IMG_6368Don’t you love starting your day on a quiet note? I love a little peace before my little people wake up. My whole family’s day is better if I’m feeling relaxed and accomplished.  While my kids are now 5 and 3, and it is easier to out-rooster my little roosters, I still need a plan to make the most of my quiet moments.

Below, I share my rituals. While these seem really involved (and long!) it didn’t start that way. I initially read my devotional (sometimes in bed) and then added morning pages. Later I added a meditation, and most recently a small bit of exercise. Every action builds on the last, and I don’t have to think about it anymore. It is also great to know that even if nothing else got done today, I already nurtured myself – body, mind and soul.

:: The night before:

  • Put my journal and favorite pen on the kitchen table.
  • I put my phone on the charger across the room from the bed. (When my alarm goes off, I have to run for it before it wakes the kids.)
  • I put my exercise clothes, including my shoes, fitbit, and a hairband in the bathroom.

:: 5 am.
My alarm goes off. I go to the bathroom, change into exercise clothes, and drink water. I grab my phone and head for the living room in the dark. There, I read a devotional. If you aren’t Christian, I still suggest you find something that inspires you to read for just 5 minutes. I meditate for 10 minutes (some days I meditate on how awful I am at meditation.) After that, I do a quick 7-minute exercise circuit.

:: 5:30 am.
I sit down at the kitchen table with my journal and write morning pages. (Inspired by Julia Cameron’s The Artist Way) If I’m working through a journaling course or book, I write the prompt in my journal the night before.

:: 6:00 am
I start the kettle for my French press or tea, and go wake up my kindergartener. We have a few sleepy snuggles in the kitchen, and I hand him his school uniform and a bowl of cheerios. While he gets dressed I start to get breakfast ready for my husband (two eggs and gluten-free toast) and have my first cup of tea or coffee. If needed, I remind my son to look at his chart, and that reminds him to go brush his teeth and grab his backpack.

:: 6:30 am.
We head outside to wait for the school bus. (I know – it is ridiculously early for the poor guy but that’s the reality of Lima traffic.)

::6:45 am.
I have breakfast with my husband, and he leaves for work (ahh Lima traffic.)

::7:00 am.
If my three year old didn’t come to the kitchen yet, I go wake him up. I help him to get dressed in his preschool uniform, and then he has breakfast while I have my second cup. We do a little drawing or reading, and he does his morning chart. (Feed the dog, brush teeth, get backpack.) I clean the kitchen, and sneak a peek at my email or social media if there’s time.

::8:00 am.
Walk to preschool. It is a 10 minutes stroller walk, or 30 minutes if he wants to walk himself. (Oh look, dandelion!). I walk or run home the long way while listening to an audio book or podcast. (If the day is crazy or everything goes pear shaped, this is what I cut)

::8:45 am.
I take a quick shower and dress for the day. My routine takes 10-15 minutes, including some minimal makeup and loads of sunscreen.

::9:00 am.
I start Spanish classes or work.

Want to build your own sacred time?

  1. Start with the time you have to leave your house (or start work) and work backwards to determine what time your alarm should go off.
  2. Add extra time, because you know it doesn’t always go to plan. (Especially with kids!)
  3. If you hit roadblocks, see what you can do to make a frictionless. Putting out your exercise clothes at night (A friend sleeps in her running clothes!)
  4. Most importantly: Keep it small. Start with little goals. If you get up at 7, maybe you can get up at 6:30 and read or journal for 10 minutes.

Here’s to peaceful mornings, and that first cup of coffee.

Do you have a morning ritual?  Come join us on the Facebook group to talk about it.