Towards the beginning of February, I wrote out a list of goals for the month. One of them was to “plan & implement a morning/evening routine.” It sounds official, doesn’t it?
As much as I love spontaneity in some things, it goes without saying that routine makes life run so much smoother. There are a lot of things in my life right now that aren’t routine (hello, 4 children), but my evening doesn’t have to be one of them. Here’s how I came up with my evening routine + how you can make one of your own:
Step 1: Make a List
Are there certain things you want to do every night before bed? Write out a list.
Note: this is not the time to list out things you do on an irregular basis, but only tasks you want to do every single night. It is also not the time to write massive goals, such as “Clean Entire Home.”
Step 1.5: Think Ahead
In order to come up with your evening routine, think ahead to tomorrow morning. Is there something you can do tonight that will make your morning easier? Add it to your list.
I wrote the following 4 items on my list:
- oatmeal prep
Step 2: Count the Time
Next to each of your evening routine tasks, estimate how long each task will take. Add up the time. How long is it? Is that something you can reasonably expect to complete every night? If your time adds up to more than 30 minutes, you may need to slash off some of your tasks in order to make it a habit you can stick with on a nightly basis.
Here’s my time tally:
- verses – 4
- spanish – 8
- face/teeth/contacts – 6
- oatmeal prep – 3
Total estimated time: 21 minutes
Step 3: Try it Out
For the past week, I’ve been trying out this evening routine. So far I’m loving it and finding it to be very workable. But if I discover in a couple weeks that I need to add/take away something from the routine – well, it’s too late. I’ve already etched this evening routine in stone. Har har. Har har har. Of course there’s always room for change. Good thing too, because life is full of different seasons. The challenge is staying flexible and learning to change with the seasons.
That was just some free advice. No, no. Don’t try to pay me. You’re quite welcome.
Here’s a more detailed explanation of each task in my evening routine:
- verses – One of my goals this year is to memorize 1 Bible verse/week on certain topics. While I usually work on Scripture memory at other times during my day, I want to take time every evening to just read through the verses I’ve learned so far to keep them fresh.
- Spanish – another goal this year is to learn Spanish. I try to work on this (using this free app on my phone) every night while I feed Karis.
- face/teeth/contacts – pretty self explanatory. none of us want nitty gritties on the bathroom routine, do we? no, we don’t.
- oatmeal prep – GAME. CHANGER. I mean, it just makes my morning routine easier, so #WIN. I’ve mentioned before that my kids and I eat oatmeal (I like it with granola mixed in) for breakfast every morning. I make individual bowls in the microwave every morning. So for my evening oatmeal prep, I load up each bowl with 1/2 cup oatmeal and 1 cup water, then put them all near the microwave. In the morning, I (or one of my kids) put them each in for about 90 seconds, then top them with whatever toppings we want for the day. It makes it just one step quicker to get breakfast on the table and into grumbling tummies.
And there you have it! I’m still working on my morning routine. Karis has been waking up at nights lately (lately = the past 4 1/2 months…give or take a few nights), so I’m copping out on making a strict morning wake up time. I have the morning routine planned; it’s just not being implemented yet. Give me a few days (weeks? months? years? Tell me she’ll be sleeping through the night by age 12?) and I’ll get back with you on the morning routine implementation.
How about you? Do you have an evening routine? Anything on there that’s a game-changer for your morning schedule?