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The key to absolutely crushing tomorrow is knowing how to have a good evening routine for success in the morning.
I know, I know. The last thing you want after a long exhausting day at work, or a frazzled day at home with the kids, is to think about how to have a good evening routine for success as a wife and mom.
You just want to kick your feet up, breathe for a minute in the quiet, and maybe even eat some food while it’s still hot. Or maybe you just want to pee without an audience (toddler mom goals…who’s with me?). Making plans to have a good evening routine sounds like one more chore that you don’t need.
Why You Need A Good Evening Routine For Success Tomorrow
Have you ever woken up to your kids bouncing with energy while you can barely muster the strength to lift your eyelids? If you haven’t, I’m going to spoil the surprise for you: it’s not fun. In fact, it’s kind of frustrating.
Then you crawl out of bed, drag yourself out to the kitchen to feed everyone and get them dressed, start the laundry, and the next thing you know it’s lunchtime and you haven’t even brushed your teeth.
One of your (darling) children pulls at your leg asking you to read a story, nearly tugging off your pajama pants in the process (because who has time to get dressed today?) and you throw your head back and take a deep breath, trying not to yell.
This is why you need to have a good evening routine established. When you do, the morning routine can run smoothly. And (for me) it helps my heart be in the right place to be the best “me” I can.
How To Have A Good Evening Routine For Success
1. Clean Your Kitchen
Yes, it is really that important. I can still remember the first time I stumbled across the FLY Lady online. I loved that the only thing she wanted me to do that first day I joined her e-mail challenge group was to shine my sink.
That shiny sink made me smile all day long and I was so proud when hubby came home from work to it (yes, I re-shined it all the next day!). A clean master bedroom and a clean kitchen are crucial elements to a home that doesn’t overwhelm you. Start with your sink and then tidy the rest of the kitchen.
Bonus tip: If you’re a coffee drinker, program or set up your coffee pot and cup on your nice clean counters. If you prefer tea, set out your kettle. Water drinker? Fill your bottle up to have it waiting.
2. Lay Out Your Clothes (and anything else you need) for Morning
Decision fatigue is actually a thing. Avoid hitting decision fatigue early in the day by setting your morning up for auto-pilot. Just like you want your coffee waiting for you, your outfit (even your earrings!) should be, too.
And it’s the same for the kids. Have their clothes ready the night before and those who are able can get dressed right away. Plus, you’ll be able to help the little ones even faster if all you need to do is reach for their outfit.
If you’re going to workout in the morning, have your workout clothes and sneakers waiting along with your actual outfit for the day. I know some ladies who even sleep in their workout clothes, but I like my pajamas!
Consider packing any diaper bags, briefcases, lunches, etc that you will need in the morning, too. And if you can layout breakfast supplies, go for it!
Bonus tip: Be sure to check the weather in case you need to have coats, hats, and mittens at the ready in winter or maybe a jacket for rain.
3. Glance Over Your To-Do List and Refine It
It’s always best to know what the next day is going to hold. If you know what to do in the morning, it will be less likely to get away from you.
Also, refine it. Don’t be afraid to juggle the undone things from today onto tomorrow’s list, or to throw out things that are just stressing you to begin with.
Lay our your day so you know what you are doing and when.
Bonus Tip: Pick your “Big 3” tasks that have to get done and eliminate any that really don’t matter.
Wish you had an easy way to remember what you want to do each night? Try our 5 Minute Foundations Habit Tracker!
4. Show and Tell
Show and tell, like in 1st grade? Ha, not exactly. Show your loved ones how much they matter – hugs and kisses, pats on the shoulder, snuggles, a love note on a pillow – and tell them why you’re grateful for them or for a special moment you had with them today.
Make it a natural part of your evening to do this, but do it intentionally. Children and husbands need to hear that they are loved and why. Plus, saying it out loud will program your mind and heart to have gratitude, even at the end of a long day.
Bonus Tip: Make it a point to tell them something nice from that day, so that each day it’s special. Make it an organic part of your evening so it never feels fake to them.
5. End the Family’s Day with a Time of Fellowship, Focus, and Prayer
Family Discipleship is going to look different in each one of our homes. This might take five minutes, or it might take twenty-five. In our home, it can take up to an hour but is often just twenty minutes or so.
If you haven’t done it at some other point in your day, consider ending the day by reading something from Scripture and discussing it. If you have done it earlier, still read a verse out loud or even read one together to memorize it.
We end each day by asking one specific question and it has radically changed the tenor of our home. This has become one of the first things I usually tell people when they ask me how to have a good evening routine; it’s the way I like to set my heart up for bed.
And of course, pray. Pray with your husband and children, as well as praying for them.
Bonus Tip: When you pray, thank God for all of that day’s blessings. If the day was so bad that you can’t think of anything, thank Him for sustaining you through it and that His mercies are new every morning.
6. Turn Off Technology
Did you know you’ll sleep better if you avoid screens in the hours leading up until bedtime? Yup, it’s true.
Consider setting aside your phone, the TV, the laptop, and whatever else you have laying around. Pick up a book, write in a journal, do some stretching, or listen to some calming music while snuggled up next to your handsome husband.
This is the time of night when I like to read a chapter in a book that is just for me. This may or may not be fiction; all I care about is that it’s one that nourishes my soul. If you don’t like to read, listen to an audiobook (have you checked out AUDIBLE?).
Related: Try Audible and Get Two Free Audiobooks
Bonus Tip: Choose books that breathe life into your heart and mind. I used to read some mysteries that could tend toward dark, but once I abandoned those and started reading books that focused on joy and gratitude my outlook began to shift.
7. Go To Bed
That sounds so obvious, doesn’t it? But it’s not. Or we get in bed but don’t go to sleep. I’m learning that setting a bedtime and sticking to it is super important if I want to be the best mommy I can be for my kids and also for myself.
I’m much happier when I’m not exhausted, as are the little humans I get to love on every day. I just seem to have more love to give when I’m well rested.
The average person needs 6-9 hours of sleep a night (depending on which study you trust). Personally, I find I can pretty much make it through anything the day throws at me if I’ve had 7 hours. So my personal goal is a bedtime of 10 and to wake up at 5 (I like to have plenty of time to enjoy my morning routine!).
Bonus Tip: Try to pick a time that you can honor consistently. Your body will thank you for it!
So Now What?
Use a habit tracker. Seems overly simple, doesn’t it? But it WORKS.
Don’t be afraid to personalize this and make it your own. Just establish an evening routine, because it’s the foundation that allows you to start the next day well! Knowing how to have a good evening routine for success in your life as a wife and mom is just the first step…the next step is to use it!
Here’s one I’ve set up as a gift to you for being an awesome part of the Graceful Abandon community!