In an ideal world, my mornings are filled with slow sunlight peeking through the blinds, soft, creaky wood floors, and warm cups of coffee whose steam wafts up to my nose the smell of cinnamon and nutmeg, just frothed.
Honestly, if I had my way or controlled time, my mornings would take up most of my day. A leisurely walk through the neighborhood, a good reading session in my comfy nook chair with a Sherpa blanket and aforementioned coffee. I’d get in a morning workout at the gym followed by a green juice, an effortless shower-getting-ready situation, and have ample time to loaf around before anything was required of me.
Bonus points to whomever it is that happens to make me a full farmer’s breakfast in my dreams, just as long as it’s not me.
But most mornings, pull back the curtain on my home and you will see a very different version of this dream. Snooze alarms echo and babies squeal to be fed, diaper changes begin immediately, the coffee stays steamy for approximately zero seconds and there is absolutely no “loafing” whatsoever.
We wake up and the mission begins.
In the rush of beginning, something gets lost for me. I’ve come to terms with the fact that I might not fit everything into my morning that I want (barring I wake up two to three hours before anyone else in the household). But I have found a few tiny habits that tend to set the course for my day in the best way, even on the most hectic of Mondays.
1. Begin with intention.
Before getting out of bed, before letting my feet hit the ground, before reaching for my phone – I think.
While the world may pound me with lack of control the second I open my bedroom door, I have one sacred space (that sometimes only lasts a minute or two) to remind myself of what is most important. For me, that is reciting and thinking over a particular piece of scripture that I want to shape my thinking, actions and attitude. For you, maybe it’s a mantra, an encouraging word, an inspirational quote, a truth you want to permeate through your being. Either way, say it or think it first thing, before anything else. Beginning with the end in mind is always better than haphazardly arriving.
2. Make the bed.
This is pretty straightforward. Undeniably, there is something impactful about admitting to yourself that the day has begun and sleep has ceased. A beautifully puffy white comforter simply tossed over the sheets and pillows is all it takes for me to say, “I did it, I woke up, and by golly I’m an adult!” Every once in a while, on a particularly hard morning, I like to congratulate myself here as well. “You did it,” tends to make me smile, or my husband sneer; both are acceptable.
3. Start a load of laundry.
Hearing the whirr of that washer spurs a productive contentment in me that is nothing short of magical. Some days the loads are huge, some are tiny, but either way, getting something in the machine is an immediate boost to the day’s “get to” list.
4. Unload the dishwasher.
If I have been disciplined, the dishwasher will have run at the end of the day, leaving a machine chock full of fresh, dry, beautiful dishes. Unloading the dishwasher not only cleanses the palette for the day, but leaves a space wide open for any other humans in my household to load it with dirty dishes themselves. Some days, I have failed, so this task looks more like cleaning whatever is leftover in the sink and pressing the “Start” button. Equally as satisfying.
That’s it. Nothing earth shattering, but these quick four habits have set me up for what has proven to be many more stress-free mornings and productive days.