Celebrating Life | Heart Stuff

How to Create a Morning Routine

By special request, today’s post and video are all about how to create a morning routine when you really don’t feel like a morning person. I’m also sharing an update on our July goals #trueconfessionstyle so grab a cup of coffee or a glass of sweet tea and let’s dive in!

Oh, my word you guys, July stumped me and stretched me in ways I was not prepared for which is totally ironic given, Amber, a sweet reader and supporter of all things TCG asked if I could talk about morning routines in this month’s video.

American Flag

I say ironic because July has probably been the most unproductive month I’ve had all year, at least on paper anyway.

I’m thankful I have you guys to help keep me accountable. Honestly, it means so much to me to have your support even when I have to write posts like this one where I feel like I’ve fallen a bit short.

hydrangea

I started out July with excitement and gusto, ready to tackle the midyear check-in and complete our summer to-do list #likeaboss. Then we spent the first part of the month at the cabin…

…and somewhere on I-75, I lost my mojo.

While I would love to say this was in response to a wildly rest filled vacation and learning to let go, that would be a total lie.

Sam Penland Cash Store Sign

Because on the way home, I started ruminating over some things that had happened while we were at the cabin. And silently stressing over things I hadn’t addressed before we left knowing full well they would have to be a priority the minute we returned.

The next thing I knew, I was in the Land of Shoulds.

You know what I’m talking about…we’re already teetering on the edge of overwhelm so we figure we may as well, “go all in” and we enter the Land of Shoulds with a fast pass which causes us to add even more unnecessary things to our worry list. It’s like giving our inner critic a megaphone and fresh material…

  • “I should have sent that email.”
  • “I should have started painting earlier.”
  • “I have eaten more veggies instead of indulging in so many sweets.”
  • “I should have called her when I had time.”
  • “I should have ordered that two weeks ago.”
  • “I should have made my health a priority.”
  • “I should have already had this conversation when I didn’t feel so angry and frustrated.”
  • “I should have just handled it.”
  • “I should have said no instead of giving my time away with a yes I didn’t really mean.”

Mountain Side Antiques

Please tell me I’m not the only one with these thoughts because you know what usually happens next?

We find ourselves down Anxiety Alley or on Stressed Out Street or down Blowing Up Boulevard or on Losing it Lane or worse, Hold It All in No Matter What the Cost Highway.

And then we get stuck.

Country gravel Road

Which is exactly what happened to me. I had a vision, I had a plan, I had the materials, I had the time – and yet, I was so wrapped up in my own obsessive thoughts, I could not make a decision to save my life.

And I did the worse thing you could possibly do in that situation…

…I did nothing.

Even when I knew in my heart of hearts all I had to do was relax and do the next right thing. I stayed stuck. For weeks.

Rose of Sharon

Thankfully, I have fabulous people in my life that are willing to speak truth in love, even when it’s hard.

“You know, CoCo,” my friend said in a soft but confident voice, “You cannot bring back May or June or even the weeks of July you feel like you’ve wasted. But you can get yourself unstuck today by accepting that time has already passed and is not coming back, that rarely is anything in our lives is ever wasted, and that you have the power to choose today how much longer you’re willing to put up with the excuses that are holding you back. I’ll support whatever you choose but it’s important for me to remind you, you have a choice.”

I mean, can I get an Amen up in here and a witness in the back! Preach to my heart, she was so right! I hung up the phone thankful for the support, ready to get unstuck and back on track.

hibiscus

Now, you might be wondering what the heck this has to do with creating a successful morning routine when you don’t feel like a morning person?

I’ll tell ya, it has everything to do with three simple questions you need to ask yourself before you ever start creating a morning routine. Why? Because our mornings without a doubt shape our days and our days make up our lives …

Successful morning routines are merely a set of actions you value so much you are willing to practice them over and over again until they become a non-negotiable, positive habit and part of your life.

After you figure out which key elements will best fit your morning routine, write them down! I know that might seem elementary, but the truth is you’re trying to create a new habit which is not easy. You’re also trying to create a system you can take with you even if you’re not at home. Here are a few simple ideas to get you started…

  • Wake up – No Snoozing!
  • Practice Gratitude
  • Quiet Time (meditation, affirmations, scripture reading)
  • Make Your Bed
  • Exercise (listen to a podcast, uplifting music, or words of encouragement while you’re at the gym or on the treadmill – it makes the time go by faster)
  • Shower/Make Up
  • Breakfast
  • 5-Minute Calendar & Family Check
  • 15-Minute Tidy Up (making sure the sink is empty before you leave for work is a HUGE help so run the dishwasher before you go to bed and unload it in the mornings before you go to work)
  • Listen to a Podcast or Uplifting Music on Your Ride to Work/School/Errands.

I know the mornings can be tough, believe me, you guys, I get it. Neither one of my dogs sleeps through the night anymore so we only get around 4 or 5 hours of sleep every day. Sometimes they wake up with a stomach ache at 2 am or they barely make it out the door before tinkling on the patio or they refuse to eat breakfast, or they are up wandering the room all night long and you hear the “click, click, click” of their paws for hours on end – it can be exhausting. If you’re going through a season of insomnia, my heart goes out to you.

