morning routine


Ever since reading this article I have been crafting my perfect morning routine. 

Full disclosure: I'm pregnant, and have a 2 year old, so there are many mornings where I can't start my morning routine until I get some food in my stomach, because I'm simply too nauseous. There are many other mornings where I set my alarm for the crack of dawn, only to find that my 2 year old also set her internal alarm for that time. 

So yeah, every morning doesn't end up being a serene hour of meditation, candles, and soft music, but that's the season of life I'm in right now! And that's ok. I'll take a 5 minute devotion if that's all I can get. And at 38 weeks 4 days pregnant, we'll be adding a newborn to the mix any day now...that means my morning routine is in for another shake up. 

Anyway, here are the elements of my morning routine as it stands right now. 

Devotion and Bible Study

Each morning I read a short devotion, followed by 1-3 chapters of the Bible. My favorite devotions come from Proverbs 31 Ministries, especially if I'm on the road and all I have is my phone. I also use the WELS app to find devotions. I'm on the hunt for a new favorite women's or mother's devotion book. Open to suggestions! 

As for my Bible study, I recently finished reading the Bible cover to cover, so I have been kind of "floating" with no particular plan in mind. Some days I do a chapter from Psalms or Proverbs, and a few chapters in the New Testament gospel and epistles - they're just packed with good news, good advice, and good examples. I really would like to dig in to some of the prophets again, but always feel like I need some guidance from the People's Bible.

This portion of my morning always comes first, and usually ends up taking anywhere from 5-15 minutes...depending upon if a child wakes up.

Meditation and Prayer

Don't laugh. Well, ok, you can laugh if you want. I always think of the episode of Parks and Rec where Ron Swanson is forced to try meditating:

"All told we were in there about 6 hours, and no, I was not meditating. I just stood there, quietly breathing. There were no thoughts in my head whatsoever. My mind was blank. I don’t know what the hell these other crack pots are doing."

During this time I pray, then I follow up with quiet focus on my goals as though I have already achieved them. I always thought meditation was ridiculous witchcraft, until I started listening to the Mechanic to Millionaire podcasts. From there, it was like when you buy a car, and you start seeing that car everywhere on the road. Every successful person I listened to or read about suggested getting up early to focus on your goals, your vision board, and do affirmations. I have now written my goals on a 3x5 notecard in the present tense ("I am so happy and grateful now that..."), and use my imagination to create vivid detail of what life i like once these goals are achieved.

Time: 10-15 minutes

To Do List

If I haven't already done this the night before, I take a moment to write down the 5 most important things I want to get done that day. It can be for my business, house cleaning or organization, preparation for teaching Spanish class, or boring adult things like making doctor's appointments.

Time: 3 minutes

Coffee and Pleasure Reading

If Pippa has not woken up yet by this point in my morning routine, it feels like the most luxurious spa time I could imagine. I pour a hot cup of coffee and open whatever book I'm reading, or peruse a few of my favorite blogs.

Time: however long it takes to drink a cup of coffee, or until Pippa decides to wake up.

Exercise

I would like to say this is a consistent thing I do before my child wakes up, but pregnancy nausea requires that I eat first, and let my food settle before any activity. Maybe once Baby #2 comes along and we're settled into a good routine, I could include this before breakfast.

Now that we're in Florida, I like taking the dog for a walk in the morning before it gets too hot out, which is also a great time for me to do some personal development by listening to a podcast or team call.

For now, I'll settle for a workout with my 2-year-old fitness buddy. She actually loves working out with me, and even does push-ups and squats! I got her a dumbbell for her birthday so she could lift free weights with me, too. The only downside is that she's really picky about the music I play (I don't find the Itzy Bitzy Spider in Spanish to be that motivating).

Starting my morning with some quiet time with God and my goals ensures that I face the day with a positive mindset. I no longer get annoyed when I hear Pippa stirring for the first time, because she's not interrupting cozy sleep. I can be more generous with my time, and more present with those I love because I have gotten my mind right for the day.

Most days this means getting up in the 5 a.m. hour, but I am learning to love the freedom getting up early gives me more than the extra hour of sleep.

What elements make up your morning routine?

happy things + odds & ends

I'm not sure if it was our recent trip to the Como Park Conservatory but throughout the past few days my mood has been more lighthearted, and hopeful of the coming spring. I've been doing some experimenting with regards to my bedtime and morning routines to help me start my days on a more positive and productive note.

First of all, I have been sneaking Pippa's dream feed up earlier and earlier each night, with the hope of eventually phasing it out. This helps me actually get into bed with time to read before my head hits the pillow.

Second, I have been practicing setting a mental alarm clock for 6:30 a.m., which is about a half hour before Baby Zero Hour. I remember hearing or reading that it's possible to train yourself to wake up at a certain time just by thinking about it. I'm not sure if it's my husbands alarm + snooze combo that's actually waking me up, or simply my desire to start the day a little earlier that's working, but on Monday and Tuesday I was able to greet the day with a smile at exactly the time I wanted to wake up.  I Googled this very phenomenon, and found this fascinating article. Apparently, routine and intent are essential to a great morning.

Other things that have been making my winter days brighter:

baking cookies

Borrowing some magic from Martha Stewart, but with my own "healthified" substitutions. I substitute one of the sticks of butter with a 1/2 cup of coconut oil, use wheat flour instead of white, and sugar in the raw instead of granulated sugar. Still not healthy by any means, but it makes me feel a little bit better about indulging myself. The texture is just how I like it - soft and chewy.



nature music on youtube 

Flowing streams, ocean waves, and birds chirping are my favorites right now.

chugging water

I don't know if it's the dry winter air or not, but I find myself with more frequent headaches, scratchy throats, and fatigue during the colder months. More water seems to help!

vitamin D

Gummy vitamins, of course.

new books!

Pippa's great grandma got her a Barnes and Noble gift card for Christmas so I could pick up some more Spanish books. Yesterday we picked out three: ¿Eres Mi Mamá?, Frida, and Siempre Te Querré
(Are You My Mother?, Frida - a children's book about the painter Frida Kahlo, and I'll Love You Forever.)

longer days

Has anyone else noticed the slightly later sunset? Less than a month until Daylight Savings and even longer days! Spring is coming, people!

this kid