PART 1: How to set yourself up for success

Before we can get into how to set up a morning routine I feel like I need to take time to talk about the night before!  My mornings depend so much on how I spent my time the night before!  I don’t know about you, but I am NOT the most friendly person when I’m tired…and I feel like I’m tired most of the time.  As a homeschool mom, my kids are with me almost 27/7, so if I’m cranky all the time, they are stuck with a miserable existence. I don’t want that.

So…I’ve worked over the years to find different solutions.  Of course the easiest solution is to get some sleep! Easier said than done, right? Even when I didn’t have a baby waking me up, I would end up tired.  The truth is that I stay up too late.  There…I said it.  My name is Jaime and I’m a night owl.

I’ve always been a night owl and I tend to even think better at night! That’s great when you can sleep in and be lazy all morning, but when you have 3 kids and you homeschool (or work outside the house), you have to be UP when everyone else is up. Those precious nighttime hours when the kids are in bed are wonderful.  I get things done! I can work on my computer, plan, organize, clean…okay so YES…I do watch TV…I mean we are being honest right? So yes, sometimes I spend those amazing quality hours sacked out on the couch binge watching my latest favorite TV series on Hulu…but when else can I do that??

But then comes the morning.  I know the Bible tells us that His mercies are new every morning and believe me when I say…I need all of His mercies!

I have found that with just a few minutes of thought the day or night before, I can start my day off with a positive attitude and a plan that I can accomplish! I call it my Daily Snapshot.  As you create a daily snapshot there are some things that work well and some that don’t.  Here’s what I have discovered…


Here’s what works for me:


I take a few minutes the day before to think about the next day.  Sometimes this is at night right before I shut down my computer and switch over to family time, and other times I do it during the middle of the day when I have a moment. I simply jot down what meals we are eating the next day (make sure I have what I need), go over any “to do’s” or errands that I have to do the next day, and then just think about what my main focus will be.  Sometimes the main focus is getting school done.  Sometimes the main focus is cleaning the house.  Sometimes there’s an event coming up that I need to plan and get ready for. Having a main focus just helps me put my day into perspective.  It allows me to have priorities without feeling like I’m letting things slip.

Once I do that, I also write down things I’ll need to think about or do that will help me with the NEXT day or some time in the future. This is more long term thinking.  Maybe a birthday is coming up so I jot down a reminder to find addresses so I can send out invites next week. Maybe a holiday is coming up and I need to remind myself to take the turkey out of the freezer because it will take a couple days to thaw.

One more thing:

I might be a night owl, but it doesn’t mean I get it all done every night! So many times I work at night till I’m exhausted then head to bed with a messy house.  There’s nothing that will get you off to a bad start than waking up to a messy house with dishes in the sink!

Before bed (or maybe even right before dinner) get the kids involved and run through the house.  Pick up everything that’s out of place, toss all the trash, and declutter.  Just a quick run-through can make a huge difference!  Put the dirty dishes in the dishwasher (waiting for the dinner dishes before starting) and wipe down the kitchen.  After dinner, quickly pick up the dinner dishes, start the dishwasher, and you’re done!

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