Little Dog Sleeping

While we *usually* cannot control any of those situations, we can control how we chose to get up, show up and set ourselves up for a successful day whether we feel like a morning person or not. You’re worth the time and effort it takes to create a solid morning routine. Now, stop hitting that snooze button – the day is full of promise and you are too!

Thanks so much for reaching out Amber! If you guys have any topics you want me to cover, I’m all ears. Until next time, I’ll see you on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.

Many blessings,

CoCo

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10 Comments

  1. Dear CoCo,
    Thanks so much for sharing – I need that morning “to-do” list! I wanted to respond to you when you wrote about your beautiful “memory” garden, but my throat closed up and I couldn’t speak nor write! It’s been a year since we lost Madden (a day or two apart from your losing Tally) and it is still difficult to talk about him without tearing up. Our cat, Max, who worshiped Madden, is holding up health-wise, some days better than others. Last week we adopted a 5-year old beagle, Annie (we re-named her since she didn’t respond to a name), who was rescued from an abusive, neglected situation. She was very sick, covered in fleas, and needed to be spayed. A friend who was fostering her called us because she wanted to be sure she would go to a loving home. We met her and felt maybe it was time for us to adopt again. It is amazing after knowing what she came from, how smart she is and how much she loves people. She has skin issues that will take a while to heal and she is learning new things everyday. She didn’t know what a bed was for, had never walked on a leash, hadn’t lived inside her whole life. Max adjusted pretty quickly to her – he follows her to the door and waits for her to come in (as he did with Madden) and stares at her as if thinking “she must be a dog, but she sure doesn’t look like our Shelties!” 🙂 She has been very good with Max – they’ve sniffed noses so I think they will be fine. I think we will always miss Madden, but Annie will fill a void in her own way. I’m so sorry about your dogs – it is part of loving our pets – the suffering that we go through with them. I understand completely. You are truly “beauty-full”! 🙂 Thank you for sharing your life with us.

    1. I can’t even tell you how much it melts my heart to read this, Patty. A million times over I could not be more excited for you and for Max and Annie too – talk about hitting the love lottery! I think about you and Madden every time I’m out in Tally’s memory garden. I remember we lost them so close together. I hope they’ve found each other and are playing and talking about how totally cool their mom’s were 🙂 You are right, it is never easy when these sweet pups age but even in the aging process both Jelly Bean and Filbie continue to teach us so many lessons. They are a blessing every day as are you sweet friend. Thank you for bringing Annie into your heart and home and for saving her too. She sounds like the perfect gift. Sending you lots of hugs and squeals of excitement, CoCo

  2. This was so important for me to read and hear today, CoCo. I’ve never been a morning person and I truly know I have to rein in the night owl in me to enjoy early mornings. The tips in your video are unique as far as what I’ve heard and read in the past. And thank you for this video, it even had closed caption and without that, I can’t watch–I’m hearing impaired and rely very much on cc and lip reading.

    Don’t ever feel that weeks or months have passed by without achieving your plans or goals. They are are the re-fueling time we all need. Our heads and hearts know that!

    Jane x

  3. Thank you for answering my morning routine questions, Coco, these tips help a lot. It made me feel so much better when you said you don’t have to wake up early to feel like you can have a successful morning. I’m going to put this in place before the kids go back. I’m hoping to help them have a great morning too. Thanks again, Amber

    1. You are most welcome, Amber! I am always glad to help with whatever you guys need. I’ve heard so many say they feel their best around 9 or 10 so I think you’re in great company. Just the fact you’re willing to reach out for tips already makes you a rock star in my book. Good luck with the girls and the new morning routine. Don’t forget the biggest help is how much you’re able to prep each night. Hugs and let me know if you need anything else. CoCo

  4. Sabrena Reed says:

    That Jelly Bean ha given you the all time cutest puppy picture EVER!
    I am not a morning person but I will try just for you – my sweet Coco!

    1. Thank you, Sabrena! Jelly Bean is literally THE best thing we’ve ever found on the side of the road. She brings us so much love. It’s totally ok you’re not a morning person, just ask yourself those three questions and create a plan of action from there. I truly believe you don’t have to be a “morning person” to be successful. You just have to find out what works best for you and keep doing more of that. The biggest key to a good morning is the prep work you put in place the night before. Sending you lots of hugs, CoCo

  5. Coco, these video posts are always my favorite posts. I probably tell you that all the time but I see all these other moms looking put together at school each morning and it makes me feel so deflated. I feel short tempered and rushed and then guilty for not being a morning person like I feel like I should be. Thanks for letting us know it’s ok to be a mid-morning person and successful. That’s when I feel my best. Thank you for these videos, I love them, Sarah

    1. Sarah, my heart hurts to hear you feel deflated by seeing the other moms at school in the morning but I totally get ya. I hear that from my girlfriends too. I just want to you know it’s completely ok to be a mid-morning person. We’re all more successful when we’re working at our best and if that’s mid-morning for you then that is fabulous. I think the biggest key to success no matter what time you wake up is to have a strategy and a plan in place so you’re better focused on your goals and what needs to be done for the day. Hold your head up high the next time your at school, lady, progress is way more important than perfection 🙂 Big hugs, CoCo

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