Do You Have a Morning Routine?

I love mornings.

I don’t say that to brag. It’s obnoxious when people brag about being morning people. According to some folks who are close to the guy writing this, it might be more annoying to be overly talky and chipper in the morning.

I blame it on having a morning routine.

When I’m running on most cylinders, my routine is something along these lines…

  1. A short walk as soon as I wake up.
  2. Start coffee and read a chapter out of the Bible and spend a little time in prayer.
  3. Write about two pages by hand in my journal (my ‘dear diary’ time as my buddies who are too cool to journal call it).
  4. Write 10 ideas (i.e. 10 topics for Simply in the Suburbs; 10 date night ideas; 10 ways to add value at work; 10 possible solutions to this or that problem).
  5. Update my budget (so I can be knowin’ where my money is goin’).
  6. Write a blog post if time permits.
  7. Cut myself off by 6:15 or so to finish getting ready for work and/or help with the kids.

Sometimes, I don’t make it through each item. Admittedly, it can be a lot to fit in (which is why I try to get up pretty early).

My thinking behind this routine: What daily disciplines do I need to keep in place to undergird my highest priorities and help me take steps toward achieving my current goals?

Is it important to do these things in the morning?

Great question!

Yes. For me, it is. And most of us suburban husband types would find that the wee hours of the morning are the most likely times to have to ourselves.

Taking care of this routine early in the a.m. has two advantages (personally):

  1. I’m at my sharpest early in the morning meaning that should I need to call on willpower, I have an abundant supply at 5:00am. Plus, after a brisk walk, my mind is energized.
  2. My evenings are saved for family time. If I try to workout everyday after work or write as soon as I get home or kiss everybody ‘hello’ and run to my room for some ‘me time’, then that tells my family they’re further down the priority list than they should be.

In the end, taking both the content and timing into consideration, I’m honoring my commitment to these priorities:

  • Faith: Like many who call themselves Christians, I struggle with being a consistent follower of Jesus. I know early prayer is vital.
  • Family: Most of these disciplines and habits have positive consequences (and doing them when everybody is asleep saves time for them).
  • Increasing wisdom around finances
  • Health: physical (getting the walk in) and mental (ideas, journaling)
  • Vocation: I sense I love to write, so I’m making time for it.

This post isn’t an argument that you, too, should have some elaborate morning routine.

But I do hope it helps you consider the idea. How can you create a routine around one or two of your top priorities?

See what it’s like to get those practices completed early, before the day gets away from you and everybody pings you about with their own priorities on your time and energy.

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I’ve learned a lot about having a daily routine or a daily practice from James Altucher and Todd Henry.

James talks about having a Daily Practice that strengthens physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. I prefer his How to Be the Luckiest Person Alive!, but his more popular book is Choose Yourself!. Both books talk about the Daily Practice.

Todd Henry’s book Louder than Words: Harness the Power of Your Authentic Voice discusses the practice of having ‘dailies’, certain disciplines that you try to hit every day (obviously). 🙂

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