Picture this: Monday morning, or any morning for that matter, rolls around and the alarm goes off. You jump out of bed, get started on your morning routine, and wake the kids with a smile, ready to attack whatever challenges roll your way!

I’m sure that’s the picture at your place all the time, right? No?  Well, honestly, that’s not what it looks like in my neck of the woods, either.

But I  have to admit that these days (and this is after over a “few” decades of living!) I’ve finally come up with a list of things I work through to help my day get off to a good start. They’re not rocket-science…anyone can do them. It just takes a firm commitment and a determination to do whatever it takes to break the cycle of waking up in the morning already behind.

Here, then, are…

10 important things to do the night before to have a great tomorrow!

Clean up the kitchen

I know, I know…it’s the end of the day and you’re beat! Nobody wants to clean up after supper (or maybe they at least like the concept, but I’ll never believe that even if you buy into the idea, you really want to do it…). Enlist the help of your family, and better yet, start the cleanup process while you’re fixing supper – and you will SO thank yourself for it in the morning.  You can even get the coffee started – water and grounds – and then just hit “start” when you stagger into the room the next morning 🙂

Have one last drink of water

If you pour a nice, tall glass of ice water and sip on it while you’re cleaning up…you kill 2 birds with one stone. Just think: you’re doing something good for yourself now (the water) and later (tomorrow morning)!  Win-win!

Go over your calendar or “to do” list

And if you don’t have one, now’s the time to put it together. At the very least, write down any appointments or meetings you have. It’ll give you a bonus head start if you go ahead and look at the next few days, too, and jot down anything coming up that you need to plan for, or shop for, or get things together for. Pull together phone numbers, too, for anyone you have to call.

Review your meal plan/shopping list for the next day

While you’re preparing your calendar, take a look at your freezer/fridge and see whatcha got for supper, what you need to buy at the store, and then decide “what’s for dinner!”

Pull out bills to pay and/or correspondence that will need your attention

Don’t deal with them now, just add them to your “to-do” list and get mentally prepared to git ‘er done! If you pay most of your bills online, or – better yet – have them scheduled, just use the time to take a quick glance at your account to see what’s coming up in the next day or so.

Make/print out/review your child’s upcoming activity/assignment schedule for the day

After more than a few decades of living, I've finally come up with a list of things I work through to help my day get off to a good start. They're not rocket science...anyone can do them. It just takes a firm commitment and a determination to do whatever it takes to break the cycle of waking up in the morning already behind.
Of course, you may want to print out your own, but even if you don’t, once your child reaches reading age, it may be fun for them to cross off things that they accomplish, too! It’s never too early to get them started on having an attitude of productivity.  (Note: If you’re more of an on-line person, and less of a paper-and-pen kinda gal, you may want to consider an on-line calendar/note-taking resource. While you can always tweak Google calendar, if you want to include the kids’ assignments and activities, you may want to try out Homeschool Planet’s planner. The neat thing about their online planner is that you can add your lists/activities, too!)

Wrap up your screen time…

…at least 30 mins, but preferably an hour, before bedtime. This is very important. It not only sets a good example for the kids, but it’s oh-so-much-healthier for you. Nothing is worse than falling asleep on the couch and waking up at 2 in the morning with a stiff neck, the computer or DVD on/running, still needing to get ready or at head over to the bedroom, and having your sleep seriously interrupted. This may or may not be a common and frustrating situation at my house with a dearly-loved family member…

Take care of your personal hygiene

You know: teeth, face, etc. But also take a moment to get your clothes out for tomorrow… It leaves you with one less decision to make in the wee hours of the day.

Enjoy some quiet time

This can be with your hubby or alone. Maybe spend some time reading – I love to do this one in bed. Most of the time, truth-be-told, I’ll fall asleep reading, but I usually have a bunch of good books on my nightstand, and they say that deep sleep helps to solidify learning in your brain, so just make sure that whatever you’re reading is “good for you!”

Go to bed at a decent hour.

Yes, the research backs it up: a healthy adult needs around 7 hours of sleep each night. And sorry, friend, but you’re no different. This is another interesting study, too, from MyFitnessPal.com

So there you have it! Ten simple things you can start doing this evening to start making your tomorrows even better!

They say it takes 3 weeks to make a habit – so let me challenge you to check back here in 3 weeks and leave me a comment…and let us know how it’s going for you 🙂  Here’s to better days ahead…

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What are some things you do to help get a better start on a productive day? I’d love for you to tell us about it in the comments below…

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