The Wonder of a Plan for Your Mornings

February 5, 2024

Hey dreamer, Emily here.

What we're talking about today: the wonder of a plan for your mornings, and the waterfall benefits of having a consistent get-up time.

My current weekday alarm goes off at a reasonable 6:30AM in case you're wondering—nothing heroic over here, but it's totally working for me.

Mornings matter. I've been wonderfully reminded of this truth as I've gotten back into awesome mornings after months of travel and time zones and coordinating with other people's schedules or non-schedule schedules :-)

Here are some ideas for making more of yours.

Get up at a consistent time:

I'm no sleep doctor, but I have proved this one to be really true. If you vary the time you get up based on how well you slept or what time you got to bed based on entertainment or chatty teens, you'll find yourself perpetually reacting, starting each day whenever you get around to it.

But if you always get up at 6:30AM (for example), you can do a much better job of planning your days since you know what time they almost always start.

Have a plan for your mornings:

If you're going to go to all that effort of rolling out of a comfy bed when you don't feel like it, you'd better have a plan for what you're going to do with it.

Otherwise, you'll find yourself aimlessly wondering what you should be doing and slowly wandering your way into the day. And that just doesn't feel great. I'm not saying you should hit the ground running, but you'll be happier if you are proactive about what you even want to do with your mornings.

Write your plan down:

Or at least write down your best guess for what order of morning stuff makes the most sense.  

Of course there's the occasional deviation and you might decide to switch things up, but having an idea for what you do and when in the mornings helps immensely.

[Side-note: if you have kiddos at home, you might give yourself larger blocks of time to accomplish the same stuff since you have more cute interruptions.]

Have a plan for your days:

This may sound obvious, but if you don't have a plan for your days, you don't really need a plan for your mornings.

But if you have plans for your life, you have plans for your days, and this gives you the reason why your mornings matter.

Have contingency plans/compassion strategies:

Life will continue to happen. Which means people will need you at hours that aren't "convenient" or in the schedule.

Or a time-sensitive project you're working on will take longer than you planned.

Or you get chatty after improv and don't get home until almost 11:00PM. (Yes, you guessed correctly—I am talking about myself :-))

Decide what you're going to do when these things happen.

If you're committed to getting up at the same time each day and have a sleepless night, maybe you might just give yourself permission to take a couple 12-minute naps if you need them.

Or console your sleepy self with a commitment to get to bed earlier the next night.

The waterfall benefits of intentional mornings:

You start thinking about tomorrow, today.

And you start connecting your evenings to your mornings with questions like:

  • What small things can I do at night that will make the morning even easier? Examples: set out workout clothes, pick the outfit for the morrow.
  • Knowing that my alarm is going off tomorrow morning at the same time it does every day, do I really want to watch this show until 11:30?

Another benefit: you get to see your friends who have similar schedules.

And in a busy, sometimes disconnected world, it's really nice to know that you are probably going to 88-year-old Jim and his Bernese mountain dog/Newfoundland dog, Duchess, on your morning walk.

That's it for today! You've got big things to be doing, and making them happens starts with waking up, figuratively. And also very literally.

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