For years I thought that the way my morning began was what set the tone for my day. I still feel that to an extent, but now I know that the tone of my day has more to do with my reaction to how my morning begins more than how it actually goes. It can be an ugly morning and everything can go wrong, but how I handle it and how I react to it can change the pace of the ugly and make it better. My attitude is determined by my attitude, and that is an important life lesson we all learn at some point.
On that note, we can actually make our mornings a bit better by preparing for them the night before. I’m a big believer that the less I have to do in the morning, the happier I am when it actually arrives. Trust me, I know that when I put something off until the morning at night, I stand there and thing, “I’m going to be so annoyed in the morning that I skipped out on this right now,” and then I do it. I also know that making sure my mornings are better the night before means I’m less likely to become annoyed or emotional.
Why is this important? When I’m annoyed and/or emotional, I tend to try and fix my mood by shopping. That’s never a good idea when you’re working with a budget, or you’re trying to get your financial life in order, and I know that’s how so many people feel. On that note, I’m going to save you some money, stress and annoyance by sharing with you how you can make your morning so much more enjoyable tonight.
Wake up early
It’s tempting – so very tempting – to just hit the snooze button and go back to bed for a few minutes, but what do you gain? You’re still exhausted when you wake up, you’re more stressed because you just wasted all that time. You get nothing out of snooze. When I get up at 5 when the alarm goes off, I get to take a quiet shower, do my hair and makeup with interruption, and I get to have a cup of coffee sitting all alone without anyone irritating me, asking me for breakfast, or a cup or talking my ear off or asking me to turn on cartoons for them. It’s the most peaceful start to the day, and it allows me time to do what I want to do without rushing the rest of the morning or skipping what’s most important to me.
Go to bed early
Sometimes you just want to tell Netflix to go ahead and start one more episode of whatever your current favorite show of the week is, but don’t do it. You know when you are tired and need to go to bed, so go. The earlier you go to bed, the more awake you will feel in the morning. It’s a great way for you to start the day on the right note even though you’re doing it now.
Do as much prep as possible
Each night before bed I make sure all school folders are signed, all homework is in bags, all clothes are picked out and everyone’s ‘extras’ are done. I even go so far as to get out everyone’s favorite breakfast plates and cups so that they’re ready to fill up and serve first thing in the morning. Anything that can be loaded into the car the night before is loaded, and life is so much simpler in the morning. How can you be in a bad mood when you don’t have much to do?
Clean up before bed
I’m an anal-retentive neat freak, and everyone knows it. As soon as all four of our kids are in bed, my floors are vacuumed and mopped, the dishes are done and all counters and tables are wiped down. The laundry is done every single night before bed, and there is nothing that is a mess in the morning. When someone says to me that they are too tired to do their dishes or straighten up at night and they never have time to do it in the morning, I don’t feel bad for them. Do it now and relax in a happy state later. It’s a nice way to start each morning.
Remember you cannot control everything
Nothing is perfect, you cannot control it all. Instead, fix what you can, handle what needs it and then move on. Don’t let the bad things that happen prevent you from having a nice day. Curb the negative energy by letting it go and laughing it off. Eventually, you will get out the door and get your day going; and it will feel good to do it in a good mood.
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