6 Simple Habits that Make Every Morning Better

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My magic number is 5.

5 people live with me whom I love more than anyone in the world.

5 is the number of minutes I always white lie about when I’m getting ready/on my way/being rushed.

5 is the number of times I have to repeat myself before anyone even attempts to half listen to me.

5 is the number of the month in which I became engaged to and married my love.

5 is the number of times prior to leaving the house in the morning I ask my husband why we even had kids in the first place.

5 am is the time I wake up.

5 is my magic number.

What can I say? I’m a morning person. I like to get up at 5 (30….45….) for about a million reasons. I’ve become such a morning person since having kids. I like the peace and quiet and the beauty of early morning. We have this amazing back deck that spans almost the entire length of our house, and it just so happens to face the sunrise. I love to sit out there and watch the sky change colors over the trees.

I like the quiet. I like the me time. I like that everyone else is still asleep and I feel like I’m getting some time to myself (something that’s so underrated when you’re a mom of four). I really just like starting my day on a calm and peaceful manner. I don’t like starting my day with the kids.

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Does that make me a bad mom?

You know what? I don’t even care.

My day sucks when the kids get up before me. This mama needs coffee, quiet, and peace or I’m less mom of the year and more “She could be on the 5 o’clock news,” and that’s not my style. There’s just nothing peaceful about rolling out of bed to four kids asking for breakfast (who the hell even eats within 2 seconds of waking up??), asking for glasses of water or milk, asking me to get something down for them to wear, and I seriously hate cold coffee.

My whole day is thrown completely off if I don’t get to start it on my terms, which is why I’m an advocate for setting the alarm and waking up before the littles. Trust me, waking up early is hard, but it’s totally worth it. I have 6 really, really, really simple life tips that help make mornings more productive – not including the early wake up – so you can really make the most of your day.

Set Up the Night Before

You know to choose what everyone is wearing and organize what you need for the following day prior to bed, right? Well, this goes a bit further. You’ve set out the kid’s school clothes, you’ve organized your handbag and chosen your own outfit, and now it’s time to sit down and relax. Kidding – now it’s time to set up what you need.

My husband is so sweet. He opens the Keurig, puts a K-cup in it, and even puts my coffee mug (upside down so no germs get in it) on the stand before we go to bed. In the morning when the alarm goes off and I jump in the shower, he even gets up and turns on the Keurig so it’s hot and ready for me to just push the button when I get out of the shower. It’s a really little thing, but it’s really nice not to have to stand around for a few minutes waiting on the coffee pot to warm up – and it’s extra nice to have everything you need already there.

Go to Bed Early

This isn’t easy for night owls, but going to bed no later than 10 pm is really the best. You’ll grow accustomed to it, I promise. I like it because it gives me a few hours after the kids go to bed to spend time with my husband in the evenings, but it also allows me to get 7 hours of sleep and still feel refreshed the following day.

You guys – it’s possible to live without dark circles under your eyes. I mean that. It’s a real thing, even for a mom of four. I promise.

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Prioritize Your Life

This isn’t a popular opinion, I’m sure, but we have to stop glorifying ‘busy,’ and start glorifying things like relaxed, and refreshed, and peaceful. I learned that from my kids, believe it or not. We are busy. We have four kids, activities, two careers, I run a business, we have a home, we travel, we have a busy social life – we are busy.

But when our kids started saying things like, ‘Why can’t we just stay home?’ to us on occasion in the past year, we realized ‘busy’ is not all it’s cracked up to be. You know what is? Spending time in our home enjoying it. We love our home – it’s our dream home, for crying out loud, and we were totally neglecting spending time at home. Our kids have learned to appreciate the simplest things in life more than anything, and it’s allowed us to prioritize what’s important to us, which is sleeping well, feeling good, and being productive. And guess what? It makes mornings and the subsequent day so much nicer when we are rested and well.

Clean Up

Some people can handle a little disarray. I cannot. But no one can deny it feels damn good to go to bed in a spotless house and wake up in the same spotless house each day. How much less stressed do we feel when we’re up and have nothing to clean, worry about, think about, organize, etc.? I promise you will wake up feeling good about life when your home is in order.

Find Your Jam

What do you look forward to most in the mornings? I’m extra productive in the mornings, so I’m go-go-go from the moment I wake up. But I’ve figured out my jam is getting out of the shower and sitting on my couch with my first cup of coffee in complete darkness with my First 5 App. I literally feel so relaxed and calm spending a little time with God in the morning.

And I love that quiet time. There was a time in my life when I rolled my eyes (secretly and without being disrespectful) at people who said they needed quiet time to reflect and meditate, but I was so wrong to judge.

You guys – it’s serious. It feels good to start the day that way. It’s impossible not to feel good when you have a productive, peaceful, happy start to the morning.

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Don’t Force It

Look, you need to get organized and wake up before the kids if you want to really start your day on a good note. But you also have to know your body. Sometimes you need more sleep. Sometimes you need that rest, and sometimes you need to do things a little off-schedule.

Don’t force yourself to have a good day when you know your body/mind/soul needs something else entirely. You know yourself, so listen to what your body is telling you. It’s okay to interrupt your routine sometimes, I promise.

What do you guys do to make sure your mornings are more productive and enjoyable? How do you get a head start on a beautiful day?

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