to Get Stuff Done
Since you're reading this post, I'm going to guess there's a few things you want to accomplish before the craziness of the day actually starts. A solid plan helps get those things done, and also provides structure for the rest of the day.
For instance, when I wake up, I know exactly what I need to do before 9am:
- 20 minute workout
- Devotions/quiet time
- Get ready for the day
After doing this routine, in order, for about five days, it's finally become a habit. Plus, if I don't do my workout, then I don't get to watch another episode of Prison Break at the end of the day. Incentives work, my friend.
Psst…if you're Type-A like me, you might be tempted to cram a bunch of tasks, habits, and routines into your morning. What can I say—we're overachievers! But you also don't want to set yourself up for failure.
Instead, pick just 1-2 important things you want to accomplish, not five. This goes a long way in streamlining your morning, and helps you focus only on those “must-do's”, not the “want-to-do's”. It's the key to getting stuff done.
If you're tired of spinning your wheels every day, go sign up for Make Over Your Mornings. You have to take it seriously though. Watch the daily lessons, do the assignments and really put your heart and soul into this.
Because in the end it's WORTH IT. And when I timed myself, only took 10 minutes a day!
Here’s a sneak peak of what you'll learn:
- How to develop a morning routine (and before bed routine) that actually work—and sets you up for amazing success!
- Quick tricks to streamline your morning tasks so the biggest priorities are accomplished first.
- The strategy to make to-do lists that support your day, instead of strangle your life.
- How to create realistic, but stretching goals and then follow through with them!
- Where to find time to refuel your tank and make space for things you love.
As a result, you will experience much more focus, organization, and clarity in your daily life. Promise!
The program is only 14-days long, and comes with super encouraging videos from Crystal. You'll also get links to a ton of great resources, and a printable workbook to help you work through the assignments.
So….what do you think? Are you ready to make a change?
I use these cards during my morning Bible/prayer time, and it gives me the extra dose of positivity I need to tackle my day. Plus they go perfectly with your class materials from Make Over Your Mornings.
If there's one thing I want you to remember, it's that routines matter. It's the only way we can intentionally control the overwhelm we feel everyday. After switching up my morning routine, I'm more convinced of that now than ever before.
What's one thing you want to accomplish every morning?
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