It’s been said that if you own the morning, you own the day and if you own your days, you own your life. Countless bloggers, entrepreneurs, and the world's most successful people attribute most of their productivity and success to a solid morning routine that they follow to a T every single day.
Since a morning routine is no longer “breaking news," you can search the internet and find an endless assortment of morning routine articles, the science that backs it up, the benefits it offers, and habits to start incorporating into your morning to become a more productive/successful person. But what many of these articles are forgetting to add, is that creating a morning routine that you actually stick with, starts the night before. That’s right, by creating an evening routine you have a higher chance of setting your self up for success to follow your morning routine the next day. Creating an evening routine can be as simple as laying out your favorite skinny jeans the night before or it can be as elaborate as you want it to be. The primary goal is to find what works for you.
This article discusses how you can develop an evening routine that you can help you stick to your morning routine in order to start owning your days.
Designing Your Routine
Before you read any further, before you read any other blog post, book or article about morning and/or evening routines and how to make one, you need to plot, dream and write about what your ideal morning and evening routine would look like, right down to even what you’re wearing and why you’re doing it. This is going to look different for everyone. Lifestyle blogger Natalie Bacon suggests asking yourself the following essential questions to create both your evening and morning routines:
- Do you want to spend this time on personal growth and development, or
- Cleaning and doing housework, or
- Rest and relaxation, or
- Health and wellness, or
- Something else?
In addition to these questions, you need to get real with why you want to create these routines. Do you want to get in some exercise before everyone wakes up? Do you want your days to run smoother? Do you want to feel less stressed? Get as specific and intentional as possible, whether it be wearing a pretty boho embroidered top while you garden at night or exercising in the morning listening to some inspirational music. Make a list and write it down!
Once you have your ideal routines written down, it’s time to bring in some outside resources.
Evening Routine Ideas
While everyone is wired differently, experts agree that there are certain things that will benefit most people to wind down for the night and can aid in a successful morning routine/day. For people who have an especially difficult time sticking to a morning routine, a stand-alone evening routine may be better suited to their lifestyle. Below are some evening routines designed to calm you down before bed and get your ready for the day ahead.
Prepare For The Next Day
This idea may seem like an obvious idea, but getting into the habit of this simple task takes some work, but is well worth it when you don’t need to think about all this stuff in the morning. Lay out what you plan on wearing for the next day, whether that’s a suit for the office or modest jean shorts for a day off, lay it all out. If you have little ones, help them pick out their outfits for the next day as well. In addition to clothing, you can lay out any papers or material you need for work, get your breakfast/lunch ready, organize your gym bag, etc.
Tidy Up Your Home
If you’ve ever woken up to a messy living room, dishes spilling out of the sink, or items in your home in general disarray, you know how stressful and unpleasant it can be to start your day in this way. By taking 10-20 minutes the night before, you’ll be able to fall asleep with a sense of accomplishment, much in the same way that making your bed in the morning allows for success, explains this article from Zapier.
Spend Time With Your Family
Spending time with your family can be a great way to wind down at the end of the day and help to strengthen bonds as well as de-stress from the day. Try spending time doing an activity, playing a game or just talking with your family before bed. Avoid using your phones during this time in order to remain fully present.
Choosing a Relaxing Activity For Yourself
A relaxing activity that can help you get ready for sleep could look like any of the following examples. Choose one or more that you would like to incorporate into your evening routine:
- Taking a bath
- Journaling (some people highly recommend keeping a gratitude journal, or you can even use your journaling time for “brain dumping” or writing down your goals).
- Going for a walk.
- Relaxing stretches or yoga
- Drinking non-caffeinated tea
- Eating a light snack
- Listen to music
Practice Good Sleep Habits
Creating an evening routine is more about laying our your favorite skinny jeans the night before, even if that’s how it starts out. Creating an evening routine can help you establish good sleep habits, thus allowing for a full 8 hours of sleep a night so you can wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on your day. This makes sticking to your morning routine and being a generally more productive person so much easier. The following sleep habits can help you achieve a quality night’s sleep every night:
- Go to bed and wake up at the same time everyday-even weekends.
- Keep the temperature in your room between 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the ideal room temperature according to the National Sleep Foundation.
- Keep electronics (TVs, laptops, cellphones) out of the bedroom or switch your cell to night mode if you need to keep it in your bedroom.
- Make your room as dark as possible.
- Stop using electronics at least an hour before you go to bed.
- Don’t stay in bed if you can’t sleep. This article by No Sleepless Nights explains that people usually only take 20-30 minutes to fall asleep. If it’s taking you longer to fall asleep, get up and repeat some part of your routine like reading or stretching.
It takes 21 days to instill a new habit, to keep track of your routine, you can download this habit tracker from Just a Girl and Her Blog. In addition to keeping track of the new habits your creating for yourself here are some additional resources for inspiration for your morning routines and to help you get started living a less stressed, more productive life and to finally take back your days.